I recently got to try the new Honest Tea Yerba Mates. I'm glad to see more yerba mate RTDs on the market. Yerba mate is high in antioxidants and caffeine, but it seems it doesn't give as many people jitters as coffee. However, AOL recently published a popular health article about possible health risks associated with yerba mate. I guess it was a bad time to launch the line, but the "teas" themselves are pretty good. They're made with green (unroasted) mate, I'm guessing for more antioxidants. I'm pretty sure it's why they taste more bitter than other mates I've had, but I'm more of a tea person than a mate person, so I'm not positive. (Any thoughts, readers?) The first two I tried were pretty sweet (I wish Honest Tea's "slightly sweet" approach was a little more slight than sweet, but that's a whole other topic...), but the third was awesome. Reviews:
Agave Mate: Both bitter and sweet, but in a very different way from when I, say, home brew super-strong mate in a gourd and add a bit of agave nectar. My least favorite, perhaps because I like my version so much better. :)
Tropical Mate: Aside from a bitter aftertaste, I really like this one. It is definitely tropical and the tartness of the fruit balances out the sweetness of the cane sugar very well. The thing I don't like it this -- the label pictures fresh fruit, says "A Tad Sweet" and clearly indicates that it is yerba mate. Seeing that, I think, "Mmm... fruit juice and mate. It has vitamins from fruit and caffeine from mate. Win!" However, it contains less than 1% juice and has about 1/6th the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. Now, I'm glad the label is also informative enough to tell me these things, but it seems somehow... (no, not dishonest)... misleading. Still, it's tasty enough that I'd drink it again.
Sublime Mate: It has the same labeling issues as Tropical Mate, but it's definitely my favorite of the three. Great lime aroma and taste, no bitter aftertaste and (I think) an ideal balance of mate boldness, lime tang and cane-sugary sweetness for a lightly sweet RTD. It seems like a perfect refreshment for a hot summer day. Seriously if you like lime and/or mate check it out ASAP.
Have any of you tried these? What did you think?