Bonus Tea for February 2021!
Wow! I am so excited about this blend.
But first, a confession - that might be a bit obvious to anyone who is familiar with 52Teas - we didn't have a featured reblend this month. This tea was blended instead. The reason? Because the ingredients I needed to reblend the tea I wanted to reblend had not yet arrived in time for me to start blending.
I needed to come up with something to blend in its place. I had just received a new shipment of Yerba Mate, so I decided to do something with it & this blend - is it! I wasn't sure how it would turn out. Blueberries & mangoes is not a combination I see often - but it turned out AMAZING!
This tea has a blend of both green & roasted yerba mate. I like combining the two types of yerba mate. I tend to prefer the roasted mate - I find that the green is a bit too earthy for my taste. However, I've heard from more than one tea drinker that the roasted mate tends to be a bit too roasted for their liking & I get that. It does have a very strong roasted flavor - in fact I find that when I go 100% roasted mate - it becomes a nearly insurmountable challenge to blend anything with it to overcome that strong, roasted flavor. By blending the two, I get a lighter roasted flavor & just a hint of earthiness. I prefer the blend of the two over just one or the other - it's the best of both!
To the mate blend, I added a bunch of freeze-dried blueberries. But since I recently created a Blueberry Cobbler tisane, I didn't want to just do the blueberry thing. So I thought I'd add some mango - because, why not? I mean, this is 52Teas - we can do that sort of thing here. Then - just to lighten the flavor of the mate just a bit as well as add another interesting flavor profile to the mix, I added some lemon verbena.
This came out so good. It tastes like a blueberry & mango compote that was roasted over an open flame for a slightly smoky, roasted flavor. It's sweet & fruity, but not too much. The blueberry has a sweet, slightly syrupy note to it, and there's just a hint of lemon to bring the brightness of the mango forward. It's mostly sweet, just a little bit tart, very energizing & completely delicious! It's also organic, vegan, gluten-free & allergen free!
Taster size is approximately 15g
organic ingredients: yerba mate (green & roasted), lemon verbena, blueberries, mangos & natural flavors
WOW! Yeah, I know I already said that - but it bears repeating. This is really, really good!
The blueberry & mango make a really fantastic flavor combination. So good! It really does taste like I cooked a blueberry & mango compote over a campfire & added a squeeze of lemon juice & just a little bit of lemon zest to brighten up the flavor. A little bit of that roasty-toasty, smoky flavor with lots of sweet blueberry & tangy mango flavor -& just a kiss of lemon.
to brew: As I mentioned in another article about mate, I've been exploring with the best way to steep it. After many attempts that did provide a decent cuppa, I think I may have found the perfect way to brew it (at least, for me!) You don't need any super fancy equipment, I think most tea drinkers will probably have what I utilize to brew my mate - but if you don't - it's not really hard to acquire them (or improvise - just be sure to do the double strain.)
I use a teapot with a fine mesh strainer basket. The strainer basket came with the teapot & I think I picked up this particular teapot for under 20 bucks at a local Whole Foods. You can also probably find them at a Cost Plus World Market (and probably at an even better price than Whole Foods) or you can find something online. What's important is the fine mesh strainer.
Start by giving the pouch a gentle shake to make sure you have all the ingredients incorporated. Measure out 3 1/2 grams of leaf & fruit per one 12 ounce cuppa & put the tea in the infuser basket. (The finer mesh of the basket, the better. Trust me on this.) Pour about 1/2 an ounce of freshly filter, unheated water over the leaves to moisten them. Then heat water to 180°F & pour 11 1/2 ounces of heated water over the mate leaves. Allow leaves to steep for 5 - 6 minutes. (I steep it for the full 6 minutes.) Remove the strainer basket to strain. Then - as you're pouring the tea into your teacup, strain the liquid again. Yep, you read that right.
You can use one of those pretty teacup strainers that you might find at a fancy British tea room. Or you can use something like what you used to steep the tea in - just as long as it's a fine mesh strainer & it'd be nice if it has a handle on it so that you don't burn yourself as you're pouring your tea. Please don't burn yourself. I find sipping tea much more enjoyable without burns on my fingers.
Pour the tea through the strainer into your teacup - then allow the tea to cool for at least 5 minutes. Enjoy!
So now, you might be asking, why do I strain it twice? Well, the yerba mate leaves are cut rather fine - almost to a powdery consistency - & I find that if I don't double strain the mate, I'm left with a lot of unpleasant sediment at the bottom of the cup. Nothing wrong with it - I just prefer my tea without sediment. So - if you don't mind that - go for it. But if you want to sip without sediment, I recommend doing it the way I described above.
You might also ask why I first hit the leaves with a splash of unheated water & leave it sit while I'm heating the water - I'm not exactly sure why this works - but it does. The tea just manages to come out more flavorful with this extra step. Maybe it's just my imagination - but know that I didn't just make up this step - it's something I learned from the people who sell me the mate & I figure they should know what they're talking about. So I tried it & I'm happy with the results.