I was pretty nervous about this tea because it is a black/mate blend and the directions say to steep it for 5-7 minutes. I never steep my black teas for more than 3-4 minutes. I went ahead and followed the package directions, praying that it wouldn’t come out bitter. It actually didn’t. The bags smell very much like a black tea and the smell after steeping reminds me of my old English Breakfast. There is a natural sweetness from the mate that makes the tea feel a bit delicate, but still is substantial enough for a breakfast tea. I love mate in general because of its caffeine kick without the jitters and without the crash later in the day. I think this would be a great tea for someone who wanted to try mate, but didn’t want to commit to buying loose leaf. The mate is definitely the starring player in this one.