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Mate Factor

Recent Tasting Notes

This is always bitter, no matter how cool the water. I need to just save the last two bags (yay!) to use as a chicken marinade, poaching liquid, or base for a nourishing chicken soup. That’s the only way I like this one.

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As the name suggests, this tastes like a roasted version of the green yerba mate I just drank. Wow, how incredible! The aftertaste does have a very coffee-like flavor. After trying it straight, I added milk and sweetener. Now it’s less like coffee and more like roasted mate tea.

I prefer the unroasted variety I think. But I’m very curious to hear what the husband thinks of it since he loves coffee the way I love tea. There’s just enough left to brew him a cup when he gets home. ;) Thanks to LiberTEAS for making this cuppa possible! This is the last overdue sample I had to try. Victory! :D

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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SIPDOWN! Almost time to go pay rent! Ouch. That always hurts. But this tea will get me through!

This isn’t so fresh anymore thanks to me. But now at least I can say I have a better idea of what unflavored green mate tastes like. It’s not bad! I think I actually like it. Thanks to LiberTEAS for providing this generous sample! I probably still prefer the flavored variety, but I really did want to try it unflavored. Another bucket list tea checked off! :)

195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec

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I drink this yerba mate almost every day. Although I sometimes prefer other brands, Mate Factor is very consistent in it’s flavor and has a robust vegetale taste that is not astringent. It soothes the taste buds, and is definitely mellow in comparison to other yerba mates. It can hold a consistent flavor for about 4 or 5 steeping sessions depending on the amount of yerba in the gourd. If using a larger gourd you may get up to 8 solid sessions before the flavor begins to waver.

155 °F / 68 °C 6 min, 15 sec

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Originally published at The Nice Drinks In Life: http://thenicedrinksinlife.blogspot.com/2012/09/organic-dark-roast-yerba-mate.html

Origins: Brazil
Type: Yerba Mate
Ingredients: Yerba Mate, Roasted Yerba Mate, Roasted Barley, Roasted Carob, Roasted Chicory
Purveyor: Mate Factor (all organic)
Preparation: One tablespoon put into an empty 10oz mug, rest of mug filled with approximately 150-degree water, sipped with bombilla

Now here is a keen angle. Mate Factor is branding its mate not as a tea, but as its own category of caffeinated coffee alternative. It really is a great job that they did. The package includes brewing instructions for a French press, a standard drip machine, even an espresso machine with a latte option. Very nice.

As for whether the product can actually work as an alternative to coffee, that depends. Someone looking for something that tastes like coffee will be disappointed; no tea or tisane will ever achieve that. But Mate Factor never sought to make something that tastes like coffee in the first place. They assembled a unique blend of ingredients, and what results is a rich, earthy brew with a flavor all its own.

The dry Dark Roast Yerba Mate, first of all, looks great. It is like looking at a fresh, prime, radiant example of pristine woodland earth in the springtime. Most of the mix is a bold, dark brown, and sprinkled about there are bright, deciduous greens and whites. The leaves smell sweet and chocolaty.

When brewed, the tisane switches gears and emits a strong scent of yerba mate. The other ingredients become quite peripheral to the aroma. The liquid is a dark brown, malty but translucent, rather like a black tea. There is nothing malty about the flavor though. The brew offers very smooth, even notes of yerba mate and chocolate. It is sweet but not so sweet that it starts to do a bad impression of chocolate milk. The barley gives it an extra dimension, a little depth and subtlety. But the principle flavor is definitely the yerba mate. This is good, because it lends credibility to the suggestion that it is meant to be brewed. Without the mate’s presence, one would wonder if it would not be better just as a shake or something.

Fortunately, the yerba mate does indeed predominate, and it tastes quite ideal as a brewed beverage. I can definitely see making a latte or cappuccino out of this; the flavor and texture would integrate with the milk perfectly. Of course, I enjoyed it just fine prepared in the traditional way. All in all, Mate Factor did a splendid job creating, as they put it, a “healthy coffee alternative.”

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So, I had tried a few yerba mate blends before, and even got a surprise gourd, straw and pound of mate from some friends overseas a few years back. Admittedly at the time I was very politely ungrateful and all “My friends moved to Argentina and all I got was this nasty bitter dusty tea!” Though not out loud, of course. Turns out I just hated the type of mate. This stuff is much better.

This green mate is MUCH better than the dry dusty brown stuff I am used to. It has a bitterness still, but much more subdued, and it can stand on its own or particularly well with a bit of sweetener. I also tend to toss a bag of lipton lemongrass ginger tea in with this. Yeah, I said it. Trust me, (or better yet try it) – it’s good.

I’ve tried and tried but couldn’t enjoy the smoked stuff. Several of my friends developed a taste for it, but I suspect that has more to do with the buzz than the flavor. This has the same buzz but doesn’t taste like chewing a wet cigar out of an ashtray.

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Retrying this with vetiver incense it tastes fine. I tried it previously while burning Dragon’s Blood incense, giving it an odd cough syrup tinge, and was ignorant to the source of this problem. I was more curious than concern since I new it was a type of resin. Looking it up, it could come from a number of trees, including Calamus , which are growing by my porch! Dragon’s blood is also used for ink and varnish, which would through off anyone’s sense of taste. A roasted yerba mate or a heavily oxidized oolong might work better but I doubt burnt varnish pairs well with anything. XD

190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 15 sec

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David Duckler has me thinking about how incense and tea interact, this tisane is a good example. Usually it’s a bit grassy and bitter on its own (due to my forgetting about my drink for a good hour or so), but when I burned some Dragon’s Blood incense today to scare off the bugs, the taste took on oddly medicinal and sweet taste. I needed a honey cough drop after forsaking sleep and it tastes like my evening mate. Very interesting…however, I am too tired to ponder the specifics of this. A repeat experiment (I certainly have enough work to get through) is something I look forward to trying.

170 °F / 76 °C 8 min or more

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This coffee like tea was in my health food store – I have tried other Mate teas and they just didn’t do it for me like this one does It brews up to look like coffee but it isn’t - It has a nice smooth taste and it needs no sugar or cream to enjoy - I was pleasantly suprised by how much I liked this tea - I will try the other ones they have It has a very smooth taste to it not bitterness at all - This is an excellent Yerba Mate - and it does give a mild kick to the day -- no jitters at all —

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