More wake-up tea. I think I knew it, but this week is being really tricky from a “getting back into routine” perspective. I liked being on holiday rather too much, I think, and I got used to the more relaxed mornings. Now it’s all back to normal, I’m having SUCH a hard time re-adjusting. It’s almost painful. Tea helps, though!

I’ve neglected trying this one for a while, partly because it worries me a little. Plain yerba is quite earthy and bitter-tasting to me, and while I don’t mind that in loose leaf (because I can adjust steep times to my preference), the idea of powdered yerba scared me a little. I was expecting a very strong, dank-tasting brew, but I was so in need of energy this morning that I pushed my reservations to one side and made up a cup anyway.

I used 1/4 tsp of powder, and stirred it into a cup of boiling water. It turns out a deep khaki green colour, and I took my first sip tentatively. Honestly, I needn’t really have worried. What I hadn’t realised is that this isn’t really plain yerba – it’s LIQUORICE ROOT and yerba. As we know, liquorice root is the devil. The first sip put me in no doubt as to just how far across the spectrum this is from the bitter, earthy dankness I was expecting. It’s so, so overpoweringly sweet, it’s almost unreal.

I left it for a bit, because I really don’t like the way that liquorice root seems to stick at the back of my throat in its artificial sweetner-esque way. It had cooled a bit when I returned to it, and this way it’s actually a lot more palatable. Once cooled, it’s possible to taste some of the earthiness underneath the liquorice, which comes as a much needed counterpoint in this cup. The sweetness recedes a little, and although it’s still the main flavour it’s a little less intense. As with my other Chi Whole Leaf teas, much of the powder has settled in a sludge at the bottom of the cup. I don’t try and keep it suspended with constant stirring, because the thick, slightly grainy texture that provides is really not for me. Perhaps the settling is the reason for the less intense flavour? If so then it can only be considered a good thing in this case.

I’m not a fan of this one, but I suspect that’s largely because I don’t like liquorice root, and I didn’t realise it was in this blend until I took a sip. I think a lighter hand with the liquorice would have helped a little, though, because when it settles and cools it’s actually more drinkable than I would have suspected at first sip. I might drink the rest of this sample in cold water, because I think based on this experience that it would be more refreshing that way. Despite the name, there’s not really much yerba to be found here, at least in terms of flavour. It might be there in the blend, but you wouldn’t know it to taste.




I’ll second that – The Devil.

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I’ll second that – The Devil.

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Hi :) I’m Sarah, and I live in Norfolk in the UK. My tea obsession began when a friend introduced me to Teapigs a good few years ago now. Since then, I’ve been insatiable. Steepster introduced me to a world of tea I never knew existed, and my goal is now to TRY ALL THE TEAS. Or most of them, anyway.

I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.

I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they’re the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer — their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.

I’m still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don’t think they’ll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don’t hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I’m also beginning to explore pu’erh, both ripened and raw. That’s my latest challenge!

I’m still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.

You’ve probably had enough of me now, so I’m going to shut up. Needless to say, though, I really love tea. Long may the journey continue!

My rating system:

91-100: The Holy Grail. Flawless teas I will never forget.

81-90: Outstanding. Pretty much perfection, and happiness in a cup.

71-80: Amazing. A tea to savour, and one I’ll keep coming back to.

61-70: Very good. The majority of things are as they should be. A pleasing cup.

51-60: Good. Not outstanding, but has merit.

41-50: Average. It’s not horrible, but I’ve definitely had better. There’s probably still something about it I’m not keen on.

31-40: Almost enjoyable, but something about it is not for me.

11-30: Pretty bad. It probably makes me screw my face up when I take a sip, but it’s not completely undrinkable.

0-10: Ugh. No. Never again. To me, undrinkable.


Norfolk, UK

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