Mate scares me. I’ve had a total of two sips of it in my life. Not a fan. But this is Samovar and they kind of make me like wacky things. So I will give it a shot.
It smells like dusty hay but without the sweetness of my grandparents’ old barn. There’s a little sweetness in there but it isn’t hay sweetness, it’s the anise. Which honestly made me think of peppermint on my first sniff, but I figured it out on my second. When the hot water hits the not-leaves, there is a whoosh that smells of dirt and sweet almost-mint . It makes me think of the smell pu-erh would give off if you set it on fire (but without quite so much lapsang souchong burning).
The liquid is… not so appetizing. Murky and kind of brackish-looking green. I am attempting to stare the tea down (instead of drinking it) but darn it, it hasn’t blinked yet. Totoro has nerves of steel. Okay, must buck up and drink.
Huh. It’s really not bad. Tastes very herbal and has a sweetness that reminds me of chamomile but the anise give it a little tingle/sting down my throat. There is hay and sweet and dry and tingly and a fresh, sweet, herbal-y aftertaste with a hint of anise feeling. It’s the love child resulting from a secret pu-erh and herbal tisane affair.
This is so different from my norm, I’m not sure what I think about this yet. Which could be good since I had to do that with Ryokucha and I’m fairly addicted to that now. I don’t think I will develop an addiction for this yerba mate, but then I wouldn’t have imagined it with Ryokucha either, so I suppose only time will tell. That and the crack Samovar adds.