I worked with some Argentinians who introduced me to mate. I’d only ever tried it in the mixed versions they have in the US (teavana often has it included in their samplers, like white tea + mate, so grossssss) and have always had a strong aversion to it. Turns out when made on its own, its delicious! I bought a mini starter set with this tea (actually the version with stems) and a mini gourd and bombilla, and love it! I have never had straight mate in bag form or made like a normal tea, so I have no option for those options. For the traditional packed gourd/bombilla style of drinking mate, I’ve only so far made it straight, but will be trying it with honey in the near future. I’m still learning about mate so I’m going to give it a rating with room for improvement, but so far so good!