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Mate

Holy Mate/ECOTEAS

This is only my second time having mate. The first time was about seven years ago. I was drinking a roasted mate and was not smitten with it, so I gave the rest of the box away.

Today I am drinking an UNroasted mate, and an organic one at that. It is ethically sourced in South America, with consideration for the biodiversity of the area where it is grown. And in my opinion, it is an awesome price for an organic tea that has so much going for it.

There are a number of blends available from this company and this one, Holy Mate, contains Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil. I enjoy Tulsi and often mix it with lavender or mint, so I was interested in trying this to see what the mate adds to the mix. This also contains peppermint.

I have been shy of mate because I don’t need and don’t drink a lot of caffeine, but reading their very informative website, I discover that mate has about the same amount of caffeine as green tea. The difference is that there are three different kinds of caffeine in mate. This is why long lasting energy is apt to result! Also, the instructions for making it are quite different from what I did long ago, which may make it less jitter inducing.

I steeped it at 170F as the site recommends and am rewarded with a surprisingly mild tasting cup. I taste the tulsi most, I think, and the peppermint very little, which suits me as I prefer spearmint to peppermint and so I like for peppermint to be milder in blends. Since I haven’t tried unroasted mate that I can recall, I am not able to tease out which parts of the flavor are the mate and which the tulsi, but the tulsi flavor is pretty mild.

All in all, this is a nice beverage that I feel good about drinking and recommending to others, especially for the nice boost of niacin and the perks of having more energy and boosting metabolism.


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Mate

Where to Buy:  ECOTEAS

Description

Experience the fusion of two herbal traditions with Holy Mate! Unsmoked yerba mate provides lasting stimulation. Tulsi inhibits cortisol, reducing stress. A pinch of peppermint brightens the blend.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Fresa Guayusa from Fava Tea Company. . . .

Guayusa is a non-traditional type of tea, like mate.  Both guayusa and mate come from a type of holly bush and not the traditional tea plant.  While technically herbal teas, guayusa and mate both pack a big punch of caffeine so brew this tea when you’re looking to get hyped.

Fresa Guayusa from Fava Tea Company adds sweet strawberries to the guayusa base.  I think this is a great combination for tea. I find mate and guayusa to be a bit too plain on their own.  They have a pleasant dry grass scent and flavor, like standing in a field at the end of the summer with everything feeling fresh but a bit dry and toasty.  But after a whole cup of this flavor, I find myself wanting a little something else.

Adding strawberries makes this bright and happy, with natural pink fruitiness it livens up the blend.  Besides, if you’re reaching for a blend with as much caffeine as this guayusa has, you could probably use a little perky sweetness in your cup too.

This would be a great iced tea to kick off hot summer days, or a nice alternative to black tea on an afternoon where you need something sweet and highly caffeinated to get you going.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Guayusa
Where to Buy: Fava Tea
Description:

This tea has been shown to reduce physical and mental stress allowing for stronger mental strength and courage.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Climber’s High from The Tea Spot. . .

Though working out isn’t my favorite activity, I can understand the uplifting physical feeling that comes with good old-fashioned exercise.  With a name that refers to an athletic euphoria, it’s no surprise to me that Climber’s High tea from the Tea Spot has yerba mate in the blend.  Yerba mate is technically an herbal tisane, not made from the same stuff as black tea, but it contains a high amount of caffeine and is often cited as a better caffeination choice than coffee, with fewer jitters and crashes.

Yerba mate on its own has a dry hay, fresh-mowed-field fragrance, and a gently earthy taste.  This blend is no exception, with the dried grass scents mellowing out as smooth and earthy in flavor.

This blend also has its fair share of chai spices like licorice root, black pepper, fennel, tulsi, and cardamom.  I love spicy chai teas so I made sure to scoop a big cardamom pod into my cup. That said, the spices are understated, very gentle and unassuming.  Personally I would have liked a little more pop, but I understand that spicy teas aren’t for everyone. Don’t be discouraged by this ingredients list if you aren’t into chai teas, this might just be the right blend for you.

I don’t always need the caffeine kick that yerba mate provides, but if you’re looking for a powerful alternative to coffee or black tea, Climber’s High is a great blend to check out.

 


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Yerba Mate/Herbal (caffeine)
Where to Buy: The Tea Spot
Description:

A super-charged blend of teas, spices and herbs formulated to provide a refreshing daily lift for people with active, high-energy lifestyles. Climber’s High is a high-powered way to increase your intake of beneficial antioxidants such as flavonoids and catechins, as well as a host of healthy vitamins, trace minerals, beneficial phyto-constituents, and caffeine. It was originally conceived to assist people in adjusting to higher altitudes. This spiced yerba mate chai tea is both good for you and a pleasure to drink.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Jump Start You Day with This Blend from Adagio Teas

Jump start your car with a blast of electricity.  Jump start your brain and your day with this high caffeine cuppa!  For tea lovers everywhere, it’s no secret that mate tea is a powerful pick-me-up, and often cited as a great alternative to coffee.  Well Jump Start blend from Adagio teas has toasted mate and so much more.

There’s not just mate, there’s traditional black tea in the blend as well, a staple of every breakfast blend around.  But let’s take this caffeine level a step further:  kola nuts.  Kola nuts are caffeine-containing tree nuts, previously used as an ingredient in sodas, hence where we get the term “cola.”  So there’s caffeine from the mate, from the black tea, and even from the kola nut inclusion.  This tea should come with a warning, like roller coasters: don’t brew this tea if you have a heart condition.  You’ll be rocketing out of your socks in no time!

So how do all of these ingredients taste?  The toasted mate brings roasty, earthy, dry hay notes, which serve as a compliment to the more traditional boldness of the black tea.  With additions like smooth, sweet cocoa nibs, and warm, spicy cinnamon bark, it’s hard not to imagine the kola nuts adding their own kind of cola sweetness.  I brewed this blend black, how I take most of my tea, but it is bold enough to hold up its flavor, even if softened with a bit of milk.

This will be an amazing tea for those of you who just can’t seem to get enough caffeine.  Skip your espresso-laced red-eye cold brew coffee, and just brew a cup of Jump Start instead!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black/Herbal
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: Mate, Kola, and Black tea make up this well-caffeinated blend to make your mornings deliciously efficient.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!