Tea: Premium Yerba Mate Buds

A Yerba Maté from Upton Tea Imports

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Premium Yerba Mate Buds
Brand:Upton Tea Imports
Style:Yerba Maté
# Ratings:1 View All

Review of Premium Yerba Mate Buds

3 of 102 of 52 of 537 of 100

The minute I heard about this new and unusual offering, I was fascinated and wanted to try it. Although I'm glad I did, I found this to be disappointing: I did not enjoy it as much as even a typical black tea, or as much as typical Yerba mate, whether green or roasted. I also found it to be very similar in flavor and aroma to raspberry leaf tea, and I would prefer raspberry leaf tea to this one. This product is available from Upton Tea Imports as well as from Harney and Sons Tea.

The dry leaf looks a lot like black or oolong tea leaves. It consists of whole leaves attached to unopened buds. In brewing, it unfurls, oolong-like. It looks very similar to tea leaf. It produces a remarkably green-colored cup; I found it interesting how greenish it was--much more so than green yerba mate I've tried, or than most green teas.

Aroma is fairly strongly of olive, like black olive or kalamata olive, and also strongly reminiscent of raspberry leaf, with a sort of muted quality vaguely suggestive of black tea, some dusty qualities. The aroma is not terribly complex. Flavor is muted and smooth, but not necessarily pleasant. Oily mouthfeel, with a metallic finish. I do not detect the fruity notes that Upton comments on.

The overall character is strongly reminiscent of red raspberry leaf tea, an herbal tea that I enjoy quite a lot. But I do not like this one as much.

Very interesting to try, but I would not order it again. I think it's a great idea to try out new production methods like this, and I would encourage the people who run this operation to keep trying. I am glad I purchased this, both to try it, and to encourage people to keep working on it. But in my opinion, this is a product that is not quite there yet. Chinese tea production, and production in other areas, has hundreds of years of tradition and refining behind it. This product did not taste good to me, but it's just starting out, so I would expect it to get a lot better in future years if they keep working on it.

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