Review: Erva Yerba Mate
Covers Products: Basil Ginger, Lavender Sage, Rosemary Hibiscus
Erva Yerba Mate is a four flavor line of USDA Organic beverages from Austin, Texas. For our review, we sampled three of the flavors: Basil Ginger, Rosemary Hibiscus, and Lavender Sage. Each of these flavors is packaged in a 16 oz. glass bottle and has 160 mg of caffeine (from the mate) per bottle.
As far as yerba mate drinks go, Guayaki is certainly the bar -- and it’s even the brand that, according to the company’s web site, got the founder hooked on mate. So how does Erva stack up? The liquid is really enjoyable -- to the point where we wanted to quickly gulp down the entire bottle.
This largely has to do with two things: nicely crafted flavors and just the right balance of sugar (from organic raw turbinado sugar and honey). All of the flavors clock in at 12g of sugar per bottle, which is stated on the front label, and this gives the products just a slight hint of sweetness. The products s get their taste from their actual ingredients -- as opposed to flavorings, resulting in super high quality, accurate taste. And all of the flavors have a hint of lime at the finish, which is a really nice way to add both flavor and acidify the product without additives.
Of the three varieties s that we sampled, we were most partial to the Basil Ginger. We can’t say that there’s a really strong basil or ginger flavor, but there’s just enough to tease the palate and keep you coming back for more. Throw in the touch of citrus to the finish and this product tastes like a nice riff on a classic black tea with lemon. It definitely seems like the crowd pleaser of the bunch. The lavender and sage was a close second for us, but we wonder if lavender, which is somewhat of a polarizing flavor, will be a turnoff for some consumers. Still, it’s really well executed, with both the lavender and sage coming across in a very mild way. Lastly, there’s the Rosemary Hibiscus. This is the only flavor where the flavoring overwhelms the mate, which is exactly what happens with the added hibiscus. While it doesn’t taste bad, it sort of takes away the purpose of drinking a bottle of Erva (we could get hibiscus tea somewhere else -- and in caffeine-free form).
Packaging, which, as we mentioned earlier, is a 16 oz. glass bottle, is something that says “tea” without having to give the product much of a look. However, it doesn’t really get your mind thinking about the brand, and it struggles in visual competition with the flavor name. Making the branding a bit stronger would help out. Otherwise, we really don’t like that the product is labeled as a supplement -- and looking at the ingredients, we’re really not sure why they went down this path. And one technical point that’s a very simple fix: the bottle doesn’t list how many ounces it is.Overall, there seems to be a space for Erva going after the more mainstream tea buyer, but the brand needs some refinement in its label and repositioning away from being a supplement if it’s going to capitalize on it.