By Sarah Smee of A Nice Cuppa – I have enjoyed a couple of Mate blends from Teavana, so when I was offered the chance to try two new mate blends from Guayaki, I jumped on it. The two teas I tried were the Greener Green Mate and the Orange Blossom Mate.
The Greener Green Mate is definitely an experience, though not necessarily a good one. I brewed up the cup in a glass mug, and I was impressed with its green tinge — not something you usually see, even in green tea. I leaned in to smell, and what? What’s burning? This tea has the exact aroma of burning hay. Very smoky, and not a smell I typically associate with tea, or even with food. I made my husband come and smell, and he likened it to a bonfire. Now, this may sound pleasant to some people, but I definitely am a little wary of drinking anything that smells like burning…
The moment had arrived — it was time to actually drink the tea. The official description of the tea is “a stimulating, antioxidant-rich blend of yerba mate, green tea and lemongrass.” The taste is very similar to the smell, smoky and hay-like. Even though it was described as a green tea blend, all green tea taste is pretty much overwhelmed by the smokiness. I could not detect even a hint of lemongrass. There is a touch of sweetness, though, and no bitterness. The finish has a bit of hickory under the smoke and seems almost meaty.
This is not a tea I would recommend for drinking, but I think it would be great for marinades or for using as an ingredient in other recipes.
Next up: Orange Blossom Mate The Orange Blossom Mate was the second tea I tried, and after the Greener Green Mate, I wasn’t expecting much. I was pleasantly surprised — this one was drinkable!
The smoky smell is still there, though definitely not as strong as in the green tea. This time, there is also a strong orange scent. I also get a whiff of something floral. The taste is pretty good as well, a little sweet with a nice orange flavor. The smoky aftertaste is definitely still there, and that did take away from my enjoyment a bit. While I did finish my cup, I don’t think I will be adding this tea to my drink line very regularly.
These teas from Guayaki were not quite my style, but the company is worth checking out. All of their teas are organic, fair trade, and sustainably grown. And mate is a great pick-me-up for those of you who need the caffeine but can’t stomach the acidity of coffee.