Off first smell of the loose leaf it made me think of a raspberry popsicle. The smell was a bit harsh for the Shade Tree pallet, as I have never been able to handle strong fruity smells. The loose leaf was a bit crumpled like it had gotten wet. It possible was the saffron as I do not know anything about this ingredient. The blend had an interesting look, like there was fungi on there. This could have been due to how long I have had it as well.
On first taste, I was still weary of the smell but the taste was awesome. It was savory and smooth, with a bitter after taste which was awesome. The Mate had a significant presence which is key.
My conclusion on this blend is that the smell is overbearing for a traditional pallet. Once brewed it is very tasty, and iced or soda mate could be amazing. This blend may smell foul, but tastes great! Makes me want to make mate popsicles! Great Blend Fusion Tea Room!