Mate Lemon by Numi Organic Tea

Have you ever tried the South America traditional drink, mate? Wait for a moment, don’t get it wrong. The word “mate” does not refer to “mate” in “G’day mate!”. Actually it refers to a popular traditional drink from the Southern America, mate. If you have not tried mate before, me either.

The Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE) 2013 has introduced me to varying tea brands including Numi Tea. Numi is an American tea company selling all organic and fair trade teas. They are carrying strong environmental concerned value such as the using of all organic teas, herbs and also fully biodegradable packaging. I was given some Numi tea bag samples during the MICE event including this Mate Lemon.

Mate is best known as a traditional drink from South America especially Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. It is very popular and some people also consider it as tea from South America. In fact, mate is not tea. Mate comes from different plant from tea which is yerba mate while tea comes from Chamellia Sinensis/Chamellia Assamica. Mate is usually served in family or friends gathering (Ratna Somantri, 2011). In South America, people have the special wares to drink mate which is gourd (cup) and bombilla (straw). The bombilla is made of silver but the modern commercially available are mostly made of nickel silver, called Alpaca. (More about mate here)

Long years ago, my dad bought gourds and bombilla from his working trip to Argentina but he didn’t buy the yerba mate itself. So practically our gourds and bombilla ended up as a decoration in the living room area. It’s been almost 16 years until I read about mate in Kisah dan Khasiat Teh (Indonesian tea book by Ratna Somantri) then I realized how those cups and straws are supposed to be used.

Mate-Lemon-by-Numi-Organic-Tea-1

These are some pictures from Google images that I found by using “mate” as the keyword. The picture above is a photo-collage of gourd, bombilla and mate.

Numi organic tea sales person gave me the mate lemon sample packs (I remember the sales person suggest me to try this one). Numi blended the yerba mate leaves with green tea and lemon myrtle. I always love lemony-scent from lemon myrtle as it smells so citrusy-refreshing. Without any specific brewing direction, I decided to treat this as herbal tea. I brewed the tea with 95 degrees C hot water and steeped the tea bag for 3 minutes. Actually it is suggested to steep it for 3-5 minutes then I realized the mate blended with green tea. So I decided to steep it at the minimum duration since the water temperature is hot.

The tea liquor is muddy – pale brown color with little amount of sediment. It has a pleasant strong lemon myrtle aroma but unfortunately it doesn’t come out to the taste. I couldn’t really taste the lemon flavour inside rather than the taste of green tea with strong lemon aroma. The other hint of taste could be the mate’s flavor itself that is still unfamiliar for me. The mate lemon is refreshing and will leave a slight astringency mouth feel.

As this is my first mate, I don’t have a very clear idea of mate’s taste when it stands by itself. I reckon it would be nice to have this Mate Lemon cold with hint of sweetness from sugar or honey. For those who are also a newbie in mate-world, this Numi Mate Lemon could be a good step to start with. I would love to taste different blend of mate and of course the pure mate drink in the future.

mate-lemon-by-numi-organic-tea I would be happy if you guys could share with me, either you have tried this Mate Lemon or the authentic mate itself. If there is any, please do not hesitate to write a comment below this post. Looking forward to know and learn more!

Adios!

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