Backlog from this morning.
I had other plans for breakfast teas but when I saw that my massive (25 teas! All of which I’ve never tried – and I great mix of straight and flavoured) package from 221tea had arrived I quickly changed my mind and made up the two new Stash teas she sent me because A) I love Stash, B) They were both mate/guayusa blends which makes them perfect for the morning, C) they’d bagged so obviously more convenient, and D) they just sounded so damn good!
The name/“description” for this baffles me. If it’s a black tea then it’s obviously not herbal, so why even bother labeling it as such? I can wrap my head around a mate/black hybrid but the “herbal” in the name really isn’t necessary…
Dry, the bag for this smelled really intensely like caramel and black tea with a touch of earthiness that I’m assuming it being contributed by the mate. No presence of salt to be found. Steeped up this is surprisingly… Smokey!?
What’s in this that is making it so damn smokey? It’s like rich, lightly burnt caramel with an intense wave of campfire smoke (with some raw “earthiness” because of the mate). I actually had to go look up the ingredients to see if they mixed Lapsang Souchong into this; doesn’t specify but apparently there’s Monk Fruit in here. What is a Monk Fruit? Are they smokey? Fruit isn’t supposed to be smokey…
Anyway; the flavour notes here were definitely surprising to say the least – but I actually very much enjoyed the cup and thought it was a nice switch up from the mates I own. I couldn’t resist sending one of the bags to VariaTEA to see her thoughts.