Teatime Tuesday #41: Roasted Pumpkin Yerba Mate

Welcome back for another teatime, as the Pumpkinpalooza continues! Last week the Pumpkin Pasties tea had a nice pumpkin-dessert flavor but was a little underwhelming on the pumpkin spice flavors… will the tea featured this week end up a pumpkinprovement? (Sorry, sorry, librarians and bad puns, they kind of… just go together. It’s all those cozy mystery titles!)

Today we are taking a look at Roasted Pumpkin Yerba Mate from Fusion Teas. You can get a sample of this tea for a very economical $2 (pictured above). This tea site has some of the best prices I’ve found, with a 3 oz. package priced at $8, 6 oz. at $15, and a bulk 16 oz. at $34.

The ingredients in this tea is what really made me curious about this blend… it is very robust! It includes roasted yerba mate, organic honeybush, organic rooibos, buckwheat, mace, ginger, toasted rice, cinnamon, candied peanuts, pumpkin pieces, sweet potato, caramel pieces, pumpkin seeds, natural flavors, and stevia leaf. If you have nut allergies, are lactose intolerant, or are Vegan, you’ll want to avoid this blend, since it contains nuts (candied peanuts) and dairy (caramel pieces contain butter).

The leaf smells very spicy, like a chai, so I don’t think there is going to be any concern that this brew is going to be lacking a pumpkin spice flavor! It smells very strongly of cinnamon and ginger, and just a bit peppery, likely from the mace (a pungent spice related to nutmeg). There is just a hint of a pumpkin scent beneath the spices, but it is very subtle since the spices are so strong!

Since this tea was such a hearty blend, I decided to go with the suggested steeping instructions rather than my go-to guidelines for yerba mates. They suggested a little hotter water, longer steep, and slightly more leaf than I usually use when preparing mate, so I steeped a teaspoon and a half of leaf in 185 degree F water for five minutes. My tea steeped a dark caramel color, and had an absolutely lovely spicy scent!

Smelling the tea I had the impression it would be quite strong — I’ve had some chais before that were too spicy and the pepper flavors unpleasant to me — but it actually is very naturally sweet! The honeybush, rooibos, caramel, and stevia leaf in the blend really sweeten up the base, and I find that even a sweet-tooth such as myself doesn’t need any sweetener. Though sweet, the base isn’t overly so; the roasted mate and some of the other ingredients give it a very “toasty” or “nutty” feel. The pumpkin flavor is far more subtle than the Pumpkin Pasties featured last week; it is there, but a little harder to distinguish beneath the prominent pumpkin spice flavors, which really shine in this blend. Sweet spices play on the tongue with every sip: the cinnamon, mace, and ginger blend together nicely, for a taste that is a bit like cinnamon mixed with nutmeg, with just a bit of a subtle spicy kick in the aftertaste. I find the blend very warm and toasty; this is an excellent autumn blend, but is a flavor that I would gladly enjoy any time… and I have to give Fusion Teas mad props for making this blend available year-round! This is also great as a pick-me-up for cold mornings, since the yerba mate is caffeinated, making the tea a great stimulant! I’d have to say, of all the yerba mate blends I’ve tried thus far, this one is definitely my favorite and I will be stocking up on it!

The flavor of the tea isn’t as great if using less than the recommended teaspoon and a half, but the tea is incredibly affordable (I often find 2 oz. packages of tea for around $6-8, and this tea is priced at 3 oz. for $8, making the price per cup very economical!) so I find I don’t mind using that extra bit of leaf as much as I do with more expensive leaf. I also find that the flavor is just a bit too weak for my preferences on a resteeping, as I really like the full spice flavor and feel it just tastes a bit too dull on that second cup. Your own preferences may vary, and the flavor does carry over, so if you don’t mind a weaker cup, feel free to use a bit less leaf or resteep!

While I quite enjoy taking this tea plain, the flavor is quite tasty with milk, and I find adding milk on a resteep when the flavor isn’t as strong makes it a little more palatable for me to extend the use of my leaf. I really enjoy this tea as a steamy warm cuppa, but once my bulk bag of leaf arrives, I may just try making an iced brew and mixing it with milk! I’ve never tried an iced yerba mate, but the spices in the blend lend me to believe it will taste like an iced chai latte!

If you want a nice blend with some natural sweetness, toasty warmth, and a good pumpkin spice flavor, that will give you the morning kick of a good caffeinated tea without the astringent taste of a black tea, I highly recommend trying out this tea! A sampler is only $2, which is a great way to try it out and see if it hits your pumpkin cravings in all the right ways like it did for me!

Be sure to tune in next week as the Pumpinpalooza continues, and I continue to search for the best pumpkin tea this autumn season has to offer!

About Mastress Alita

I'm a fulltime librarian, a chronic migraineur, a tea addict, and an avid Simmer that writes SimLit and maintains the Stories and Legacies Index, a link directory of SimLit on Wordpress. Though I obviously love cats, I actually don't own one! (Blame my apartment lease for that!) I do have a charming old cockatiel, Kali, that has been my companion for the last seventeen years!
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