47

G’day mate. ;-)

I am a babe in the mate woods. The only ones I’ve tried are this and the Tazo lemon. I have no idea what mate tastes like on its own, but my experience of these two drinks leads me to believe that the analogy mate-is-to-tea as chicory root-is-to-coffee may be apt. Or veggie burger-is-to-hamburger. If this is the case, I expect I am not destined to become a mate drinker. I am too much of a purist, and I tend to fixate on the thought that I’m drinking something that is ersatz something else, rather than something to be appreciated in its own right. This won’t keep me from trying mates, but it may keep me from cultivating a taste for them.

In any case, this one also has lemon myrtle, which is my bane. The Tazo has lemongrass, which I find more pleasing as a lemon flavoring. That said, this has a certain smoothness that feels creamy in the mouth and the green tea adds some “green” flavor as well. I have had this one several times and though it isn’t bad, I don’t expect it to grow on me.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I’ve updated this bio as it’s been a couple of years since I “started getting into” tea. It’s now more accurate to say that I was obsessed with tea for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it, and I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I’ve recently started writing fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I much prefer to drink tea without additives such as milk and sugar. If a tea needs additives to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’m going to rate it high. The exception is chai, which I make on the stove top using a recipe I found here on Steepster. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs into the harder stuff, but once I learned how to make a decent cup of tea they became far less appealing to me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. I’m revising them slightly to make them less granular as I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas against other similar versions. So I rate Earl Greys, for example, against other Earl Greys, rather than against all teas. If something rates very high with me, though, it probably means it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is; will keep this stocked until the cows come home

90-94 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; likely to become a favorite, will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again if in the mood for this particular one or a better, similar version not available

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but probably wouldn’t buy again unless craving this particular flavor

50-59 Okay or run of the mill

Below 50 So-so, iffy, would definitely pass
or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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