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Recent Tasting Notes
So a pretty huge part of my job is keeping up to date on new product launches/releases of all different kinds of food/beverage segments – not just tea. Every now and then we’ll spend a day doing what was call ‘on the groundwork trending’ where I basically just go look at the products in different grocery stores for a whole day…
It’s interesting and helpful for a whole bunch of reasons, but every time I can’t help but shake that kind of back of the mind feeling that I’m essentially being paid to go grocery shopping.
Anyway, the point is that I was doing that today and I ended up buying a whole bunch of new things to try – including this and many other tea related RTDs. Not that this is a new product from Guayuki – it’s actually been around for years. However, yerba mate is sort of seeing a revitalization within North America right now for its wellness benefits and as such a ton of yerba mate products are being released and ones that have existed for a while in specialty markets are becoming more of a mainstay in your average big box grocery store. This was the first time I’d seen this particular flavour, apart from online, offered here in Canada…
It’s actually really good, too! I could see it maybe being too sweet for someone used to drinking a more traditional kind of yerba mate. However, if you’re an RTD consumer and your normal drink of choice is something like Brisk it’s much less sweet than that! I get the subtle smoky undertones and grassier/autumnal leaf notes of the yerba mate itself in the undertones but most of the flavout is a pretty juicy blueberry/elderberry blend with a little bit of a floral undertone.
Historically I have not had a lot of success with canned yerba mate drinks but this is one I would absolutely buy again for myself!
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I drink this sometimes at work since we sell it. I can’t taste the leafy, earthy yerba maté much which is nice since it’s a flavor I don’t much care for. In my opinion it’s perfectly sweetened and the blueberry and elderberry walk the line between jammy and tangy. Probably my favorite of the varieties we carry. Clean and clear energy. A full can makes my left eye twitch, though, and sometimes leaves me too aggressive. But this is worlds beyond any other energy drink out there.
Really, though, I went on a date today at the park. We shared a few cans of Bluephoria. It was a nice afternoon :)
Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Berries, Blueberry, Earth, Sweet, Tangy
I’m cleaning out the kitchen at my new place. This is a teabag of unknown age and the only one so I figured why not?
Brewed hot, 14oz, 205F, 10min. It tastes more like a mint tea than yerba maté. Spearmint > peppermint > maté. Clean, a little sweet from the spearmint, some light menthol from the peppermint, not very earthy, no stewed mint flavor. Tastes a lot like the Guayakí Enlighten Mint in cans but more cooling and unsweetened.
Update: The maté fooled me. It lured me in, chewed me up and spit me out. I woke up at 5am a nervous wreck. I really should avoid this plant. 74 for taste minus 40 for not working with my constitution.
2 tea bags for 14 oz hot, not boiling, water. Steeped for 10 minutes this time for richer flavor. Did not add milk this time, though it would probably be good with a splash. Smooth, vanilla-y chai.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Cloves, Licorice, Nutmeg, Vanilla
Used two 2.5 g tea bags per 14 oz water. Said to steep from 5-10 minutes, so I opted for 7. No sweetener necessary as the blend includes stevia leaf and licorice, both of which add sweetness. I added too much milk to mine, at least for my taste. Decent chai taste, though not spicy enough for me.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Licorice, Nutmeg
This is my first Mate, and I lean towards the roasted variety because of it. On it’s own, it’s got a weird, butter taste to it with lots of wet grass. Like others have mentioned, it’s also got a pungency a lot like cannabis. I’ve made it with hot chocolate, and on it’s own with coconut oil blended that tastes really unusual, sweet, buttery and herbaceous. I’ve also had the cocoa version and chai version of it, which I prefer.
This tisane is really best suited as a blend ingredient, not a main tea itself. I honestly bough too much of this because of the health benefits, and as a possible coffee replacement, but I wish I didn’t. Worth trying, but not great.
I have close to a pound of it right now that I need to give away, or it will go bad soon. Message me if you want to swap for it or if you need a blend in the next few weeks. Otherwise, I might have to dispose of it.
Flavors: Butter, Cannabis, Grass, Herbaceous, Wet Moss
This is an interesting mix of Yerba Mate, green tea and lemongrass. The green tea and lemongrass mix comes close to overpowering the yerba Mate which depending upon your perspective may or may not be a good thing. Overall I find this one good enough to finish the box but I doubt I will be buying it again as I enjoy the plain traditional yerba mate more.
Couldn’t remember if I had tried this flavour before so I picked one up the same time as I got the Bluephoria earlier this week…
Turns out I have tried it about seven years ago, but I’m glad I got it again because past Roswell had strong and negative feelings about this tea. Current Roswell!? Current Roswell was pretty underwhelmed by it, but definitely didn’t think it was off putting or too intensely yerba mate heavy by any stretch. I will say, it’s much more of a noticeable taste of the mate than what was present in the Bluephoria I had earlier this week and it’s got a little bit of a metallic undertone to it, but mostly it was just a really standard RTD style of lemon flavouring. Really kind of just… fine.
So, I guess that’s palate growth!?
I was excited about this one; one of my favourite mate blends is a citrus based one so out of the three flavours I thought that this was the one that would be my favourite. Obviously I should have read the ingredients though; had I I’m sure I would have had much different preconceptions. Instead I got to taste the ingredients first – and it was definitely a shock.
Apparently this uses roasted mate and, of all things, ginger. Now, ginger and lemon is a pretty common pairing so I know I’m in the minority for disliking it – ultimately that boils down to my own personal distaste for anything with a strong ginger flavour. And man was it strong; arguably stronger than the lemon for which the drink was named after! As well, I don’t like the pairing of roasted mate with lemon; for me a green pairing with a brighter grassier earth tone is more preferable. The lemon also tasted kind of like furniture cleaner to me – I was very turned off.
That said, I shared the portion of the can which I could not finish with a friend who, while never having tried yerba mate before, absolutely loves lemon and ginger and she really enjoyed the whole thing; which again goes to point out that it’s not that this is a bad tea it’s just that it’s composed of ingredients that I personally do not really like at all.
As a whole (out of the three flavors I purchased), I think that Revel Berry was my favourite and the one that would most widely appeal to people. I’m happy I took the time to explore these tisanes though, and I hope that if these become more widely available that will lead to a more mainstream knowledge of yerba mate. Because let’s face it, as a ‘hardcore’ tea nerd there’s never enough people to talk tea with.
Not rating because of my own personal bias.
Damn, what a tea to be using my 2800th note on…
Continuing with the exploration of Guayaki drinks, this is the one I was most skeptical about of the three I picked up. I’ve tried a few yerba mate and spearmint blends, and actually have one stocked right now so I know that it’s not a terrible pairing; in fact it’s a pretty popular pairing. It’s actually the honey aspect of this that scares me; when it comes to more commercial tea beverages, ‘honey’ usually means very sweet.
However, because Revel Berry maintained a respectable level of sweetness I was open to this one; hopefully it would do the same. I was poorly mistaken in my assumptions, however. This was assaulting; the spearmint was ridiculously strong and sweet in and of itself; like those Spearmint leaf five cent gummy candies that come in giant bulk bags. I’ve never been a fan of those. They taste so fake. On top of that the sweetness of the honey was equally as intense. The yerba mate, while pretty drowned up, did come through a little bit but it felt kind of grimy, and yet at the same time all three notes together conjured up the image of neon green slime.
To me, it tasted like one of those five cent candies dipped into a bottle of raw honey and then sprinkled with a little dirt. Why would you willingly put that in your mouth? I struggled through a third of the can and then finally called it quits and tossed it. It makes me more skeptical to try the third, and last, one I bought now knowing just how big the range between ‘hit’ and ‘miss’ from this company can be. Personally, I’ll be avoiding (and internally wincing) this flavor every time I pass it in the aisles at work – but if you’re feeling bold enough, and you like super sweet mint flavored things, I guess giving it a try couldn’t hurt.
For those who don’t know, I work in a grocery store. It’s not uncommon for us to start carrying different, less common drinks but it is uncommon for them to be tea-related so when we picked up some of this brand’s flavors of iced/canned Yerba Mate I got really excited! I knew I’d seen at least one of this brand’s products reviewed here before so I took the plunge and a bought a can of each flavor to try out.
I don’t know what I expected when I tried this one, maybe a little more yerba mate flavour? But this threw me off a little bit; it definitely tastes distinctly of raspberry and even has a tinge of sharper tartness however I can’t taste anything specifically blackberry flavoured. If anything, I almost want to say there’s more of a blueberry flavor present. Regardless, this does seem pretty watered down and I’m missing any distinctly earthy notes from the yerba mate – which is kind of the best part of mate other than the caffeine. I absolutely appreciate that this is not overly sweet though!
I don’t know if I’d personally buy this one again because I know I enjoy a stronger Yerba Mate flavour but I do look forward to trying the other two flavours I picked up and I’m all for the idea of this if it gets a more “mainstream” consumer experiencing Yerba Mate – which I know it’s been doing at work since some my coworkers have taken to drinking this during break instead of other popular and more “conventional” energy drinks. Plus, the convenience of it being canned it always a plus.
My confidence in Guayaki to put together tasty mate blends continues to grow. This isn’t all that strong, either in terms of the chai spices or the mate, but it is very tasty. When I search for the mate flavor I’m dissapointed, although the mouth feel and body is there. When I concentrate on the cinnamon, licorice, ginger, nutmeg, and clove, I wonder if perhaps I should have steeped this a bit hotter. But that doesn’t matter. These things do come together and the result is very tasty. Sometimes blends should be judged by one thing, does it work? This works, especially with some sweetener and a dash of milk.
So this is my first experience with drinking loose yerba mate in the traditional style with a mate gourd. I ordered one and a bombilla finally and seasoned the gourd with this tea. I figured I’d like this kind more than regular mate because it is unsmoked and has a more green flavor than most mate.
The flavor is really intense with a gourd full of leaves and a narrow canal down the edge filled with water. The flavor is really foresty and green. There are hints of evergreens trees. When this yerba really reaches its pinnacle and is brewed its strongest, it has an incredibly savory umami flavor like a vegetable broth, and it’s also a little salty. It has some natural bitterness too that is not very present if you brew this more like a regular tea with a small amount in a cup rather than in the traditional “gourd full o yerba” method.
The intense savoryness of this tea really reminds me of gyokuro prepared in the traditional method. I imagine gyokuro lovers would enjoy this. I have to admit, I’m not used to that intense savory flavor and I cringe a little when I drink it (same with gyokuro), but I’m also kind of intrigued by it and drawn to it, and continue to drink it… so I have a strange relationship with it… not something I’d really go for often, but something that works in the right mood.
I really want to try roasting some of this in a pan and drink it that way… kind of like home-made houjicha but with yerba mate. That would be fun.
Flavors: Green, Pine, Rainforest, Umami
Don’t be fooled by the cheap-looking teabag or reasonable price tag, this is an absolutely delicious on-the-go mate. I have to ration myself, otherwise I’d probably drink three or four bags a day, which wouldn’t be so bad as the caffeine has a very gentle curve. Wait, why exactly do I ration this?
In any case, expect a lot of rich and spicy notes along with a satisfying, though somewhat tame, yerba mate taste. This has an extremely full-bodied flavor, especially with a touch of cream—if I’m skipping breakfast, this is my go-to meal replacement tea.
This is weird. I don’t know what to think of it. I went the “mate latte” route, as described on the bag, by adding a tiny bit of sugar and cream. It’s currently 6:30 in the morning and I’m at work for overtime. I can’t keep my eyes open, so I figured now was a good time to bust open this bag.
It kind of reminds me of a pu-erh, which I’m not a big fan of. It has that smoky, earthy taste to it, but not fishy like most of the pu-erhs I’ve tried, so it does have that going for it. Maybe I’m just not used to pure, regular yerba mate. The only mate I’ve ever had has always been blended with other flavors, like cocoa, chocolate, or coffee. I’ll keep giving this a try. Don’t want to let a giant bag of tea go to waste.
Flavors: Earth, Leather, Smoke, Wet Wood