Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tea Review 19 - Guayaki Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate
Guayaki Yerba Mate

Though some of the peripheral details have faded, I still remember most of my first encounter with yerba mate quite vividly. My wife and I were at a craft show with "new age" tendencies. We passed a booth where a gregarious young fellow stuffed a tea bag into a bottle of water, shook it vigorously and offered it to us.

Well, free is free, so I took it, hoping that it didn't contain any of the fabled brown acid. After a few sips I decided that free was probably a pretty fair price for yerba mate. Suffice to say that I've acquired what, for most, will probably be an acquired taste. Many, for that matter, will probably never acquire it.

I've actually grown quite fond of yerba mate over the years, even though I'm still drinking it tea bag style. I'm told, by a very reliable source, that this is a pale imitation of "proper" yerba mate consumption using a gourd (mate), an ornamental straw (bombilla) and the mate itself, in its loose form. So I have yet to have that authentic experience, but I like yerba mate all the same.

As for a review of Guayaki's mate, that's a bit problematic, since I don't really have much to compare it to at the moment. I may have tried some other brands somewhere along the line, but I can't seem to recall it and, the fact is, if you're an ordinary Joe Schmoe shopping in an ordinary grocery store you're most likely to find Guayaki's version of the goods, if indeed, you find any mate.

So, as far as my review goes, here's what I always say about yerba mate. If you like drinking liquid dust, you're gonna love it. If not, well, maybe it will grow on you and maybe not.

Guayaki's mate is grown in Paraguay, one of several South American countries where the drink is wildly popular. It's 100% organic, it's distributed by a company out of San Luis Obispo, California and now it even comes in six flavored varieties. Why, there's even a Mate Rooibos. How's that for a blend of exotic "teas"?

Contents: 25 bags per box
I paid: na

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