Leaf Type: Yerba Maté & Rooibos
Where to Buy: Fusion Tea Room
Caramel Cream Mate takes the bold rich flavor of the roasted mate and the full bodied nutty rooibos and pairs them with real decadent caramel bits. Marigold flowers are added to help bring out the smokey tones of the rooibos and caramels. Adding a splash of cream and sugar creates the perfect balance of sweet and salty.
I don’t drink coffee. I can’t. Well, I guess I can, but, if I do, I won’t be feeling very well in a couple of hours. But that doesn’t stop me from wishing I could indulge every time I pass a coffee shop and see their enticing advertisements for their latest latte creation, especially if that latte is a caramel latte. In fact, there have been several times when I’ve been thisclose to actually breaking down and ordering one because my sweet tooth was craving that yummy caramel and roasted coffee combination. Well, I think I may have finally found the perfect alternative!
The first time I tried this blend, I was a bit unsure about it. It has a very strong chicory presence – which when added conservatively can give a very pleasing depth to the cup. Chicory is often used as a coffee substitute for those who need to reduce their caffeine intake, because it has a flavor that is very similar to coffee. Paired with the Yerba Maté, it creates a very robust flavor. (Note: Yerba Maté does contain caffeine, so this not a blend I would suggest to someone who is trying to reduce their caffeine)
The chicory lends a deep roasted flavor to the cup. There is a hint of smoke to it too. The Yerba Maté is earthy, roasted and just slightly vegetative. The rooibos is nutty and a little woody. Together, these three components create a base that is a strong roasted flavor that is quite similar to a stout coffee. In fact, this is much more like coffee to me than a tea (or tisane). The caramel is a burnt sugar caramel taste, and this is really highlighted by the deep roasted and smoky notes of the base blend.
I recommend drinking this blend with sugar and milk (or cream). It’s not often that I strongly recommend additions, but, this time, is an exception. This blend has a very strong flavor, and it can be a little harsh. However, the addition of milk really smooths out the harsher tones of this blend and makes it not only palatable – but downright delicious. It becomes a great alternative to a caramel coffee latte for those of us who can’t drink coffee!