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Recent Tasting Notes
This could possibly be one of the worst tasting teas I’ve had – ever. I don’t know what it is, it could very possibly be just me. But I can’t even finish a glass of this! Which is sad, because I bought a box I now have no use for. Something about the citrus and this almost burnt green flavor, I just can’t. Sorry to all the people who really like this one, but I guess not all teas work for all people. I have a box up for grabs, if anyone wants to trade.
Love this brewed strong with a splash of milk. It’s sweet and spicy and a bit mysterious — just so different from everything else in my stash. But I won’t be buying more anytime soon, because I still have too much tea! That being said, I am now down to 120 teas!!! and 20 of those are single servings (samples, or one-off teabags). If I were really disciplined, I would vow to have one a day for the next 20 days so I can get down to 100. And I would do it. But I know myself. I’m not that disciplined. I did put them all in their own basket on top of my kitchen table though, so maybe I will reach for them first. Except the Constant Comment. Blegh. That one’s for when my mom comes over (although thankfully even her tastes have graduated beyond Bigelow).
(NOTE: This “only 120 teas” total is also due on part to having taken a dozen or so out of my cupboard and put in a box to give away a couple months ago. I have yet to actually give them to anyone. I guess I should list them on here? It’s mostly 52teas partial pouches, and some Lupicia samples. I will try to post them on the giveaway thread soon.)
While I have an appreciation for bitter flavors that are awesome (dark roast coffee, certain teas, wicked dark chocolate, etc), my introduction to Yerba Mate was, “Whoa…too bitter for me.” However, I have such fond memories of my visit to Guayaki in California, I just had to try it again. This time I picked up a box of this cocoa infused blend. I tried it with lots of positive attitude but inner bracing against possible bitterness. OH…my…yumminess! Delicate sweetness, light cocoa and spice flavor, warming and delicious. Frothed with a little milk/non dairy bev. and a touch of honey, this became a latte of cocoa laced with spices; the yerba mate’s earthy and vegetal flavor creating a lovely counterpoint.
umm this has 120mg of caffeine per can.
it’s 11:33pm and i probably shouldn’t have even had the half a can i did.
it tastes nice. but the flavor is really kinda hard to describe. i mean, basically it’s carbonated and sweetened mate tea. i’d definitely buy it again. i don’t drink soda but i could easily enjoy this regularly.
I got a bag of this one in a swap and I feel terrible because I don’t remember who it was from! Usually I can tell from the handwriting but obviously there’s none on a teabag. I’m thinking… Kallieboo? Anyway, I don’t have that much experience with mate so I am always happy to try more!
no-tea related rambling below!
The name of this tea brought back so many memories. I majored in cultural anthropology in college, and a book about the Guayaki Indians was the first ethnography I read in my very first anthro class. My college required two courses in the social sciences as part of the core: I took sociology and hated it (but anthro and socio people notoriously don’t get along haha), and decided to give an intro anthropology class a shot for my second.
Looking back, that was the book that got me hooked. It dealt with incredibly complex and decisive topics that often wouldn’t even be touched upon even in a college class: homosexuality in native groups, coming-of-age rituals that involve mutilation, and endocannibalism. I knew anthropology was the major for me when it could get me to see something as foreign and “scary” as cannibalism as a beautiful process. In case you think I’m crazy endocannibalism is not eating random people, but usually includes death rituals in the tribe where a passed member is eaten so they live on forever. In their society, no person is truly dead: they live on forever in the bodies of their friends and family. Kind of beautiful, and very strange.
Anyway, I ended up digging up a lot of my old books because of this tea and flipping through them. I miss my old classes so much! I honestly have half a mind to contact some of my old professors and ask them for reading lists for their classes haha.
And now, the tea! Though really, there’s not much to say about this one. It is nice, though unfortunately the top fell off of my honey while I was squeezing a little in so there is WAY too much and it kind of just tastes like honey. The cherry and orange are present but in the background, a very mildly flavored blend.
And the mate… well, I’m still not sure how I feel about mate. It tends to taste like hay to me (unless it is of the roasted variety). Which is funny, because I love guayusa because it tastes like the forest. But hay… not really sure how I feel about this. I need to expand my mate education!
Thanks so much, CharlotteZero for this one! For some reason I assumed with this being a chai, that the yerba mate would be roasted. I can tell pouring the water and it turning a lovely shade of sea foam green that it is not roasted. I’m glad I didn’t use boiling water then, or it would have burnt the yerba mate. I taste tested after brewing for five minutes, but I thought it needed some more and brewed another five. I’m also not sure how the spices can be their best if I didn’t use boiling water. It’s a conundrum… use boiled water and you ruin the yerba mate. Use cooled water and the spices aren’t as pronounced. I don’t know. I like this, but I could be wrong… it seemed there was some stevia here. Not the Celestial Seasonings pumpkin ridiculous level of stevia though! A good yerba mate and some nice spices, but I kept noticing that stevia.
This was one of my first ventures with mate a few years ago. Lucky for me I enjoy chai and this is a slightly chocolatey version. I steep it for 10-12 minutes in very hot water and top it off with a splash of chocolate almond milk. Good evening drink for me as it often replaces dessert.
Recently, I discovered a drink that I ADORE at the Philz on my walk to work. However, when I go there, I end up spending like $6 or more because I have no self control and get a vegan cookie, as well. Well, since I’m on a money AND food diet, I decided to buy a bag of these yerba mate bags, even though $5 for 25 seemed a little steep. Now, at Philz, I had them add a little soy milk and fresh mint, so I was trying to accomplish the same at home… SO, I mixed 40 oz of water with 4 yerba mate tea bags and 2 Trader Joe’s Mint Melange tea bags, then added some vanilla soy until my pot was about full (maybe a cup?)
PERFECT! Exactly what I was looking for. Too bad the tea bags are $5 for 25 and I’ve already used 6 bags since I bought them last night….
On a side note, does anybody know why there is a huge warning on the mate bag to NOT DRINK IT OVER 150 DEGREES?? :)
No rating, since I mixed it with another tea.
I didn’t fall asleep till late and my boyfriend of course wakes up at 8:30 and makes me eat breakfast. Then I discover the world juniors gold medal game is on. I fall asleep during the end, but wake up in time to hear bad anthem singing. USA!
And now I am still not awake. This was the only mate I brought over with me I think, and it is a teabag, so I cannot remember who gave me this because I never put them in my spreadsheet if there’s just one.
I put milk in the mug first then added enough hot water for a cup total, and let it steep probably 10 minutes.
This definitely isn’t how I thought it would taste. I was expecting just chocolate but there’s spices in here that make it seem more like chai. It’s also disgustingly sweet, and I see on their website that is thanks to stevia. Glad they could make that clear anywhere, I was looking all over the place and finally realized the ingredients are in a fake looking nutritional facts chart.
I’d probably really like this if it wasn’t for that stevia. It just ruins it. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove wouldn’t be something I’d match with chocolate, but it seems to work until the sweetness hits.
I’m such a loose tea snob but while rushing around from appointment to appointment this week I’ve turned to my tried and true Mate Chocolatte. It tastes a bit like a gingerbread to me, slightly like chocolate, but more like a rich spice.
This kind of keeps my energy up, I have 3 appointments to go, so technically about halfway done with the day but only about 2.5 hours, so I’m relying on this tea to get me home and cozied up with my kitten and my STASH of new teas.
Originally published at The Nice Drinks In Life: http://thenicedrinksinlife.blogspot.com/2012/08/guayaki-organic-traditional-yerba-mate.html
Origins: Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil
Type: Yerba Mate
Preparation: Two teaspoons put into an empty mug (about eight-ounce size), no bag or steeper, a little cold water added, stirred with a bombilla, rest of mug filled with approximately 150-degree water, sipped with bombilla
Yerba mate is really cool. It is a tisane in that it is not Camellia sinensis, but it is naturally caffeinated, and it certainly tastes more like a beverage that was meant to be brewed than like a dessert tray pureed with a little too much water and sugar, as many herbals are apt to taste. The traditional drink (or, at least, a traditional drink) of the Native Americans in sub-tropical South America, yerba mate remains a staple there, and has found its way to much of the rest of the world as well.
Yerba mate is traditionally drunk out of a hollowed out gourd. I have one, but it is a pain in the neck to clean, so I use a mug. I do, however, use the bombilla, also part of the tradition, which is a metal straw through which the liquid is drunk. (For those wondering, it is indeed possible to burn one’s lips on it, but that is unlikely to happen more than once.) Preparation should be as described above when using loose tea. The cold water helps manifest many elements of the tea, including not only compounds such as caffeine and anti-oxidants, but also those that give the tea is lovely flavor. After the hot water is poured in, there is no need to wait more than a few seconds for the tea to steep. It is ready to go.
Guayakí has done some remarkable stuff with yerba mate, but I generally prefer the simple and original things in life, and therefore keep the “traditional” version in my home. The leaves are chopped in all ways, with some fragments the size of a SIM card, and others practically powder. They are pale greenish tan, not at all unlike the color of American military uniforms between Desert Storm and the present day.
Yerba mate has an aroma and flavor all its own, and it is much more difficult to describe than the notes of coffee or black tea. The steam coming off of the tea smells very earthy, very malty, and very woodsy, with a tinge of smokiness. The color of the liquid, which is a little bit thinner and lighter in body than a brew made from Camellia sinensis, is the same as the color of the leaves. The flavor is bitter, but smooth, consistent, almost tannic even. It has plenty of malt, and a hint of the floral. Both the aroma and flavor, but especially the aroma, will make one reminisce about spending time outside in a wooded area after a rain, though one will not be able to put his finger on exactly what situation that was. (This has been confirmed by many.) The liquid has minimal structure, just enough so that the flavor can do all the heavy lifting; and indeed, while the body is light, the flavor is rich. It goes down easy, being so light in body, and leaves an aftertaste as smooth and consistent as the tea itself. The sipper will want more.
The good news about wanting more, by the way, is that yerba mate can be re-steeped much more often than Camellia sinensis. The mug or gourd can be refilled three times without too much effect on the flavor’s strength.
In the middle of making some notes on the flavor, I realized that I had forgotten to note the aroma of the dry leaves. Imagine my shock to discover strong fruity tones where the liquid offers only malt. The dry leaves are earthy, and even woodsy, but where with the brewed liquid there are flowers growing wild, here there is only fruit to decorate the flora.
Yerba mate is hardly unknown or unheard of in North America, but it still does not get the attention that it deserves. To tea lovers, people who like variety in what they consume, and anyone who would not mind an alternative pick-me-up for the morning or afternoon (its caffeine is quite effective), I definitely recommend getting some of this delicious beverage right away. Enjoy.
A review of Organic Yerba Mate Tea by Guayaki
Tea Name: Organic Yerba Mate
Tea Type/Varietal: Yerba Mate
Region: South American rainforest
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ tea bag
Liquor Color: very light green/light brown color
Water temperature: 180 Fahrenheit
Time: 5 minutes
I turn to this tea once more and I am having it as my morning drink so it can help stimulate focus and clarity while boosting my energy. I take one tea bag and add the nearly boiled water to my cup and leave it to steep for five minutes.
Tea’s color is very light green/ light brown and hints of yerba mate for aroma. I mean I can smell there is something in my cup but no words really for me to describe as I am inexperience/don’t know.
I sip and sip the tea slowly while breathing in deeply the tea’s aroma; it is a mantra of sort as I sip and inhale and swish it around in my mouth than I swallow. I do this until tea is all gone.
Water temperature: 190 Fahrenheit
Time: 10 minutes
I fixed yet another cup of this tea with longer steep for nearly 10 minutes. Tea color did not darken and the aroma is slightly stronger; it has a toasty aroma since brewed longer and hotter. And when I taste the tea this time it seems more robust mate flavoring. So I take a deep breath, then a sip of the tea while swooshing it in my mouth and then I swallow and exhale deeply. I do this until I finish drinking the tea.
What am I doing? I am having a relaxing cup of tea while meditating and incanting for peace with my surrounding environment which is most static and chaos seems to reign; while all seems quiet…but not.
I must say this is the most I have enjoyed partaking of this tea and I am thankful for the experience and the well-being feeling that comes from having drunk this tea. Thank you.
A review of Organic Yerba Mate by Guayaki
Tea Name: Yerba Mate
Tea Type/Varietal: Mate
Region: Rainforest of South America
Steeping Vessel/Amt. Leaf: cup/ tea bag
Liquor Color: dirty water/ brown
Leaf Characteristics: smells of dampness when steeping
Water temperature: 200 Fahrenheit
Time: 5 minutes
I went from having a very lively cup of tea this morning to having this Yerba Mate this afternoon. Tea boasts a rich and robust mate flavor, toasty aroma, and a balanced finish. I keep missing this whenever I have tried this tea since it simply is not there. I can say the tea is toasty, but unlike granules.