Leaf Type: Guayusa
Where to Buy: Stash Tea
GUAYUSA (gwhy-you-sa) is a rare herbal tea produced from the leaves of a holly tree (ilex guayusa) native to the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador. Guayusa is naturally caffeinated and has an awakening effect similar to coffee and yerba mate. For this signature blend, we’ve combined Guayusa with Chai spices for an aromatic, spicy, and invigorating tea.
Learn more about this tea here.
On those mornings when I have a difficult time keeping my eyes open and I can’t crawl back into bed, Guayusa is often my choice for that all-important first cup of the day. It wakes me up the way coffee used to, but without the late morning nausea that I’d get after drinking coffee. And Guayusa even tastes quite a bit like coffee, except that it has less bitterness.
And with the chai spices that are used in this blend, it makes for a lovely, warming cup on this wet and rainy morning. The Guayusa makes a nice base for the blend of masala spices, different from the typical black tea base, but, still quite tasty.
The cinnamon is a little overwhelming with this particular chai. It is not a bad thing – I like cinnamon just fine – but, I find it a little difficult to pick out the other spices as the cinnamon seems to be stealing the spotlight a bit. This actually tastes a bit more like a cinnamon flavored guayusa than a chai guayusa, because the cinnamon stands front and center while the other spices are a bit in the background, providing more of a accent to the cinnamon than standing on their own.
I am enjoying this very much, as I said, I like cinnamon … but, I had expected the spices to be a little more in balance. By the time I reach the bottom of the cup, the ginger starts to emerge. I notice a bit of a prickly, peppery note on the back of my palate from the ginger. The cloves and cardamom still seem content to be off in the background, but their flavors do become more pronounced by the end of the cup.
Overall, though, a very enjoyable tea, and a great way to wake up!