This is a toasted maté, which means it has none of the vegetal, bitter tastes of a straight up maté. I first got this tea in an Argo store in Chicago when I used to live there years ago, and I always enjoyed this tea, either unadultered or in their “maté latté”. When I moved away from Chicago I brought a couple of bags with me, and I opened the second one today. The aroma is still powerful and fresh since the bag had been sealed against air for that time.
This toasted maté also has toasted cocoa bits, almond, and cornflowers in the mix, but they’re hard to see amongst the brown chip-like pieces of maté. It has a relatively long brew time, and brews up a dark brown liquor that almost looks like coffee. The major flavor is hard for me to describe: it’s warm, nutty and distinctly roasted. There’s an almondy flavor that comes through, but don’t expect marzipan here, this is a toasted almond that melds well into the maté itself. The toasted cocoa isn’t distinct, and I think it’s providing some background and depth of flavor more than a separate note. I really enjoy this maté; the flavor is complex and you get different hints of each element in each sip. It’s a great winter tea because the roasty aroma and flavor is so comforting and warming.