Yikes. This is the mate that got me interested in ordering from Fusion Tea Room, as it came up when I was trawling through the results of my “caramel” search here on Steepster. (Give me all the caramel teas, allllll of them.) I tend to keep at least a few mates around and have had good luck with flavored ones in the past. I’m sorry to say, though, that this one was a disappointment.
I also picked up Fusion’s caramel-based rooibos (the Toffee Ole) and perhaps it’s the quality of the caramel they’re using, or their infusion process needs work, because this definitely has a similar woody, overbearing sort of flavor. I thought it was the rooibos on the Toffee Ole that was doing it, but I taste it here too with the roasted mate base. I very very rarely sweeten teas, but this one makes me think I might have to buy some sugar (yeah, I don’t even own loose sugar) just to get through the rest of it. Or maybe add a bit of vanilla soy milk? This is bumming me out.
It does get a little more bearable as it cools down, some of the harshness goes away. Looks like I’m still on the hunt for the perfect caramel tea.