Saturday, April 29, 2006

Tea Review 68 - Yerba Mate (x2)

Del Cebador Superior
Sara Suave

I've had my say about sample packages of tea. I'm not going to go off on that tangent again, except to say that it's nice to be able to try teas without having to buy a large amount. Ditto for yerba mate.

I recently ordered six quarter pounds of loose yerba mate. As I've been working my way through the pile, I've found a surprising amount of difference between the different brands. Last time around I reviewed Canarias and Amanda, products of Brazil and Argentina.

This time I'm going with two brands from Uruguay, a place where - if I've got my story straight - they drink more yerba mate than just about anywhere in the world.

At first glance these two brands seem quite similar. Both are pretty finely ground, with no obvious traces of stems. Aroma is pretty similar too. Both kind of reminded me of the burnt sawdust smell of a heavily used wood shop. That might sound like a bad thing, but it's not really.

As for the taste, the first time out I liked the Sara Suave and not the Del Cebador Superior. After some more sampling I reversed my position. To my clunky taste buds Sara Suave seemed kind of tasteless, while Del Cebador Superior had a nice smoky overtone - tasting kind of like it smelled, actually. I definitely prefer the latter over the former, but I would take the Amanda over either and probably over the Canarias as well.

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