Runa

Recent Tasting Notes

80

This was a real surprise! This is quite tasty! The Ginger AND the Citrus play well with each other and work in harmony with the Guayusa! I was expecting more Guayusa flavor and a harsh ginger but this is all great! The ginger isn’t overpowering and the citrus is juicy but modest.

Bonnie

Sounds really good and refreshing!

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79

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85
drank Guayusa by Runa
58 tasting notes

I am going to be honest I didn’t know what think when I first smelled the steeped tea. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it I couldn’t quite place it. However, the teas is quite tasty. There is a light grassy flavor that pairs well with the natural sweetness in the tea. I am not sure if it is placebo, but as I sit here I can feel a usual caffeine related feeling.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Guayusa by Runa
807 tasting notes

Backlogging;

This is another tea that I received in the Steepster Select (http://member.ly/steepster-select) box that I won. Thank you Steepster Select, again providing me with a totally new experience! This is my first Guayusa tea! It also looks like Yerbra Mate it its dry form.

First smell: I thought to myself Yummmm, I was surprised although I am not sure what I was expecting as I have never had a Guayusa before. Fruity, creamy, bright, eye opening, delightful aromas.

First sip: The flavor is bright, and cherry, with a slight tartness yet with such sweetness, like that of fresh berries. If I had to compare it to another tea it would be a good quality black tea, one without any astringency or bitterness!

The liquor is light brown.

I have absolutely loved my Steepster Select box – and I have more to come, – because it takes me on this amazing journey! I am learning so much about tea! This Traditional Guayusa is farmed by a native tribe in the upper Amazon regions of Ecuador, Peru and Columbia. The tried is called the Kichwa Tribe. This info was provided by Steepster Select on the card they include with all of their tea shipments.

I just think it is so wonderful to have such a fresh tea resting on my palate! To sit back and imagine this small tribe farming, and picking tea leaves that will be consumed by people like me, it is humbling and also I am slightly jealous of what I imagine their lifestyle to be. I also respect Runa Tea for working with the Kichwa tribe in regards to sustainability and socially responsible farming and procuring of teas. This tea is Certified Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and Certified Kosher. It is 5.99 for 1.5 ounces or
17.99 for one full pound! Wow! Talk about a steal for an amazing tea! According to the Runa Tea facebook page – Runa means “fully living human being” in the Kichwa language.

Second cup which is cooler than my first and I am picking out a very caramelized flavor now. Its quite nice and different from my piping hot cup before. I am intrigued by the way this tea seems to evolve right on the palate. I think if I listed all of the different flavor components it would be a very long list. Berry, sweet, bright, cherry, sugary, malty, toasty, smooth, rich, I could go on and on.

I was having such a good time with this tea, trying it iced as suggested on the website it was wonderful. Then I got adventurous and added a touch of Japanese spearmint essential oil to my cup, just a tiny drop, and it made the best tasting sensation with a toasty maple like flavor with a kick of mint. So delicious! I did not try it with any sugar in the raw or milk but I am going to assume it would be excellent as it seems to be a very versatile tea! I also noticed when the tea is colder, either cooled from a hot tea, or iced it has a more malty note to it and a wonderful bread like after taste! This was before adding the mint though.

I also wanted to note that I love their website – www.runa.org
They talk about tea origins, ways to enjoy tea, the tea farmers, and they even have a mission statement! It is also a very eye appealing site that is easy to navigate.

Re-steep on this tea was a huge success! Although I only did one re-steep I feel assured I could have went for another, maybe more. The liquor was even a bit darker on the second steep – releasing more of the complex flavors with some extra sweetness coming through!

I feel honored to be introduced to such a wonderful tea company and tea! Not to mention to feel closer to our global community and the wonderful diverse people of this planet!

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drank Guayusa by Runa
185 tasting notes

I do not think this Guayusa thing is for me. It has a sweet, grassy taste that, while not altogether unpleasant… just isn’t something I strive for in a drink.

The smell and taste are very reminiscent of a fresh cut grass clippings, from that first cut in the spring where you’ve never really had enough days in a row for the grass to get dry. So you kind of struggle through the clumping, wet grass, so that you can get a handle on the lawn. That’s what this reminds me of, wet clumpy grass.

The second batch of this sample that we brewed, we included some Ssssspicy from SerendipiTea, and it did improve the flavor some (which means to say that the spices drowned out some of the grassy flavor).

So yeah. Not my cup of tea-like-herbal-beverage, but I kind of guessed that going in, so I don’t think it’s quite fair to give it a lower rating. If I did rate it though, it would probably be… 60s or so. Like I said, it isn’t offensive, it just is far from desirable.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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74

Another tea I got “free” by paying shipping only on this and many other items.
Ya know … this was darn good!
I was expecting that typical hibiscus TART – nope – masterfully blended with the sweet berries for the perfect balance. I may have to make this a stash iced tea for summer!
Oops actually this was a Fab.com purchase not the free just pay shipping place.

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81
drank Guayusa by Runa
119 tasting notes

I had this tea this morning, so I guess it’s a backlog? Maybe?

I got this one in the Steepster Select package that I won (the April box) and I’ve had it once before this but for some reason I haven’t reviewed it yet…….. Blame it on the laziness. Anyways, I really like this one a lot. I definitely like the stimulation effects of guayusa more than mate. I like mate a lot but it’s more comparable to coffee than guayusa, which gives more of a subtle energy rush than an energy hit. It’s slightly vegetal and grassy in flavor, with a little bit of a lemon taste in the background. It’s smooth and yet bold, and very enjoyable.

I really liked this but I feel like I will like flavored guayusas more (I’ve had the Earl Grey Guayusa from 52teas and it was just okay) and I look forward to trying more from Runa.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Cheryl

Stash has a lot of flavored ones (loose leaf, online), although haven’t tried them (only w. green tea, which wasn’t bad at all…liked).

Azzrian

I guess I backlog a ton then – I don’t actually log EVERY tea I have. Oh wow that would be a full time job! :)

Cheryl

To get through a LOT of samples that needed tested, I went off the grid for a while. Time consuming for sure.

Kittenna

I log every tea I drink :D Fun for me, but definitely time-consuming. Don’t write notes about them all though.

Ian

I wish I could log everything! But unfortunately I just don’t have time to! Once I get a laptop I’m definitely going to log a lot more, it’s just a hassle to have to boot up our computer 4 or 5 times a day to log every single tea I drink. Having a laptop will be easier because I’ll just be able to pop it open and type up a note really quickly

Kittenna

Oh – I definitely don’t catch them all when I drink them necessarily :) But I do have a laptop and a data plan with my phone, so I have Steepster access 24/7 :D

Lynne-tea

Guayusa definitely has the highest caffeine content of any plant. I wish I had had some for last semester! This would have kicked my butt into shape in the morning if I had a cup of this by my bed for the late night/early morning type days! Next year =)

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84
drank Guayusa by Runa
4322 tasting notes

Another less than exciting selection from this month’s Steepster Select box. I like guayusa just fine, and I have been very impressed with everything I’ve tried from Runa, but, really? Unflavored Guayusa? It’s not exactly the most exciting tisane I’ve had in the last few months, you know?

Much like the honey bush from last night, this tastes very much the way I expected it to. It tastes like Guayusa. Rich and flavorful, almost coffee-like, but without the bitterness. Very smooth. Enjoyable, sure … but I think that it lacks imagination, much like the Steepster box from this month. Sorry, Jason.

Azzrian

I totally see where you are coming from – I would be a bit bummed if I had tried all of these samplings before. For me it was a perfect steepster box though because I had never any of them before in their unflavored natural form. Actually I had never had Guayusa at all. This is a good reason maybe why a choice would be good – Box A or Box B – but then it would not be a surprise. I like to take my chances I think because I can always pass things onto a trade partner but at the same time I would be bummed if I had tried ALL THREE and nothing new for me.

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77
drank Guayusa by Runa
212 tasting notes

Thought I would try this since I slept really well last night. I’m not really feeling groggy. I think Guayusa is supposed to be a bit more stimulating than my typical black breakfast blend. I’ve been eyeballing the package since it came it and I just don’t want to wait any longer.
It seems like there is a definite green category of tea with diverse flavors. For example some of the green teas are a fresh, crisp green flavor. The oolong I tried was a sweet, heavy green taste. This is green like grass that just been cut. Yet it is still sweet. A funny toasty like taste has shown up. It’s very faint. Ghost toasted tea. Who ya gonna call?!
I like it but I think I’d like a flavored guayusa just as well.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Azzrian

LOL Ghost Toast

Missy

I just tried this with those dried berries you sent. It’s awesome with the berry addition. Thanks for the sample of berries!

Azzrian

What berries?

Dylan Oxford

The berry tisane from teavivre ;)

Missy

Yeah what he said!

Azzrian

was it blueberry? Good gawd I am getting old I think.

Missy

The name is blueberry fruit tea.

Azzrian

Yeah thats it! Okay thanks sorry senior moment I guess they come earlier and earlier these days.

Azzrian

Oh and I bet it WAS good in this! Humm wonder if I have more of that sample left to play with.

Missy

Hehe you crack me up. Senior moments. I bet it’s more like I have so much tea which one did I send? :D

Azzrian

LOL maybe :)

Crunch Thudbutter

Hey, so you know, Guayusa isn’t green tea. It’s not tea at all. At least, not in the strict sense of the word, referring to infusions of the Tea plant (camellia sinensis). This is actually a kind of caffeinated Holly (Ilex Guayusa), making it tea in the same way that rooibos is. Still tasty though. And cheap by the ounce.

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89
drank Peppermint Guayusa by Runa
169 tasting notes

I’ve been experimenting with this tea a lot today, with a lot of my focus on it’s psychoactive effects and I have found it to be very useful. I’ve found that the stimulation it produces is indeed different than that of what coffee produces. The effect I receive from this is less panicky and heart-pounding and more intellectually stimulating. Alertness and focus seem to be increased, as well as memory retention and productivity. And the best part about it is that despite the mental stimulation, there is also quite a profound calming and mood-enhancing effect that complements it. Normally school DRAGS on for me for what feels like forever, and I am a bit lazy and almost always low on motivation. But today I was focused, productive, and had a positive outlook on my situation. I am still being affected by this beverage as I sit here during a late night reading session. The book I am currently reading is easily one of the most dense and difficult to read books I have ever taken on and I am breezing through it compared to my normal slow and steady pace (the book is “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace in case you’re wondering, up next is some Aldous Huxley and John Muir). In summary, I am finding this tea to be both a tasty treat and a useful tool for a few different purposes. I now feel that I understand “the night watchman”.

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89
drank Peppermint Guayusa by Runa
169 tasting notes

I’ve gotta be honest, I was mostly interested in guayusa as a substitute for coffee, purely for stimulation. But this blend also happens to be very tasty. It is minty of course, but with a smooth earthiness to it. To me, it tasted a lot like a catnip or skullcap tea (both of which I love). As for the stimulation, I’m a little let down. I brewed up a very potent cup (three and a half tablespoons of leaf for 12 ounces of water) and I’m just not feeling much. To be fair though, I have a pretty high caffeine tolerance. Anyhow, this is very tasty, and I got a pound for around $13 through subscribe and save on Amazon so I’m happy. Soon I’ll have to try straight guayusa and see how I like that.

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81

this is a wonderful minty way to wake yourself up! I’m a huge fan of peppermint and i found it very difficult to find a mint mate’. I was very upset about it until i found Guayusa.
I find this gives me a lovely, uplifted buzz in the morning, and tastes very clean and refreshing.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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91
drank Guayusa by Runa
807 tasting notes

LOVIN IT! Thank you Jason and Steepster Select for my free box of tea!

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Guayusa by Runa
22 tasting notes

I bought a pound of this from Amazon since it was so cheap, but when I opened the bag I was worried – it just smelled like grass. And when I had steeped it it still smelled only of grass. Still, it ended up being a very tasty tea. I find it’s best if I throw a few pods of star anise in there, but that’s just personal preference.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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79

My local Fresh Market was offering samples, so I gave it a try. I wasn’t impressed. It was extremely weak, with the most prominent (but still not particularly strong) flavor being cinnamon. I’ve never tried guayusa before, so perhaps it is normally weak? Hopefully not.

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec
Tyler Gage

Hey Caitlin,

Glad you sampled guayusa but it sounds like the Guayusa Spice was understeeped. Normally the guayusa flavor itself is clean, smooth, earthy, and finishes with a light sweet note. I’d be happy to mail you a set of samples if you want to give it a proper cupping. I look forward to following your other reviews!

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92
drank Guayusa by Runa
138 tasting notes

Drinking this now..LOVE it! Very smooth and clean tasting. I asked for this as my sample from New Mexico Tea company. I decided to go with just the plain guayusa, I figured I can always add spices to it to make it like the others. I had the first cup plain, the second cup I added 1 teaspoon of Verdant Tea’s Thai Fire blend for a little kick. NICE! I will diffidently be buying this, sucks I can’t buy it locally but this will be on my list.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
The DJBooth

I have found Guayusa to be great as well.

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99
drank Guayusa Spice by Runa
52 tasting notes

Another sample tasted during the Coffee & Tea Festival & that led to the purchase of this amazing tea.

First off, I love cinnamon. And I love when it burns your mouth & sets a fire in your throat. Oh yes….I must have that burning sensation from my cinnamon otherwise, it’s boring. The cinnamon in this tea doesn’t quite burn, but it lets you know it’s there.

I knew from the first sip I was going to end up buying it at the expo. Great stuff. Definitely another new favorite to always have on hand.

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97
drank Ginger Citrus Guayusa by Runa
52 tasting notes

I tried this at the Coffee & Tea Festival in NYC & from the first sip I knew I’d become a guayusa addict.

First off, the ginger is perfect. It goes really well with the citrus in this blend. I tried a full cup this morning thanks to my purchase yesterday. Love it! Definitely keeping this one on hand for normal stash.

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drank Guayusa Spice by Runa
963 tasting notes

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100

I love this tea! It tastes great, plus the company is promoting sustainable development and fair trade in Ecuador. Anyone who likes Mate will like Guayusa!

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C

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drank Guayusa Spice by Runa
971 tasting notes

Tea of experimentation….

I picked up a box of this when I was in Baltimore early this week. (Man, I love Wegman’s.) So far, I really only get the lemongrass. Not much in the way of spice, and the base is kind of a leafy taste with a subtle edge of spearmint…like if the minty part was missing and you just got the spear-. Anyway…… We will see if it does anything for my mental clarity at this point. I sure could use some of that!

8 oz mug, 1 bag, freshly boiled water, 4 minutes.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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79
drank Guayusa Spice by Runa
6770 tasting notes

I have been biting the same darned spot in the back of my mouth for a few days and now I have a snore there…DRAT!~I thought I would try some Cinnamon on it and maybe some peppermint or spearmint later. ZAP! Make the pain go away! And the swelling come down…Grrrr!

Anyways…This is nice! It’s not a crazy strong spice but it sure does help with the stereotypical Guayusa as a nice change-up! This is find indeed!

Charles Thomas Draper

I want to try Guayusa. Could please make a suggestion?

TeaEqualsBliss

Sure! :) Do you like minty things? They have a nice MINT. Also…52 Teas has a neat flavored one. Mark T Wendell sells Runa, too, but also have some really nice other teas if you are looking to put in a multi-purpose order that is :)

Charles Thomas Draper

Thanks. I might like to try it in its purest form. No flavors

TeaEqualsBliss

I would say Runa for starters…Also Mark T Wendell sells Runa’s original, too :)

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drank Guayusa Spice by Runa
963 tasting notes

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97
drank Peppermint Guayusa by Runa
6770 tasting notes

My FAVE Guayusa so far! You know I LOVE Mint! This is magnified! And Magnificent!

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