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Recent Tasting Notes
Finally busted out my mate gourd and steeped myself up some mate to enjoy over the course of a morning the more traditional way! It felt really good to be using some oft neglected teawate, but at the same time…
Jesus, I forgot how intense/strong a gourd of mate is when prepared the traditional way and I’m not really all that used to it. I think I drank like a litres worth of tea made this way, just from topping up the gourd as I was drinking it (like grandpa style for mate) but it was so strong that I wasn’t enjoying it as much as expected. It was even kind of soapy tasting!? But the citrus notes were nice! I think I either just need to use a modified prep method or just push myself enough times that I get more used to the taste.
Or a combination of both, maybe…
Montreal Tea Festival – Tea #14
This was the second blend that Mateina was sampling at the festival – and it’s actually the one in their line up that I had sort of expected to like the most so I was excited to try it. I’m not sure if it’s because I thought I’d like it (so my expectations were higher) or not, but I didn’t find this flavour very good. I mean, it did taste distinctly like mate in the same way that the menta did – smooth but lightly smoky grassy/herbaceous taste with some minerality. It even had a hint of mint to it as well – there is actually mint in this blend too. However, berry or hibiscus!? Nah.
The sample did have a slight pinkish tint to it, not as intense/robust as hibiscus often is but enough present to know that it was in the blend. I just didn’t taste any tartness/berry at all though, so I honestly can’t say it was well executed. I’m glad I got a chance to try it – I may have blind bought this one otherwise and I think I’d have been disappointed if I had…
I don’t know that I expected this cold brew to be bad but I definitely wasn’t expecting it to be quite so good. The infusion was really murky/muddy with tons of sediment because of how fine and dusty this yerba mate blend is. However, the taste was cooling and refreshing with an overall sweet and crisp mint note atop a slightly smoky and more herbal/grassy yerba mate profile.
Made this as a morning cuppa yesterday for that early day boost/pick me up. The dry leaf smells pretty spearmint heavy, but in terms of taste this is more a balance of grassy and smoky (and maybe just a bit bitter) yerba mate with peppermint. It’s kind of weird because peppermint is usually pretty relaxing for me and I don’t generally want to feel relaxed when I’m drinking yerba mate/a stimulant blend. The peppermint is also more of that muddy European tasting peppermint; less menthol/crispness.
However it was still a nice cup overall!
Montreal Tea Festival – Tea #13
There were two yerba mate booths at the festival that we saw, this one and one carrying yerba mate RTDs (more on those later) – and I found both really interesting! I own a traditional mate gourd, and I like mate a lot but I’ve probably only used my gourd a total of three times in the four or five years I’ve owned it!? You use a decent amount of mate when brewing in the gourd, so I can’t really use it when I only buy like 25-50g of mate from a company to try out. But really, the main problem is that I haven’t found a good yerba mate to buy where I haven’t had to purchase something crazy like a minimum of 750g of it! Yerba mate isn’t very dense – that’s a whole lot of mate!! And I don’t know where the hell I’m gonna store it, it’s not like I’m drinking mate daily…
So, I was really hoping to find at least one mate here I could pick up, since they were selling in 220g increments – which seems like the perfect amount! This was one of two blends they were sampling hot; I got a chance to try both of them and of the two I preferred this one. It’s got a bit of that smoky grassy/herbaceous mate note, but ultimately I found it very smooth and the mint, while subtler than anticipated, was nice and crisp/refreshing. I like the idea of a nice mint/mate combo to start off the morning with, so based on the sample I tried I did actually end up picking up this flavor – along with a third flavour that I didn’t get a chance to try but that smelled fucking INCREDIBLE.