Green March! Since this mate isn’t roasted… eh, I say it counts! (May not be green tea, but it is most certainly a very green leaf!) Honestly I’ve always been too sissy to try plain yerba mate, because I’ve read everywhere that it tastes terrible and is very much an acquired taste, so I’ve strictly stuck to roasted mates and flavored mate blends, but this little sampler came with my Citizen Tea order, and I decided to make a large cup this morning and do a quick sipdown.
Honestly, it wasn’t at all what I was expecting (to be fair, from everything I’d read about the taste being terrible, I was expecting it to be unpalatable, and it wasn’t at all). Perhaps there are much stronger mates out there, but this was a quite easy drink for me, and I didn’t find it unpleasant at all. I’ve heard the word “bitter” used to describe it often, like coffee, and while I can kind of see the coffee comparisons (especially from what I’ve had of the roasted variety) it was far too vegetal for me to really get my head around that from this plain green variety. Really all I was tasting was a very mild astringency in the finish, but I’d say it was far less than I get from a really strong black tea breakfast blend, and didn’t really come off to me as particularly bitter. What I was getting was a strong resemblance to gunpowder green tea. It had a very similar body and mouthfeel, and the flavor had this vegetal, grassy/hay taste with hints of tobacco and smoke, which is the same sort of taste I get when I’m drinking gunpowder greens. There was also a sort of minty flavor to it, but less of a brisk, pepperminty taste and more of the menthol, and far more subdued.
All in all it was a pleasant cup, but smoky flavors aren’t my favorite, so I think I’ll stick to roasted mates and flavored blends after all. Still glad I got to try a plain mate, since it is something I’ve been curious about, but not the sort of thing I’d be inclined to spend my own money on.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Hay, Menthol, Smoke, Tobacco