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Culinary Teas : Green Yerba Mate Herbal Tea Review

A Rather Bitter and Grassy Tea

Summary : This herbal tea from Culinary Teas is definitely not my favorite tea in the cup board. I found the tea to be a bit bitter and way too "grassy" for my liking.

Review : Ah. The life of a tea reviewer. It is a life full of surprises, both good and bad. It is a life of education, as you learn all sorts of strange and exotic things about teas...stuff you probably could have gone the rest of your life without knowing and been quite happy about, admittedly.

Green Yerba Mate Leaves

And as part of my life I tend to sample lots of very odd teas. One of which I dug up from my last order from Culinary Teas called Green Yerba Mate, a herbal tea...not a green tea by the way.

So, before we begin, we need to clarify something. What the heck is Yerba Mate? Well, Yerba mate is a plant from South America. Mate is the infusion created by steeping the dried leaves and twigs from this plant in hot water. Mate teas are known to have a rather bitter, grassy and somewhat "green tea like" flavor to them unless various "other things" have been added to them.

Here is how Culinary Teas describes this tea on their website : "Quite often mate is a bitter and sharp herbal drink, but Green Yerba Mate is smooth and delicious. Contains twice as much caffeine as tea. Refreshing, invigorating and rich in vitamin C."

Well, for starters, as you can see read in the description, this tea has nothing added to it. It's a pure Yerba Mate herbal tea. As such, when drinking this herbal creation, you are drinking it straight.

I bring this up simply so that you realize that not all Mate teas are created equal here...as the final taste will be totally dependant on both the quality of the leaves used as well as what else has been added to the tea.

This particular Yerba mate tea is my first "straight-up" mate tea I've had. And I'll confess, I really didn't like it. Despite the claim in the description, I found this tea to be quite bitter, sort of online with some of the cheap chinese green teas found at forgettable chinese restaurants. And the bitterness has a nasty tendency to hang around too...it sadly just doesn't "vanish" a few seconds after your first sip.

The flavor of this tea was also far from pleasant, at least for me. Yerba mate teas that are "straight-up" will have a grassy flavor to them, in some ways like a few green teas I've tried. I don't especially like drinking something that tastes like grass...and since this one came perilously close to really tasting like grass, it probably comes as no big surprise that I wasn't especially fond of the teas flavor.

Overall, I've had some mate teas that I've enjoyed, usually because all sorts of exotic and strange things have been infused into the tea to create a unique flavor. This particular tea from Culinary Teas didn't have anything added to it, thus, you get the straight, rather bitter and quite grassy flavor that is all too typically found in a tea that contains yerba mate.

Recommendation : Not really. This tea has a rather bitter taste to it, despite the claims of not being bitter. And like other mate teas, it has an awfully "grassy flavor" to it, for lack of a better word.

Tea Information and Brewing Instructions

  • Tea Reviewed : Green Yerba Mate Herbal
  • Manufacturer : Culinary Teas
  • Available from : Culinary Teas
  • Type of Tea : Herbal Tea
  • Leaf Type : Loose Leaf
  • Date of Review : January 12th, 2007
  • Tea Rating :
  • Brewing Instructions : Pour 6-7 ounces of boiling water over tea pieces leaves. Let steep for 5-7 minutes. You'll want to use 1.5 to 2 teaspoons of leaves for each cup of tea. I let the tea brew for 7 minutes for a stronger taste.

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