It was a typical British August in 2019. A few very hot days, including a blistering Bank Holiday weekend, but mostly it was quite cool and breezy even when the sun was out.
Somehow, this month’s Teapro box matched the weather perfectly and offered both hot and cold tea beverages to suit the changing weather.
Fantastic tea box from Teapro. They’ve really met their aim of educating people about tea this month. The box sets you up to learn about yerba mate with all the info you need.
I’d recommend it for: anyone, even tea experts, who want to venture towards yerba mate. This is the perfect introduction.
Pros – very educational!
- Useful leaflet.
- Awesome straw and gourd.
- Excellent quality yerba mate.
Cons – it comes down to personal taste.
- Yerba mate is an acquired taste that takes time to master.
- Not enough tea included if following the 1/3 gourd instructions included.
What's in the Box?
It arrived as per usual. I’ve got into the routine now of knowing when the payment will come out (26th) and when I’ll receive the box (11th or 12th). I also really appreciate how the Teapro website has blossomed over the past 3 months – it now offers you loads of information about the boxes, the opportunity to rebuy any you’ve missed, and a schedule so you can see what’s coming up.
That level of clarity is really what you need in a tea subscription. I know a lot of people worry that their next tea box will arrive full of tea they dislike/already own, so it’s good to see what’s coming with Teapro.
In the box:
- 50g Organic Pure Leaf Mate
- 50g Organic Roasted Pure Leaf Mate
- 50g Organic Yerba Mate Chamomile Blend
- 50g Whole Plant Yerba Mate
- Natural Gourd
- Bamboo Bombilla
- 1x sticker for August subscription
- Yerba Mate booklet with details about using the gourd and the 4 specific teas included
If this is your first Teapro box, you’ll also receive a tasting wheel, sticker booklet and 3-piece glass infuser included. Read my review for those in the June 2019 teapro subscription review.
It was packed in tight this month! The gourd is quite chunky, so I’m not entirely sure how they would fit in the 3-piece glass infuser too.
Yerba Mate Leaflet
The last 2 months, the leaflet has been useful but not essential. It covered a few tasting notes about the teas, plus info on health benefits, etc. But the brewing info is already on the packet so the leaflet was just a nice added extra.
This month, you must read it!
Instructions on how to cure your gourd and use it properly are so important to read. Otherwise, you’re just throwing your money away.
There’s also a Teapro YouTube video that shows how they use the gourd and bamboo straw. It’s worth watching.
The video includes a recipe for making the yerba mate cold as well as hot. The info they’ve provided this month is truly valuable so I’m very happy!
Natural Gourd and Bamboo Bombilla
I was very nervous about this! I didn’t want to get it wrong and end up destroying the gourd before I’ve even used it properly. The gourd is this large, mug-sized vegetable carcass. It has the texture of a hazelnut, the shape of a pear, and the size of a medium butternut squash.
The first thing you need to do is “cure” the gourd before you can drink from it. This takes several hours, following the instructions in the leaflet.
One thing I noticed that Teapro didn’t mention was how the water level (which is supposed to be right to the top) kept dropping as the hours went by. I’d recommend setting an alarm reminder every 30 minutes so you can top it up. If the top part of the gourd isn’t submerged in water, you’ll have a tough time scooping out the sides in the next step.
The Bamboo Bombilla is amazing. It adds to the experience and it feels so nice to drink from. The only issue I have is that it’s super hard to clean (don’t use washing up liquid) and part of my mind is always worrying about the hygiene aspect here.
Teapro Yerba Mate Reviews
Previously, I’ve written detailed reviews about each of the 4 teas included in the box. The white teas all had distinct flavour notes and the fruit tisanes were vastly different from one to the next.
The problem with the yerba mates is that they’re all very similar. To an experienced yerba mate-er, finding the difference might only take a few sips, but for me, it was quite difficult to discern one from the other.
By the time I’d tried each and got my method right (more on that below), I had very little yerba mate left. This is thanks to the 1/3 recommendation that came in the leaflet. To make yerba mate, they want you to fill it 1/3 with the leaf… which is about half a packet. I don’t advise that you do that!
This has meant that my reviews are all pretty much identical.
Organic Pure Leaf Mate, Organic Roasted Pure Leaf Mate, and Whole Plant Yerba Mate
- Amount: 50g each
- Brewing Instructions: 1/3 gourd, 85°C, 2 minutes
- Quality: Great to Excellent
These 3 tasted very very similar. The roasted one had a slightly toasty tinge and the whole plant had a woody hint going on. Other than that, it was the same very refreshing, herby and green flavour that gets bitter incredibly quick.
You need to drink it as soon as it’s made to stop the bitterness seeping in. Do this right (it took me 3 attempts) and it is quite delicious. It might also stain your tongue green for a little while.
I did a little research online and determined that these yerba mates are great quality, especially the roasted pure leaf one.
Organic Yerba Mate Chamomile Blend
- Amount: 50g
- Ingredients: Yerba mate, chamomile, orange peel, hibiscus petals
- Brewing Instructions: 1/3 gourd, 85°C, 2 minutes
- Quality: Excellent
The fourth was a blend and hands-down my favourite. The combination of green, fresh and herby mate with sweet, honey and hay chamomile is a winner. They balance themselves out flavour-wise. You’d think combining a high-caffeine tea with a sleep-inducing tea would feel odd, but it works very well.
I’d recommend starting with this one after the cure.
Izzy's Yerba Mate Method
I first tried the 1/3 full rule set by Teapro in the instructions. This used up about half of the tea in my Whole Plant Yerba Mate bag. The next step is to tip it to the side to create a sort of ‘well’ in one side of the gourd. This didn’t work. There was too much yerba mate in there and when I finally got the water in and started drinking, it was bitter immediately.
Using 1 to 2 tablespoons was a better method for me, offering much more control so that the water would sit nicely in a pocket, and it also tamed the flavour enough. I only managed 2 ‘steeps’ using my method, but it will make the yerba mate packet last longer and I’ll enjoy drinking it far more!
Is This Teapro Box Worth the Cost?
Yes, this one is most definitely worth it. The amount of yerba mate you get in the packets, the variety, the fact that several are organic, plus the gourd included, is excellent value.
Looking at the price of more sturdy, permanent gourds on Amazon, I feel confident that the one included in the box is worth the £16 they claim it is. The fact that you need to cure it yourself just adds to the experience and excitement.
With the Teapro subscription, you’re really paying for the education. It’s a helpful hand to get your foot up in the tea world. This month you really get your money’s worth.
The best box so far and truly educational. Most people who enjoy tea have at least heard of white tea and tried a few fruity tisanes from the supermarket. But yerba mate? It’s just not as well known. Teapro did an excellent job of introducing me to this new tea type.
Like many things, from coffee to puerh to alcohol, it can take a few attempts before you get what it’s about. So, don’t give up!