Hazelnut. . .Chocolate. . .Yerba Mate. . . Mocha Nut Mate from Adagio Teas

Okay, full disclosure here, I was really hesitant about this blend. I am not a fan of mocha/coffee flavor at all. I switched from coffee to tea a long time ago and don’t really like tea that tastes like coffee. However, the smell of the dry leaf was enticing me because I could smell the hazelnut and chocolate and it smelled delicious. I’ve never had mate before and I hear its loaded with caffeine, so if you are looking for an energy boost this just may be a great tea for you.

The steeped liquid looked as dark as coffee and I feel like if I added a little cream you would have thought it was coffee in my cup opposed to tea! I added just a pinch of agave to this one, and that’s usual for me, but I really did it because this blend includes dark chocolate and mocha flavor- both of which can be very bitter especially in combination with each other. Not going to lie, I was not a fan of this. The only reason I didn’t like it is because it was true to its name- mocha. This tea tasted just like a cafe mocha with a dash of hazelnut and chocolate! I did not finish the cup, but my coffee-loving boyfriend did and he thoroughly enjoyed it!!!

Unfortunately this tea was not my “cup of tea” (pun intended). But that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t a good blend. It actually would have been a favorite of mine if I enjoyed the flavors of mocha and dark chocolate. It was true to its name and the flavors were bold and smooth and comforting. I think that if you like coffee or are looking for an alternative to coffee, you will really love this tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Mate
Where to Buy:  Adagio Teas
Description
The mellow chicory-like character of our Brazilian toasted mate is a perfect platform for a favorite indulgence: chocolate! Add a bit of hazelnut and you have the perfect treat. Great straight up or enhanced with cream and sugar. If you’re a fan of chocolate mate teas, we invite you to give this formula a try. Please note that all Mate varieties contains caffeine; we would not suggest it as a nightcap.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Honey Bear from East Indies Coffee & Tea. . . . . .

I first had this at a child’s birthday party and totally wasn’t paying attention. I was like “I’m gonna TAKE NOTES in my SKETCHBOOK and write an ELOQUENT POST UPON MY RETURN.” But then I got sucked into pizza! cake! balloons! reading children’s books aloud! putting outfits on toys! The only thing I vaguely remembered was the thought that I wanted MORE HONEY from the tea.

So this time I made it again, carefully, at home, with zero distractions* and a tiny half-spoonful of honey.

*Except for my dog trying to jump on the couch and falling off. I laughed.

This is a really tasty sweet mix. There’s the honey in the tea, plus the honey I added, plus this roasty, mellow, underlying mate.

A good mate is like hardwood floors. They’re a classy base for whatever you’re putting on top. Are you going to get some classic furniture? Some showy furniture? Everything looks good on hardwood floors.

If I were to continue this metaphor (and there’s nothing I love more), the honey in this tea is the big puffy couch with lots of pillows that rests on that floor. It’s straight-up hygge.*

* That’s the Scandanavian word for sitting around drinking tea in a blanket, enjoying the comforts of winter.

So take it easy, Internet. Drink some honey with your honey tea and just devote the afternoon to enjoyment.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Mate
Where to Buy:  East Indies Coffee & Tea
Description
  • honey taste with teddy bear sprinkles and flavoring

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Awake from Bird’s Eye Tea. . . . .

I’ve been sleeeeepy lately. It seems with all that’s been going on in my personal life, a full 8 hours of ZZZs is usually the first thing to take a hit and man, is it ever slowing me down. So you can imagine when I saw this cute little packet of tea in my sample stash proclaiming to make me “awake!” I couldn’t open it fast enough with my sleepy little fingers.

It’s a beautiful mate with herbs galore– tulsi (my favorite adaptogenic herb), bacopa, spearmint and current. It brews up a beautiful, vegetal dark gold, and tastes brilliantly herbal with no bitterness (and no need for honey).

I can’t say I immediately perked up after my first cup, but the soothing holy basil and fresh spearmint chilled me out and gave me that nice, focused feeling of being awake without being buzzy.

Just what I needed! Now to find what else I need– a cozy bed and a spare two hours to nap.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Mate
Where to Buy:  Bird’s Eye
Description

Bird’s Eye is a monthly subscription plan.  Check out the link below for more information.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Maharaja Chai and Samurai Chai Blend from Teavana. . . . .

 

If you’re anything like me, your friends and family know you love your tea– and have been gifting accordingly this Christmas. In a recent office secret santa swap, I hit the total tea jackpot– a brand new gravity (gravi-tea– heee :)) steeper for my desk at work, and a GIGANTIC tin of this chai blend from Teavana. Score!

Now, early on in my tea-drinking years, Teavana was an initial fave, but in the last few years as I’ve discovered amazing small-batch companies and other small businesses that I love to patronize, I don’t really shop at this iconic mall tea shop anymore. That being said, I know they’re a beloved staple for so many tea drinkers, so I was pumped to get to try one of their more popular blends this holiday season through the generosity of a work friend.

First things first: does this dry leaf ever have the SCENT! It is perhaps the strongest spice from dry leaf that I’ve ever had. Super present are the scents of anise and cardamom, which jump right out to me in the brewed cup as well. This is lovely with some cream, no sweetener needed (unless you like your chai syrupy). My only complaint is that this blend is SO heavy on the spice that I can’t taste any of the tea leaf in my cup– which is supposedly a blend of mate, oolong, and green rooibos. I’d love for this to taste more distinctly tea-ified rather than just being so strong on the spices, but if you’re a fan of spiced chai like I am, this one will hit all the notes of a good chai for you. And deliciously warming for the wintertime, to boot!

Nicely done on this blend, Teavana.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Oolong/Mate blend
Where to Buy: Teavana
Description
Robust infusion of rich spice notes from cinnamon, ginger, pepper and cloves
Maharaja Chai Oolong and Samurai Chai Maté intermingle to form a blend that is bold in flavor and rich in heritage. Ginger, cinnamon, black peppercorn, cloves, and nutmeg harmoniously balance with sweet notes of pineapple, papaya, and star anise. Spicy and rich, this sweet Ayurvedic blend combines oolong, maté and green rooibos in a wealth of flavor.

 

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Mate Lemon from Numi. . . . .

A few months ago, my fiance and I attended the wedding of a good friend of mine, a first-generation Uruguayan American whose wedding and celebration were permeated with beautiful and significant representations of her home culture and family’s heritage. My favorite– by far– were the delicious vats of yerba mate tea all throughout the hall. We sipped on it all night long, and I made a mental note to check back in with my friend on the culture significance of mate as soon as she returned from her sunny honeymoon.

I knew the basic origins of mate, but I had no idea how strongly steeped (hee. see what I did there?) in the Uruguayan culture yerba mate truly was. My friend showed me her traditional mate cup, carved from a gourd with a small basin, holding space for the leaves and filtering out the tea into the bottom as hot water is poured over the leaves again and again. My friend shared with me the benefits her whole family (and whole home country) experience from their constant mate drinking– improved digestion (especially, as she noted to me, for a country whose diet focuses significantly on meat), maintenance of high vitamin A levels, the list goes on and on.

For the next few weeks, I was insatiable– from trying every mate I could find to researching flights to Uruguay in my spare time (a girl can dream, right?). So when this Numi bagged mate showed up in my latest sample box, I was over the moon!

First things first: this isn’t your traditional mate (obviously). It’s a bagged tea, and I won’t be drinking it out of a gourd anytime soon (even more obviously). But that said, it was truly a delight to drink. The lemon came through quite strong, and I rather enjoyed the balanced blend with green tea– even those who aren’t huge fans of the traditionally grassy flavor of mate might find this blend far more palatable. This cup needs nothing added, and for a bagged tea, it certainly isn’t a weak brew. While it might not be the most traditional mate I’ve ever tried, it’s up there with some of my favorites. I’ll definitely be adding bags of this to my regular rotation!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Mate
Where to Buy: Numi Organic Tea
Description

This infusion of organic South American Yerba Maté, Australian Lemon Myrtle and green tea unfolds into a lemon taste with sweet, earthy undertones. Its stimulating effect evokes a cheerful mental lucidity.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!