63

I’ve only had bagged mates before, and I wasn’t overly impressed. I basically concluded that if the choice was between mate and actual tea, I could see no reason to choose mate. So this is definitely not something I would have bought intentionally. It arrived as part of the Teavana tea of the month club classic plan and sat on my kitchen counter staring at me for a while.

I’m still off tea. Not sure why, I just can’t get motivated. I may have had too much of a good thing for a number of months and just simply burnt out. The 100 degree heat and stress at work and home could also have something to do with it, as well as the frustration with my Brita pitcher which decided to become a fish tank for a while. I seem to have eradicated the algae for now, but it was off-putting. It’s not just tea tasting that is suffering, it’s my workouts and my writing and pretty much everything else. I keep telling myself October has to be better because the first month of school will be past and the kids will have reestablished their routines at least. (On the upside, I’ve become interested in chess because my first grader has become interested in it, so I’ve been reading chess books and practicing on the computer trying to develop a game that isn’t embarrassing so I can keep up with him. I have something of a mental block about it, though. I keep telling myself I just don’t get it, so I don’t. See the rock, hit the rock.)

But back to this mate. I finally gave up and cracked it open.

The good thing about it is that you can’t taste the mate. Which if you like mate, is probably also the bad thing. It’s got chunky fruit pieces and blades of lemongrass and basically looks just like a fruit blend. Smells like one too, in the bag. It has a berry-ish, raisiny-ish smell. If there’s a mate smell I can’t detect it. I expected something sort of earthy, but it’s buried under the fruit.

It looks like a fruit blend after it steeps, too. It has that hibiscusy red color. I didn’t pile in the spoonfuls like I do with fruit blends because I didn’t want the mate to be too dense, so I get a Hawaiian punch colored liquor. It doesn’t have a lot of aroma, but what it does has a fruity edge. (Mostly it just smells hot to me, with maybe a disturbing twinge of overheated plastic. I’m using a glass cup so this is mysterious.)

Taste wise, it is basically a fruit blend. I don’t get anything that makes it taste like anything else. Which is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned, because if I could taste the mate I probably wouldn’t like it. As it is, it’s on a par with the average fruit blends I’ve had. Nothing that makes it unusual or unique, and at this point being an average fruit blend isn’t enough to elevate something like this to my shopping list. Particularly since I’m most likely to drink them at night and having the mate in this, albeit rather silent in its participation, takes it out of the running as an evening candidate.

I’m not really feeling caffeine as I drink this. But maybe I’ve overwhelmed myself with increased coffee and Diet Coke consumption while I’ve been off tea and it isn’t making a dent.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Meghann M

Hope October brings more happy tea days, writing time and more for you!

__Morgana__

Thanks, moi aussi!

Stephanie

Welcome back Morgana!!!

__Morgana__

Thanks Stephanie!

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Comments

Meghann M

Hope October brings more happy tea days, writing time and more for you!

__Morgana__

Thanks, moi aussi!

Stephanie

Welcome back Morgana!!!

__Morgana__

Thanks Stephanie!

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. 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 write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with 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. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

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

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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