Runa

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65
drank Hibiscus Berry by Runa
39 tasting notes

I don’t know why I went through almost the entire canister of this tea without it really standing out to me. Aroma-wise, I find it to have a nice floral aroma with a fruity undertone. Definitely starting off like my style of tea.

As I’m down to the last four infusers (sachets) of it, I decided to use two to make a single serving cold brew and two to make two cups of warm tea.

Hot Tea Review:

I steeped this tea for 7 minutes at 190 degrees and I really enjoyed the flavor. The taste was tart and sweet, leaning more towards the tart side.

One of the things I really liked about the hot steep of this tea is how there was a duality of flavor. It was tart then sweet and fruity then floral (which was reversed from the aroma I picked up on). That was the most enjoyable part of this brew, for me.
-—————

Cold Tea Review:

I used two sachets for the cup and was disappointed by the flavor. It did not live up to its hot tea brew. I didn’t catch the variety of flavors. Instead, it fell sort of flat. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very plain. I ended up adding some sweetener and lemon to add a bit of sweetness to it.

Either way, I’m happy to have re-happened across this little gem in my cupboard while working my way through my stockpile. While I have some teas of this variety that I like more, it’s always nice to have a back-up or alternative whenever the others are unavailable or become mundane. If I do buy it again I’ll stick to serving it warm.

Flavors: Floral, Fruity

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

So you know when you’re at the zoo and you can tell when you’re getting close to the elephants? There’s an overwhelming odor of dirt, sweet hay, and earthiness. That’s what this tea smells like to me. It smells like the elephant enclosure at the zoo. Now you’d think with a smell like that I wouldn’t drink it. Well you’d be wrong. I do drink it. I drink the hell out of it. It doesn’t taste much better than it smells, but it makes me feel like a super hero.

The taste is kind of sweet and earthy. The reminiscence of pachyderms that wafts into my nose kinda ruins the experience, but it’s not intolerable.

Flavors: Dirt, Dust, Earth, Hay, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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drank Guayusa by Runa
1104 tasting notes

My mind doesn’t comprehend how others found a sweetness to this tea. When I drank this, which I finished all 2.5oz in the can I bought, I found myself drinking a strong and bitter cup of tea that reminded me of why I really like oolong and green teas. This just lacks flavor overall, but it does provide a nice feeling as far as drinking as a morning tea. I understand its unflavored and that’s what I wanted but now I know that guayusa should be masked with some sort of undertone just like mediocre mate should.

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95
drank Guayusa by Runa
117 tasting notes

This is my first cup of “tea” every single morning. I adore it. It is usually followed with a black tea of some sort, but this is always first. It is a slightly sweet and natural green/herbal flavor. I wish I could explain more efficiently how calming and delicious it is. It has a good deal of caffeine to extract me from my sleep-like morning fugue, all the while being quite tasty with a spot of honey.
The Runa company seems to be very commendable too in the growing and commerical practices of their guayusa in that it is organically grown, fair-trade, and non-gmo.

Flavors: Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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87

Backlog:

I bought this RTD tea/tisane because of the word “zero” on the label. The fact that this is an unsweetened RTD Guayusa was what captured my attention. I really dislike most RTD teas/tisanes because they end up tasting more like sugar than they do the teas/herbs that they’re made from. But because this is unsweetened, I felt confident that I would taste the Guayusa in this.

And that’s what I tasted. I tasted lime and I tasted Guayusa. The Guayusa is smooth and earthy and has that slight coffee-esque taste that I’ve come to recognize as Guayusa. The lime is a strong flavor but it tastes like real lime, not some fake lime taste.

One of the better RTD that I’ve tried.

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84
drank Ginger Citrus Guayusa by Runa
296 tasting notes

As a major fan of Yerba mate, I also like this herbal tea native to South America. Today I drank it iced, cold brewed overnight. What makes this brew stand out to me is the lack of tannins. I often get a bitter brew from some sort of mistake on my part from making mate. It is quite finicky that way. The resulting liquor from this tea is lighter and more golden in color than mate, the flavor itself is great. Smooth, bright and the citrus plays really well off the ginger. It reminds me of a green tea. Young hyson perhaps? This tea is not wanting for anything, I can down it straight up all day without any jitters.

Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Orange Zest

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drank Hibiscus Berry by Runa
3283 tasting notes

Yesterday evening I stopped by ‘Traveling Tea’ shop in Maplewood before I started playing. This is the same place where I get the much adored & coveted pumpkin ginger tea that Sil & I love SO MUCH. I talked to Kateri (the owner) about getting more of that this fall, even offering to roast as many pumpkins as she needs to guarantee an ample supply for the winter. Here’s her blog – http://www.traveling-tea.com

So while we were chatting, she offered me samples of various things, including a Vanilla Oolong that was nice, & this cold drink. She actually opened a fresh bottle to offer me a little taste, and it was tasty, so I bought the rest of the bottle from her. Unlike some overly tart hibiscus drinks, this one has just enough of that herb to lift the flavor up. I haven’t drank much guayusa, so I don’t really have much to say about it, but this was a pleasant cold drink to enjoy while I was playing my first set, kind of light, kind of sweet, & gratefully cold!

Marzipan

Pumpkin ginger sounds lovely.

SarsyPie

Pumpkin Ginger!!!! That sounds like an amazing combo. Another tea for my wishlist!

Megan

Ohh I’ve seen them at the farmers markets. I didn’t realize they had an actual store front.

Terri HarpLady

Yup, Megan, just 5 minutes from my house in Maplewood. You can stop by there when you come over for tea ;)
It’s on Sutton, just south of Manchester in the first block on your right.

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67
drank Ginger Citrus Guayusa by Runa
34 tasting notes

Steeped this one twice in a row, loved it equally both time. I found the ginger to be really soothing in combination with the citrus.

Flavors: Earth, Orange Zest, Plants

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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97
drank Guayusa by Runa
48 tasting notes

I was very impressed with this tea. This is a cousin of Yerba mate which I thought would taste bad also. This tea has a barky sweetness to it like saspirilla. Its my favorite herbal tea for taste. I find this tea has no crash, it has L-theanine unlike yerba and coffee. This is what helps prevent the crash and anxiety symptoms (also found in tea). This tea is defiantly a nootropic, it does boost my brain performance. For example I will remember a name much more quickly. The other thing it does, I won’t say it works every time, this tea really helps you see your dreams more clearly. I feel the only downside to this tea is that there really have been no studies done on the health benefits of this tea. I think the real reason it boosts brain performance greatly is that the problem with coffee is the lack of l-theanine, so when you drink too much you will get the jitters and anxiety, with this tea you can get away with drinking more caffeine, this allows for more long term energy in the mind/body. Overall the taste can not be compared to any other tea, its like drinking a sweet leaf.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Sipdown!

I’ve tried a few guayusa teas now and never really enjoyed them, so I was ambivalent about this one. But the lure of an easy sipdown was too hard to resist.

Surprisingly, this one wasn’t so bad! The mint and the guayusa really complement each other here, so it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking a big cup of medicinal herbs. Still not something I’d reach for on a daily basis, but glad I got to try it.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 30 sec 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75
drank Ginger Citrus Guayusa by Runa
1737 tasting notes

My very first Guayusa experience, this one from Runa, Ginger Citrus, tastes very gingery, with the solid bite I favor in ginger infusions. What’s new to me is the slippery texture (or is that slimy?) of the guayusa itself, which reminds me of the texture of licorice root infusions. The difference is that this was not very sweet at all—despite the text claiming a “naturally sweet taste”. Of course, it’s all relative. Next to licorice root, this is definitely not sweet. Next to bitter maté, well, okay, yes, I guess that it could be considered sweet.

The orange flavor here is far more subtle than the ginger, and overall this was a pleasant caffeinated non-tea experience, though I still have no idea what guayusa itself tastes like. The blend is definitely better than most of the maté blends I’ve tried, so I’ll be checking out the other flavors from this line…

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 5 min, 30 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Rainforest Mint Guayusa has a crisp light and refreshing flavor, not bad for a desert type tea.

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75

I drank this tea after pulling a near all-nighter studying for exams. It helped me stay awake the next day, more so than my regular cup of tea does. Light flavor, but still good.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Lemon Zest

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 7 min, 0 sec 1 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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75

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69

Easter Weekend Sipdown 5/8!

I still didn’t get much citrus or ginger in this steep, and I’m still getting my bearings on how I feel about guayusa teas. But at least I have one less tea in my cupboard to worry about.

Happy Easter/Passover/spring holiday of your choice, everyone! Many thanks again to kaylee for the sample.

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69

I slept poorly last night, and this morning I need to be spry, as I’m taking both cats to the vet – a place they hate. It seemed like something caffeine-heavy would be the smart way to go.

I got two teabags of this in my swap package from kaylee – thanks! I’ve never had guayusa before, but judging from this teabag, it’s an….acquired taste. Not quite bitter, not quite herbal, slightly medicinal. I added some lemon-infused honey to this to kick up the citrus notes, but I’m not tasting much citrus or ginger here.

Ah well. I really just need the caffeine bump, so this will suffice.

Kaylee

Aww, sorry you didn’t like it. This is actually one of my favorite guayusas. How long did you steep? I usually go for about 7 min. It brings the citrus out. Then again, it makes the base stronger too…

Try a Butiki guayusa next time. The base tastes really different.

Hope the cats are ok!

Christina / BooksandTea

Hi Kaylee,

Don’t worry! I’m sure that as I try more varieties, I’ll get a better sense of it – I really appreciate you sending me a number of them to try (as well as the mates).

The kitties are good – another tasting note mentioning them will be up shortly.

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89
drank Ginger Citrus Guayusa by Runa
658 tasting notes

Nom nom nom. I had the teabag of this for breakfast a few days ago and it was lovely. The smell is all citrus, sweet and a tad tart. The flavor itself is a very natural citrus and ginger balance, supported by the slight bitterness of the guayusa. I am going to have to get a box of either this or the Cinnamon Lemongrass to keep at the office.

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90

Aww, sipdown! This is honestly probably too caffeinated for me right now, and at 2 years old it has gotten a bit stale, but this is still a tasty cuppa. The cinnamon and lemongrass are very nicely balanced and make for a very enlivening sip. Highly recommended.

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90

Runa guayusa helped get me through grad school, but I’ve never had any of the flavored versions before. I got a sample teabag of this and the Ginger Citrus flavor at the Coffee & Tea Festival. I’ve been saving them for a particularly tired morning. Of course, I ended up drinking both this week.

This is so perfect. The cinnamon is prominent, natural-tasting, and brisk. Hints of lemongrass come through in just the right balance. The base is lovely. Overall, a nice, round, satisfying morning cuppa.

Stephanie

Cinnamon / lemongrass?? I can’t picture it! Weird!

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drank Mint Guayusa Tea by Runa
2978 tasting notes

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