This is another tea that I received in the Steepster Select (http://member.ly/steepster-select) box that I won. Thank you Steepster Select, again providing me with a totally new experience! This is my first Guayusa tea! It also looks like Yerbra Mate it its dry form.
First smell: I thought to myself Yummmm, I was surprised although I am not sure what I was expecting as I have never had a Guayusa before. Fruity, creamy, bright, eye opening, delightful aromas.
First sip: The flavor is bright, and cherry, with a slight tartness yet with such sweetness, like that of fresh berries. If I had to compare it to another tea it would be a good quality black tea, one without any astringency or bitterness!
The liquor is light brown.
I have absolutely loved my Steepster Select box – and I have more to come, – because it takes me on this amazing journey! I am learning so much about tea! This Traditional Guayusa is farmed by a native tribe in the upper Amazon regions of Ecuador, Peru and Columbia. The tried is called the Kichwa Tribe. This info was provided by Steepster Select on the card they include with all of their tea shipments.
I just think it is so wonderful to have such a fresh tea resting on my palate! To sit back and imagine this small tribe farming, and picking tea leaves that will be consumed by people like me, it is humbling and also I am slightly jealous of what I imagine their lifestyle to be. I also respect Runa Tea for working with the Kichwa tribe in regards to sustainability and socially responsible farming and procuring of teas. This tea is Certified Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and Certified Kosher. It is 5.99 for 1.5 ounces or
17.99 for one full pound! Wow! Talk about a steal for an amazing tea! According to the Runa Tea facebook page – Runa means “fully living human being” in the Kichwa language.
Second cup which is cooler than my first and I am picking out a very caramelized flavor now. Its quite nice and different from my piping hot cup before. I am intrigued by the way this tea seems to evolve right on the palate. I think if I listed all of the different flavor components it would be a very long list. Berry, sweet, bright, cherry, sugary, malty, toasty, smooth, rich, I could go on and on.
I was having such a good time with this tea, trying it iced as suggested on the website it was wonderful. Then I got adventurous and added a touch of Japanese spearmint essential oil to my cup, just a tiny drop, and it made the best tasting sensation with a toasty maple like flavor with a kick of mint. So delicious! I did not try it with any sugar in the raw or milk but I am going to assume it would be excellent as it seems to be a very versatile tea! I also noticed when the tea is colder, either cooled from a hot tea, or iced it has a more malty note to it and a wonderful bread like after taste! This was before adding the mint though.
I also wanted to note that I love their website – www.runa.org
They talk about tea origins, ways to enjoy tea, the tea farmers, and they even have a mission statement! It is also a very eye appealing site that is easy to navigate.
Re-steep on this tea was a huge success! Although I only did one re-steep I feel assured I could have went for another, maybe more. The liquor was even a bit darker on the second steep – releasing more of the complex flavors with some extra sweetness coming through!
I feel honored to be introduced to such a wonderful tea company and tea! Not to mention to feel closer to our global community and the wonderful diverse people of this planet!