Sweet Cinnamon Maté Tisane from Because UR Priceless

sweetcinnamonmateTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  Because UR Priceless on Etsy

Tisane Description:

Yerba Matế (pronounced mah-tay) has long been recommended for promoting vitality, clarity and well-being. Not only does it contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and a host of antioxidants, but it is traditionally used as a catalyst to help your body take in the benefits of other herbs.

Our SWEET CINNAMON MATẾ combines this wonderful leaf with spicy cinnamon and sweet cacao nibs to make for an unforgettable tea drinking experience.

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

This tisane is delightful!

The Yerba Mate appears to be a “green” (rather than a roasted) Yerba Mate and it lends a fresh crisp taste to the cup.  Yerba Mate is a very invigorating drink and I love the refreshing flavor of the green Mate in this.  It is a nice contrast to the warm, spicy-sweet cinnamon and the rich notes of cacao.

sweetcinnamonmate1The cinnamon here adds a gentle heat.  It’s not overly spicy, but it’s warming and it’s especially nice to be drinking on a cool autumn morning like this.  Cozy, like a warm fluffy blanket but less likely to lull you into a sleepy state because we’re drinking Mate here!  The Mate gives you a swift kick in the butt to get you going and keep you alert!

The cacao nibs are a nice touch.  It gives a slight chocolate-y sweetness to the cup to soften the edge of the cinnamon and enhance the earthy quality of the Mate in a favorable way.  (Mate can sometimes be a little more on the vegetal earthy side, the cacao ensures a more chocolate-y earthiness which I like much better.)

To brew this tea, I grabbed my Kati Tumbler and added the contents of the sampler packet to the basket.  That’s probably a tad more than was needed for a 12 ounce cuppa, but, I tend to prefer my tisanes to be brewed strong because they tend to be somewhat “thinner” in body.

I added hot water (195°F) and steeped the tisane for 10 minutes.  I have found that Yerba Mate can become a little bitter if you either:  a) bring the water to boiling, or; b) steep too long.  If you eliminate one of these factors, in this case, I brought the water to just boil, then you don’t get that unpleasant bitterness from the Mate and you can steep the blend a little longer to ensure a strong flavor from the infusion.

It’s a very satisfying beverage that’s a little sweet, a little spicy and a whole lot energizing!

Kettle Corn Maté from 52Teas

Kettle-Corn-MateTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Mate

Where to Buy:  52Teas

Tisane Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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.


Nutty Mocha Mate Blend from ArtfulTea

nuttymochamateTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Maté

Where to Buy:  ArtfulTea orArtfulTea on Etsy

Tisane Description:

The indulgent taste of chocolate and hazelnut, plus mellow chicory, give this mate blend a rich, roasted, mocha flavor. Yerba mate is an herbal infusion, but unlike most herbal teas, mate contains a stimulating caffeine-like compound. 

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

It’s been a while since I’ve had some Yerba Mate, and this is a great tisane to get myself back into it!  This is really quite tasty!

It actually reminds me a lot of a tisane that I used to make back in my blending days!  I made a mocha flavored Mate, mostly because I was looking for something that would satisfy my craving for coffee back then because I was still missing coffee.  As I’ve said before I couldn’t drink coffee any longer, but there were still times when I missed the flavor of coffee.  I certainly didn’t miss the sick feeling I’d get a few hours later though!

Since that time, I’ve come to really love tea more than I ever loved coffee.  That’s probably pretty obvious, huh?  But I still love it when I find a tea or tisane like this one that offers a taste that is reminiscent of that rich, roasted flavor of coffee that I used to enjoy.

And this satisfies that craving!  This tastes very much like a rich, delicious mocha that you might find in one of those super expensive coffee shops, complete with the sweet, nutty flavor of hazelnut and even a touch of chocolate.  I am wishing there was more chocolate flavor to this, though.  It’s got some chocolate, but as I have been known to say, more chocolate is always better, and that’s true with this tisane too.

As it is, though, I found this to be quite enjoyable and I’m really glad that I got to try it.  Another tasty offering from ArtfulTea.

Organic Chocolate Chai Tea Blend from Rishi Tea

ChocolateChaiChai Information:

Leaf Type:  Pu-erh Tea & Yerba Mate

Where to Buy:  Rishi Tea

Tea Description:

Velvety, mellow and deep, this chai is an enticing blend of energizing pu-erh tea, shade-grown yerba maté, and cacao. Made even more inviting by creamy vanilla, nutty coconut and fruity, pungent and uplifting Ayurvedic long pepper, Chocolate Chai is a most sophisticated take on hot cocoa.

Learn more about this chai here.

Taster’s Review:

On this cold and wet evening in the Pacific Northwest, I wanted something warm and invigorating.  This Organic Chocolate Chai Tea Blend from Rishi Tea is just what I needed!

And it is tasty!  I did a quick rinse of the leaves (there’s pu-erh in there, and I didn’t want the cup to taste too earthy) and then I steeped this for four minutes in just under boiling water.

I find that when I use boiling water for Yerba Mate, the resulting brew comes out just a wee bit bitter.  My solution to this was to use just under boiling water for Yerba Mate and Mate blends like this one.  That way, I can steep a while to get full flavor out of the blend without having a bitter cup.  

I’m really liking this chai, although, I find myself in disagreement with calling this “chai.”  While I do understand that the word “chai” means “tea,” here in the United States, we’ve come to recognize the word “chai” to mean a tea blended with spices, and these spices usually consist of (but are not limited to) a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger.  There are sometimes omissions of one or more of these, and sometimes other spices like peppercorns or anise are added.

However, this blend includes these ingredients:

Ingredients: Organic and Fair Trade Certified™ pu-erh tea, organic roasted cocoa nibs, organic roasted dandelion root, organic yerba maté, organic coconut flakes, organic long pepper, organic cardamom, organic vanilla bean.

With only one of the “usual” ingredients, I find it difficult to call this a “chai.”  That … and the fact that this isn’t as spicy as you’d normally experience with a chai.  There is some warmth from the pepper and cardamom, but, it’s not a strongly spiced tea.

That said, this is still really enjoyable.  I love the deep, mellow notes of the  pu-erh and how well they marry with the earthy, vegetative notes of the yerba mate.  The cacao and coconut and vanilla play incredibly well together to give this a sweet, rich, chocolate-y and creamy coconut-y flavor.  YUM!  It’s almost dessert-like!

I love the warmth, I love the complexity of flavors, and you KNOW I’m loving the chocolate!  A really yummy tea!

Acai Matetini Mate Tisane from Teavana

MatetiniTisane Information:

Leaf Type:  Yerba Mate

Where to Buy:  Teavana

Tisane Description:

The newest craze in cocktails inspired the infusion of real fruit, herbs, and flowers with mate tea. Our mock martini is a classy notch up, first blending acai, blueberry, raspberry, and blackberry. We added to the mix crisp apples and sweet pineapple, brightened with the zesty citrus notes of orange, lemongrass, and hibiscus. Cheers! SUPERFRUIT ENHANCED 

Learn more about this tisane here.

Taster’s Review:

My very first impression of this Acai Matetini Mate Tisane from Teavana, based only on the appearance of the dry leaf, is that this tisane has a whole lot going on it it … maybe too much going on.  I mean, seriously … this tisane looks a whole lot more like a fruit/herbal tisane than a yerba mate blend.

I can see some yerba mate in this, but, mostly what I see is HUGE chunks of dried fruit.  Big pieces of assorted berries as well as apple and orange.  I see some lemongrass as well as some hibiscus.  Not a fan of hibiscus.  You probably already knew that about me!

But, I decided to brew it up anyway.  And it’s not too bad.  It is very fruity, with lots of sweet and tart flavors going on to tantalize my taste buds.  I don’t taste a lot of yerba mate – which shouldn’t be too surprising to me because I didn’t see a whole lot of yerba mate leaves in the dry blend.

I taste a lot of berry flavors, but the sweetness from the apple seems to curb some of the tarty flavors that I’d might normally experience from all those berries.  It’s tart … but this is more sweet than it is tart.  This tastes a lot more like a fruit drink than it does a tea.

In fact, what comes to mind as I sip this tea is my marinara sauce.  Why?  Because when my kids were younger, I used to puree zucchini and carrots in my marinara to add vegetables to my kids diet without them knowing it.  I kind of feel like that’s what’s being done with this tisane.  It’s like someone added all this fruit to the yerba mate to disguise the flavor of the yerba mate, because had I not known there was yerba mate in this blend (based on the name), I wouldn’t have guessed it by the flavor.

Overall, it’s tasty, but it’s not really my cup of tea.  If you’re looking for a cup of energizing yerba mate … this is NOT the tisane for you.  If you want a sweet, fruity drink that’s more fruit punch than it is tea … this might be right up your alley.