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Tea Scene's Organic Yerba Mate Iced Tea - Review

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Tea Scene's Yerba Maté organic iced tea

It’s time: time to separate the casual tea drinkers from the true tea enthusiasts. Do you like your iced tea the way they make it in the capital S South, with several spoonfuls of sugar? Are you fond of anything manufactured by Snapple? If the answer to either of these questions is yes, then Tea Scene’s organic, unsweetened Yerba Maté iced tea is not for you.

This process of elimination is in a way fitting, as Tea Scene teas are in many ways more defined by what they’re not than by what they are. They contain no sugar, no calories, no carbohydrates, no additives and no artificial coloring; Yerba Maté is currently the company’s only variety to contain caffeine (the others include Rooibos African Chai, Lavender Mint, Lemon Myrtle and Tropical Chamomile). So what, exactly, is Tea Scene’s scene? The answer is two-fold: first, it’s a healthy alternative to all those sugar-bomb tea drinks lining most grocery shelves. The company’s product designer, Karen Webster, was inspired by her mother’s homemade sun tea, in which “sugar was never one of the ingredients,” she says. She also points out, quite rightly, that there are very few unsweetened teas on the market, a thirst Tea Scene can now quench.

However, Tea Scene is also different from its fellows because it’s infused with natural herbs. In the Yerba Maté’s case, this means cinnamon and the eponymous South American holly variety, known as the “Drink of the Gods” among the Guarani Indians. The result seems organic in taste as well as in name: it is rich and plant-like, so close to the tea leaf and the yerba maté tree that every sip conjures up images of these freshly-harvested ingredients being boiled down.

A natural source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, the Yerba Maté tea is quite refreshing, though fairly bitter; you have to be committed to wanting a healthful beverage and like the natural flavor of tea in its plainest, purest sense for this beverage to be your scene. While it may not quite live up to the name “Drink of the Gods,” this is the perfect tea for those health-conscious mere mortals reaching for heaven.

Rating: 13.5/20

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(Updated:05/13/11 BH)

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