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Recent Tasting Notes
Last of the three!
Lime isn’t for everyone but I thought this was pretty solid. Does taste a little bit like someone juiced a lime and added into that into some freshly iced guayusa then carbonated it. That’s note a bad taste at all though and the sweetness level is just right, as is the pop of bright acidity on the front of the sip. The metallic kind of taste is especially prevalent in this RTD though. It’s in all three of the flavours I tried from RUNA, but I just get it a lot in the back end/finish here. Still refreshing and tasty but could be so much nicer without that note.
I think this was my least favourite of the three flavours of this guayusa RTD that I tried. It’s certainly not that it tasted bad – none of them tasted bad. However, I thought this was the least distinct tasting flavour and also the least memorable overall. It’s clearly berry flavoured but I just feel like there’s no way you would be able to tell what kind of berry. It’s balanced well with the natural taste of the guayusa though and if memory serves it was the only one of the three that didn’t have a sort of acidic tang/sourness to it. Granted the other two are citrus flavours, but it’s still nice to have a more mellow option I suppose.
Saw this, and two other flavours, available in the RTD section of my grocery store last time I did a big in person haul and of course I couldn’t resist buying one of each…
This was my favourite of the three I picked up! The orange is very sweet and bright in the front of the sip and reminds me a little of Sunkist orange flavour; that really tangy and juicy childhood kind of orange flavour that just makes your mouth water. It’s not fleeting, but it also doesn’t hang on the palate because soon after the wave of orange is the more grassy and almost marshy tasting guayusa, with hints of smoke and rainwater and an almost metallic kind of finish. All three of the these RTDs had the same metallic kind of twang to the guayusa and it almost gave me the sense that were I not drinking the tea straight from the can it would still taste like it was coming from a can…
It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t the type of flavour I could see myself naturally gravitating towards either so I’m not sure how likely a repurchase would be. However, for a carbonated guayusa beverage, I’m still pretty impressed!
This was my “Amazon Spice Guayusa” sampler from Fusion Teas.
Decided to do something a little different today, as I do want to focus on some of my older samplers, but I’m still trying to keep to the “spice” profile associated with chais. This is a guayusa mixed with lemongrass and cinnamon; I’ve had relatively few guayusa blends (which is a shame, because I tend to enjoy the flavor of guayusa more than yerba mate in general, but finding blends with it is far more difficult than the latter!) and having something different than another black tea chai but that still offered a caffeine punch sounded nice this morning.
The steeped tea smelled strongly of cinnamon gum, but I found the flavor wasn’t as strong as I was expecting. I get notes of dry hay, a muted citrus that lacks the notable tang that accompanies lemon, a touch of mint, and an aftertaste of cinnamon that adds a bit of flavor to the cup but doesn’t leave a warming sensation on the tongue like other cinnamon spice teas I’ve tried. The cumulative flavor is very grassy or herby with a slight cinnamon touch right at the finish.
Honestly, the more I drank this, the more I enjoyed it. It wasn’t what I expected when I first sipped it, as the smell and the taste created a big disconnect in my mind. But once I settled into the earthy flavor and was warmed from within from the cinnamon, I started to really get into the blend. It’s a simple but effective tea.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Citrus, Hay, Mint, Sweet, Warm Grass
This was a freebie from a store promotion that a family member picked up for me. I’ve never had Guayusa before but have always wanted to try it though. It’s marketed as an energy drink but only has lime juice in it and Guayusa and carbonation. This makes it tea in my book. Especially since caffeine makes me relaxed instead of more awake.
This is a very strange carbonated drink Tbh. There are so many strange flavors going on that it’s not something I’d reach for but is interesting. At First I was getting some unsweetened lemon lipton iced tea vibes which was not pleasant at all. Then After a few more sips It reminds me a bit of the Moroccan mint tea served at restaurants. Now it’s a mix between the moroccan mint and the bitter iced lemon lipton tea. Leaning more heavily on the lipton part though. Since there isn’t a tasting note option for lipton or cheap black tea etc. dirt seemed to be the closest tag that I could think
of to add. The last thing that this drink reminds me of would be unsweetened lime pepsi although I think that would taste better than this drink.
I’ve noticed that Guayausa generally is marketed at a fairly expensive price. At least the name brand products are that you find in a grocery store tea aisle. I’m still planning on eventually getting to try the normal stuff and buying it. Those yellow bags of it look so big though.
Flavors: Dirt, Lemon, Lime, Mint
I don’t know why I went through almost the entire canister of this tea without it really standing out to me. Aroma-wise, I find it to have a nice floral aroma with a fruity undertone. Definitely starting off like my style of tea.
As I’m down to the last four infusers (sachets) of it, I decided to use two to make a single serving cold brew and two to make two cups of warm tea.
Hot Tea Review:
I steeped this tea for 7 minutes at 190 degrees and I really enjoyed the flavor. The taste was tart and sweet, leaning more towards the tart side.
One of the things I really liked about the hot steep of this tea is how there was a duality of flavor. It was tart then sweet and fruity then floral (which was reversed from the aroma I picked up on). That was the most enjoyable part of this brew, for me.
Cold Tea Review:
I used two sachets for the cup and was disappointed by the flavor. It did not live up to its hot tea brew. I didn’t catch the variety of flavors. Instead, it fell sort of flat. It wasn’t horrible, but it was very plain. I ended up adding some sweetener and lemon to add a bit of sweetness to it.
Either way, I’m happy to have re-happened across this little gem in my cupboard while working my way through my stockpile. While I have some teas of this variety that I like more, it’s always nice to have a back-up or alternative whenever the others are unavailable or become mundane. If I do buy it again I’ll stick to serving it warm.
Flavors: Floral, Fruity
So you know when you’re at the zoo and you can tell when you’re getting close to the elephants? There’s an overwhelming odor of dirt, sweet hay, and earthiness. That’s what this tea smells like to me. It smells like the elephant enclosure at the zoo. Now you’d think with a smell like that I wouldn’t drink it. Well you’d be wrong. I do drink it. I drink the hell out of it. It doesn’t taste much better than it smells, but it makes me feel like a super hero.
The taste is kind of sweet and earthy. The reminiscence of pachyderms that wafts into my nose kinda ruins the experience, but it’s not intolerable.
Flavors: Dirt, Dust, Earth, Hay, Sweet
My mind doesn’t comprehend how others found a sweetness to this tea. When I drank this, which I finished all 2.5oz in the can I bought, I found myself drinking a strong and bitter cup of tea that reminded me of why I really like oolong and green teas. This just lacks flavor overall, but it does provide a nice feeling as far as drinking as a morning tea. I understand its unflavored and that’s what I wanted but now I know that guayusa should be masked with some sort of undertone just like mediocre mate should.
This is my first cup of “tea” every single morning. I adore it. It is usually followed with a black tea of some sort, but this is always first. It is a slightly sweet and natural green/herbal flavor. I wish I could explain more efficiently how calming and delicious it is. It has a good deal of caffeine to extract me from my sleep-like morning fugue, all the while being quite tasty with a spot of honey.
The Runa company seems to be very commendable too in the growing and commerical practices of their guayusa in that it is organically grown, fair-trade, and non-gmo.
Flavors: Sweet, Vegetal
I bought this RTD tea/tisane because of the word “zero” on the label. The fact that this is an unsweetened RTD Guayusa was what captured my attention. I really dislike most RTD teas/tisanes because they end up tasting more like sugar than they do the teas/herbs that they’re made from. But because this is unsweetened, I felt confident that I would taste the Guayusa in this.
And that’s what I tasted. I tasted lime and I tasted Guayusa. The Guayusa is smooth and earthy and has that slight coffee-esque taste that I’ve come to recognize as Guayusa. The lime is a strong flavor but it tastes like real lime, not some fake lime taste.
One of the better RTD that I’ve tried.
As a major fan of Yerba mate, I also like this herbal tea native to South America. Today I drank it iced, cold brewed overnight. What makes this brew stand out to me is the lack of tannins. I often get a bitter brew from some sort of mistake on my part from making mate. It is quite finicky that way. The resulting liquor from this tea is lighter and more golden in color than mate, the flavor itself is great. Smooth, bright and the citrus plays really well off the ginger. It reminds me of a green tea. Young hyson perhaps? This tea is not wanting for anything, I can down it straight up all day without any jitters.
Flavors: Citrus, Ginger, Orange Zest
Yesterday evening I stopped by ‘Traveling Tea’ shop in Maplewood before I started playing. This is the same place where I get the much adored & coveted pumpkin ginger tea that Sil & I love SO MUCH. I talked to Kateri (the owner) about getting more of that this fall, even offering to roast as many pumpkins as she needs to guarantee an ample supply for the winter. Here’s her blog – http://www.traveling-tea.com
So while we were chatting, she offered me samples of various things, including a Vanilla Oolong that was nice, & this cold drink. She actually opened a fresh bottle to offer me a little taste, and it was tasty, so I bought the rest of the bottle from her. Unlike some overly tart hibiscus drinks, this one has just enough of that herb to lift the flavor up. I haven’t drank much guayusa, so I don’t really have much to say about it, but this was a pleasant cold drink to enjoy while I was playing my first set, kind of light, kind of sweet, & gratefully cold!
I was very impressed with this tea. This is a cousin of Yerba mate which I thought would taste bad also. This tea has a barky sweetness to it like saspirilla. Its my favorite herbal tea for taste. I find this tea has no crash, it has L-theanine unlike yerba and coffee. This is what helps prevent the crash and anxiety symptoms (also found in tea). This tea is defiantly a nootropic, it does boost my brain performance. For example I will remember a name much more quickly. The other thing it does, I won’t say it works every time, this tea really helps you see your dreams more clearly. I feel the only downside to this tea is that there really have been no studies done on the health benefits of this tea. I think the real reason it boosts brain performance greatly is that the problem with coffee is the lack of l-theanine, so when you drink too much you will get the jitters and anxiety, with this tea you can get away with drinking more caffeine, this allows for more long term energy in the mind/body. Overall the taste can not be compared to any other tea, its like drinking a sweet leaf.
I’ve tried a few guayusa teas now and never really enjoyed them, so I was ambivalent about this one. But the lure of an easy sipdown was too hard to resist.
Surprisingly, this one wasn’t so bad! The mint and the guayusa really complement each other here, so it doesn’t feel like you’re drinking a big cup of medicinal herbs. Still not something I’d reach for on a daily basis, but glad I got to try it.
My very first Guayusa experience, this one from Runa, Ginger Citrus, tastes very gingery, with the solid bite I favor in ginger infusions. What’s new to me is the slippery texture (or is that slimy?) of the guayusa itself, which reminds me of the texture of licorice root infusions. The difference is that this was not very sweet at all—despite the text claiming a “naturally sweet taste”. Of course, it’s all relative. Next to licorice root, this is definitely not sweet. Next to bitter maté, well, okay, yes, I guess that it could be considered sweet.
The orange flavor here is far more subtle than the ginger, and overall this was a pleasant caffeinated non-tea experience, though I still have no idea what guayusa itself tastes like. The blend is definitely better than most of the maté blends I’ve tried, so I’ll be checking out the other flavors from this line…
Easter Weekend Sipdown 5/8!
I still didn’t get much citrus or ginger in this steep, and I’m still getting my bearings on how I feel about guayusa teas. But at least I have one less tea in my cupboard to worry about.
Happy Easter/Passover/spring holiday of your choice, everyone! Many thanks again to kaylee for the sample.