Leaf Type: Coffee Leaf Tisane
Where to Buy: Wize Monkey
Juicy mangoes all up in your boca!
Learn more about this tea here.
The packaging of this one didn’t give much away – only the name (Mango Party), and the fact that it’s a test flavour. It’s a bagged tea, but in an unbleached, sizeable bag so there’s plenty of room for leaf expansion. No complaints there. I did a little digging around, and discovered that this is, in fact, a coffee leaf tea. This isn’t something I’ve ever tried before, so it piqued my interest straight off. From what I managed to find out, coffee leaf tea is pretty much exactly what you’d think – a herbal tea made from the shredded leaves of the coffee plant. It contains less caffeine than either tea or coffee, and is described as being similar in flavour to green tea. I added the bag to a cup of boiling water, and gave it 3 minutes. The resulting liquor is a medium golden-brown, and the scent immediately put me in mind of guayusa.
To taste, guayusa is again probably the best comparison I can come up with. It’s quite prominently earthy in the initial sip, but in a good way – anyone that enjoys guayusa would be quite at home here. The flavouring emerges in the mid sip, and adds a creamy, mildly peppery, mango flavour. It’s juicy and fruity, but it’s a little milder and more fleeting than I really would have liked. There’s maybe a second or two in the mid sip where I can really taste it, and then it’s gone and the earthiness returns. For those who were wondering – this doesn’t taste of coffee at all.
This was a new experience for me, and I’m going to say that I liked it. I’d seek out more coffee leaf teas on the strength of this one, that’s for sure. When a tea is flavoured, I like the flavour to be strong and prominent, so this one lost a couple of points for me there. The flavouring is nice, but it’s a little milder and more fleeting than I’d hoped – more of a mango flash than a mango party. Either way, it’s a pleasing, fruity cup with a lovely, smooth creaminess. Definitely worth a try if you’re a mango fan, or if you’ve not tried coffee leaf tea before and are looking for a new tea experience.
I still have a deep rooted (and probably life-long) preference for black tea. My all-time favourite is Assam, but Ceylon and Darjeeling also occupy a place in my heart. Flavoured black tea can be a beautiful thing, and I like a good chai latte in the winter.
I also drink a lot of rooibos/honeybush tea, particularly on an evening. Sometimes they're the best dessert replacements, too. White teas are a staple in summer -- their lightness and delicate nature is something I can always appreciate on a hot day.
I'm still warming up to green teas and oolongs. I don't think they'll ever be my favourites, with a few rare exceptions, but I don't hate them anymore. My experience of these teas is still very much a work-in-progress. I'm also beginning to explore pu'erh, both ripened and raw. That's my latest challenge!
I'm still searching for the perfect fruit tea. One without hibiscus. That actually tastes of fruit.