Updated: May 24
Welcome to May's Tea of the Month Box
SpiceTopia's Tea of the Month Box is our monthly themed tea box. Want to join our tea family? Head on over to our subscription page to sign up for your monthly box!
Featuring Yerba Mate.
It's the time of year when many start planning summer vacations and thinking about getting together with family and friends, so a tea traditionally considered a shared experience and a way to honor friendships and hospitality seemed the perfect theme for this month's box.
Yerba Mate is an herb native to South America and while enjoyed like tea, it is not in any way related to camellia sinensis. It is often considered an herbal tea, but we consider it its own class of tea. The flavor of Yerba Mate varies quite a bit depending on where it was grown and the exact process of preparing it. Generally, it is somewhat earthy with a faint camphor smell and taste. Sometimes it can be bitter though not astringent like camellia sinensis tea.
Traditionally Yerba Mate is prepared for a group. The one preparing and sharing the Yerba Mate is called a cebador. They complete the following steps:
The tea leaves are placed in the gourd, shaken, and crushed.
Cold water is added slowly allowing the leaves to rehydrate.
Hot water between 160°F and 180°F is then poured into the gourd until it is filled.
Using a straw with a filter called a bombilla the tea is sipped from the gourd.
The cebador drinks that first infusion before rebrewing the same leaves for the next guest.
Each guest drinks their gourd before returning the gourd to the preparer so a new brew from the same leaves can be prepared for everyone.
While it is a joy to share Yerba Mate with friends, this tea can also be brewed in an infuser, teapot, or even a French press for an everyday cup of Yerba mate
If you'd like to learn more about Yerba Mate, find our article answering many questions about Yerba Mate here:
May's box includes a pure Yerba Mate from Argentina, a Yerba Mate blend, as well as a toasted Yerba Mate.
The Yerba Mate in your box is from Argentina and is lighter than many other Yerba Mates. It is just lightly aged giving it a herbaceous light flavor that reminds us of green tea. This is an excellent pick-me-up tea as it contains almost as much caffeine as coffee.
While it is a joy to share Yerba Mate with friends, this tea can also be brewed in an infuser, teapot, or even a French press for an everyday cup of Yerba mate. 1-2 tablespoons of Yerba Mate to 8 ounces of water. Brew at a cooler temperature than most teas– 160° - 180°F.
The Citrus Mate blend included in your box is also an Argentinian mate with the addition of citrus peel. The green earthy flavors of this Yerba Mate balance well with the tart lemon and orange flavors. This tea is excellent iced or cold brewed.
Again, brew at a cooler temperature of 160°- 180°F. We find a French Press is an excellent way to brew this tea. Do keep in mind green Yerba Mates can be rebrewed several times.
Yerba Mate is often roasted much like coffee or cacao beans. This roasted version of Yerba Mate from Brazil has a deep rich taste with notes of chocolate and caramel. So we felt like it was just begging for the addition of chocolate chips and hazelnut flavor! Mocha Nut Mate is wonderful with a bit of sweetener and just a touch of cream or your favorite plant based milk--we enjoy it with oat milk.
Brew at 160°- 180°F for 5 minutes.
This month, the extra little something in your box is a stainless steel bombilla. This combo of a straw and a filter allow you to brew your Mate right in your cup or gourd and drink straight out of that vessel with no worries the leaves will come up into your straw.
Which color did you find in your box?
If this is your first box, you'll find a Tea Journal and Infuser tucked inside your box. Take notes and keep track of the teas you enjoy in your Tea Journal and over time you will become not only a tea enjoyer, but also a tea connoisseur! If you'd like to share on social media a picture of the journal page with your favorite tea from this box, we'd love for you to hashtag that picture #SpiceTopiaTEA, so we can follow along on your tea journey!
May's Tea Practice
May's Tea Practice Card encourages you to create community through tea. Set aside time this month to sit with a loved one as you share your enjoyment of tea. Talk and share while showing them how much they mean to you.
Bonus: Eliah has created a new tea that he would like feedback on! If you'd like to comment right here or send him feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org, that would be much appreciated!
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