85
drank Amazon Spice Guayusa by Fusion Teas
70 tasting notes

5th day of the Sara Advent Tea Calendar! As soon as the hot water touched the leaf, the kitchen smelled like… is that the guayusa? It smells like tulsi!

It doesn’t taste that much like tulsi. But it does a tiny bit to me. It’s sweet and herby with a hint of spice, cinnamon? It tastes like warm goodness. Mmm.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Herbs, Tulsi

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 5 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 OZ / 354 ML
Mastress Alita

Guayusa is a close cousin of yerba mate, the two caffeinated herbals from South America. I find guayusa to be a bit more naturally sweet than yerba mate, but they both taste sort of like gunpowder green tea to me — a sort of tobacco smoke, grassy green taste (I usually get sort of hay-like notes from both guayusa and yerba mate), with occassionally mild notes of coffee bean (I usually get more of the coffee notes if the leaf has been roasted, which it was not in this case).

Tulsi is an Indian basil that has three varieties, and usually when I encounter it in tea, they are typically using a blend of the three types rather than just one (krishna, rama, or vana). Krishna tulsi has more of a purple color and a taste described as being clove or pepper-like, rama tulsi has green leaves and a more mellow taste than the krishna variety, and the vana variety has light green leaves and is described as having a more citrus flavor. Tulsi to me typically tastes a little minty and a little citrusy with a peppery aftertaste (for a typical 3-varietal blend).

There is lemongrass in this, which would account for a lot of that herby, grassy citrus flavor.

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Mastress Alita

Guayusa is a close cousin of yerba mate, the two caffeinated herbals from South America. I find guayusa to be a bit more naturally sweet than yerba mate, but they both taste sort of like gunpowder green tea to me — a sort of tobacco smoke, grassy green taste (I usually get sort of hay-like notes from both guayusa and yerba mate), with occassionally mild notes of coffee bean (I usually get more of the coffee notes if the leaf has been roasted, which it was not in this case).

Tulsi is an Indian basil that has three varieties, and usually when I encounter it in tea, they are typically using a blend of the three types rather than just one (krishna, rama, or vana). Krishna tulsi has more of a purple color and a taste described as being clove or pepper-like, rama tulsi has green leaves and a more mellow taste than the krishna variety, and the vana variety has light green leaves and is described as having a more citrus flavor. Tulsi to me typically tastes a little minty and a little citrusy with a peppery aftertaste (for a typical 3-varietal blend).

There is lemongrass in this, which would account for a lot of that herby, grassy citrus flavor.

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I have enjoyed various teas most of my life, but have recently started exploring higher-end teas. Still, plain houjicha (loose-leaf or bagged) makes me feel like I’m in Japan.

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San Jose CA

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