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.