Leaf Type: Yerba Mate
Where to Buy: 52Teas
If you could smell this through the internet, we would be sold out instantly. This is an amazing blend of roasted yerba maté, freeze-dried corn, marigold petals and organic flavors including popcorn and honey flavors. This is a seriously comforting cuppa. It’s all the goodness of kettle corn, but it won’t get stuck in your teeth. =)
Learn more about this tisane here.
I was glad to read 52Teas’ announcement of their tea of the week for the week of July 14. Not because of the “Kettle Corn” part (although, that sounds amazing) but because of the Yerba Mate part. It’s been a while since 52Teas released a Yerba Mate blend (or a Guayusa blend!) so I was excited to try another Yerba Mate blend from them.
When it comes to Yerba Mate, I usually go with a slightly lower than boiling temperature – 195°F – and steep the leaves for 8 – 10 minutes. This time, I went with 8 minutes and I’m pleased with the results. Because Yerba Mate doesn’t have the tannins that Camellia Sinensis leaves have, you don’t have to worry about the cup becoming bitter from oversteeping, so take advantage of that and get as much flavor as you can out of this tea! It’s worth the effort!
Because this is yum!
When the cup is piping hot, this doesn’t really taste much like Kettle Corn, but as it cools (slightly – you still want the tea to be hot!) those flavors begin to develop.
At this point, I feel I should mention that my experience with Kettle Corn is limited to the few times that I’ve had it from the commercially packaged offerings that I can find in the grocery store which add up to probably fewer than a handful of times, and the once or twice that I’ve had the Kettle Corn varieties of microwave popcorn. I haven’t ever had Kettle Corn at a fair, then again, I don’t attend fairs. Not my kind of thing.
But from the Kettle Corn experiences I’ve had, this is very similar to what I remember. I can taste the sweetness of honey and the flavor of popcorn. A pinch of salt added to the cup will help to accentuate the “sweet and salty” aspect of the Kettle Corn experience, and this really helps the popcorn notes shine through as well as give the cup a really intriguing contrast of flavors (I absolutely LOVE the combination of salty and sweet).
The Yerba Mate is a good base for these flavors. It’s got that robust, roasty-toasty sort of flavor that ties in well with the popcorn notes. It adds warmth to the cup which enhances the whole experience and gives it a “freshly popped” popcorn type of taste.
After having tried this both hot and iced, I have to say that I prefer it hot. It’s alright iced, but the flavors become somewhat muted in the process. When served hot, the Kettle Corn flavors seem truer – as if someone had liquefied some Kettle Corn and added it to my cup of Yerba Mate. When cold, the flavors seem to all meld together and it’s difficult to discern what I’m actually tasting. It tastes more like a cup of caramel-y … something. It’s still good, but it doesn’t taste like the Kettle Corn Yerba Mate that the hot cup offers.