This is another tea that I received in the Steepster Select box that I won. Thank you Steepster Select, again providing me with a totally new experience! This is my first Guayusa tea! It also looks like Yerba Maté it its dry form.
Known for its stimulating effects, indigenous hunters drink guayusa to sharpen their instincts. They call it the “Night Watchman” because it helps them stay awake and alert all night.
First smell: I thought to myself “Yummmm”, I was surprised although I am not sure what I was expecting as I have never had a Guayusa before. Fruity, creamy, bright, eye-opening, delightful aromas.
First sip: The flavor is bright, and cherry, with a slight tartness yet with such sweetness, like that of fresh berries. If I had to compare it to another tea it would be a good quality Black Tea, one without any astringency or bitterness! The liquor is light brown.
Runa Tea says about Traditional Guayusa:
Energizing, smooth, and rich, with a hint of natural sweetness, guayusa helps you be awake and alert.
I have absolutely loved my Steepster Select box – and I have more to come, – because it takes me on this amazing journey! I am learning so much about tea! This traditional Guayusa is farmed by a native tribe in the upper Amazon regions of Ecuador, Peru and Columbia. The tribe is called the Kichwa Tribe. This info was provided by Steepster Select on the card they include with all of their tea shipments.
I just think it is so wonderful to have such a fresh tea resting on my palate! To sit back and imagine this small tribe farming, and picking tea leaves that will be consumed by people like me, it is humbling and I am slightly jealous of what I imagine their lifestyle to be. I also respect Runa Tea for working with the Kichwa tribe in regards to sustainability and socially responsible farming and procuring of teas. This tea is Certified Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and Certified Kosher. It is $5.99 for 1.5 ounces or $17.99 for one full pound! Wow! Talk about a steal for an amazing tea! According to the Runa Tea facebook page – Runa means “fully living human being” in the Kichwa language.
Second cup which is cooler than my first and I am picking out a very caramelized flavor now. It’s quite nice and different from my piping hot cup before. I am intrigued by the way this tea seems to evolve right on the palate. I think if I listed all the different flavor components it would be a very long list. Berry, sweet, bright, cherry, sugary, malty, toasty, smooth, rich, I could go on and on.
I was having such a good time with this tea, trying it iced as suggested on the website it was wonderful. Then I got adventurous and added a touch of Japanese spearmint essential oil to my cup, just a tiny drop, and it made the best tasting sensation with a toasty maple like flavor with a kick of mint. So delicious! I did not try it with any sugar in the raw or milk but I am going to assume it would be excellent as it seems to be a very versatile tea! I also noticed when the tea is colder, either cooled from a hot tea, or iced it has a more malty note to it and a wonderful bread like after taste! This was before adding the mint though.
Steeping instructions as per Runa Tea:
Tea Bag – Place one infuser into 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 4 – 6 minutes.
Tea Pot – Select your favorite tea pot and add 2 grams of guayusa (about 1 spoonful) per 8 oz. of water.
French Press – The ease and class of a good old French Press. This Franco-Amazonian brewing method is one of our favorites.
Sun Tea – Guayusa brewed by the light of the Sun. Add 2 grams of guayusa (about 1 spoonful) per 8 oz. in a large glass container and leave in the sun for 4 – 6 hours. Strain the guayusa and enjoy hot or cold.
Note the sun tea option! Nice!
I also wanted to note that I love their website – www.runa.org They talk about tea origins, ways to enjoy tea, The Tea Farmers, and they even have a mission statement! It is also a very eye appealing site that is easy to navigate.
Re-steep on this tea was a huge success! Although I only did one re-steep I feel assured I could have went for another, maybe more. The liquor was even a bit darker on the second steep – releasing more of the complex flavors with some extra sweetness coming through!
I feel honored to be introduced to such a wonderful tea company and tea! Not to mention to feel closer to our global community and the wonderful diverse people of this planet!