Review: SerendipiTea Gaucho

Cardamom Tea, Clove Tea, Ginger Tea, Herbal Tea, Mate Tea, SerendipiTea Add comments
Geoff’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"The masala additives contributed to a well-rounded, well-mannered wake-up cup."
Geoff’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Troy gave it 6/10, Erika gave it 6/10
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It was my "Dirty 30" birthday party where I first received a sample of roasted yerba mate from a singer friend of mine. I thought it was okay, but it was not my usual cuppa. I thought it tasted like a leafier version of coffee. Later on down the line, I picked up a generous helping of unroasted mate after hearing all the "Drink of the Gods" testimonials. Truth be told, it had the consistency of bark. Not quite as bad as gingko, but close. Roasted still tasted better, but unroasted was better for you. No-win situation.

That said, I've since come to learn that mate blends well, particularly with sweet or lemony herbs. I tested this theory out with stevia leaf and lemongrass on multiple occasions. Even had a few that were quite flavorful and offered quite the pick-me-up. Unroasted (or green) mate proved to be the better base for an herbal medley. Roasted only worked with burlier stock.

SerendipiTea presents something that offers a bit of the burly with the gentle-seeming, leafy kick-arse of yerba mate. Their "Gaucho" contains mate (but no roasted/unroasted specificity), cardamom, cloves, and ginger. In other words, something more akin to a mate chai. I certainly smelled the ginger/cardamom kick. I only wish I knew which type of yerba had been used as the base. The flakes "looked" green, but it was hard to tell by scent or sight. Eh, oh well.

Brewing instructions per the SerendipiTea site were geared around the teapot. Unfortunately, I didn't have one handy. I was relying on a filter-mug, a temp-timer, and an electric kettle. That and I didn't have the traditional gourd or straw (Bombilla?) required for truly appreciating mate. The water they recommended should be pre-boiled. I did just that, 8oz-worth for a five-minute steep. 1 tsp of the blend utilized.

The herbal infusion brewed to a foggy yellow-green, like someone pureed a lemon and leeched it of juice. Oddly enough, it also had a citrus-spice nose, probably due to the cardamom; which I always thought had a citrus lean to it. It and ginger are similar, but I find cardamom to be stronger. To my relief, it was also mild on the heartburn-inducing spiciness. The masala additives contributed to a well-rounded, well-mannered wake-up cup.

I'm not completely sold on yerba mate as a coffee/tea replacement. Well, okay, maybe coffee. However, I do run into blends that make a compelling argument. This would be one of them.

— To purchase SerendipiTea Gaucho, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Geoff Geoff
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