Brazilian Erva Mate producer Ximango has a Chimarrao style yerba mate that I picked up at my local Brazilian supermarket. Chimarrao is untoasted, unsmoked, green yerba mate that the cowboys of Brazil drink while out driving cattle and generally doing cowboy stuff.
First let me relate that it comes in a 1Kg package (that’s 2.2 lbs for you gringos) so we are talking about alot of yerba mate. When I opened the bag, it exploded aroma into my kitchen.
First impressions: It’s green. REALLY green. Like glowing in the dark, radioactive green. Supposedly this means it has more vitamins, minerals, etc. and I hope that is true and not just marketing.
After a few cups of this, let me post a quick review:
Color 4/5 – Bright green powder with lots of white stems. See non-photo-shopped picture above.
Smell 1/5 – Smells like a mix between cheap marijuana and the leaves of an exotic shrubbery..
Taste 1/5 – WOW. Let me preface this by saying that I am an American. I didn’t grow up with tea (other than sweet tea). That being said, Ximango Chimarrao stuff has the flavor of a jungle bush. When I was a boy scout I heard you could survive off plants if lost in the woods. And this is exactly what I think those plants would taste like.
Feeling 1/5 – Nausea.
Overall 1/5 – I’m not a cowboy living in Brazil. I drink yerba mate for the taste, health benefits, and the feeling. I’m sure the Brazilians think Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes terrible so we’re even.
I’ll probably hang on to this and occasionally give it to guests just so I can see their face. Of course I’ll preface it by saying it’s the BEST tea in the world and EVERYONE loves it. That way they feel the pressure to like it. Then because I’m human I’ll say, “Dump it before you puke.”