Icy-cold and insanely refreshing, cold brewing yerba mate is quickly becoming one of my favorite ways to prepare yerba mate. Over the years we’ve discussed myriad ways to prepare mate, whether it’s with a french press, tea pot, infuser, and my earlier methods for making yerba mate iced tea, or continuing the tradition of the Guaraní Tribe with a gourd, bombilla, and thermos. In any case, as I’ve passionately proclaimed, “some mate is better than no mate.” So all methods of preparing yerba mate get the job done.
But cold brewing…! Well, I have to admit, was something that never really interested me until recently. Many are already familiar with brewing yerba mate with heat first—extracting plenty of those uplifting compounds like caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline—then chilling down the brew to make yerba mate iced tea. Cool, that’s a fine method. But with a cold brew, when the herbs never contact heat, we have a more gentle, delicate extraction.
Cold brews are usually more mellow and smooth tasting—it has that clean, snappy, pure essence going on. Real suavé and elegant. Something about the the herbs slowly coalescing, meddling flavors into flavors, releasing subtle and refined characteristics, makes for an entirely different brew.
Below, I’ll show you a simple, step-by-step method for making cold brew yerba mate. And if you’re curious which blend I’m using for this brew, it’s Ginkgo. I chose this blend because of the naturally sweet & sour flavors from the chicory root (licorice sweet) and schisandra berries (puckery sour).
What you’ll need
- Yerba mate and zesty herbs of your choice.
- A jug or container.
How to make a cold brew yerba mate
- Add some ice to your container.
- Add several heaping tablespoons over the ice.
- Add cold water to your container, leaving enough room for the ice to melt.
- Gently stir.
How long should I cold brew the yerba mate?
- Light brew, start drinking after 15 minutes.
- Stronger brew, place jug in fridge for several hours. Overnight will do.
When serving, use a small tea strainer over your cup. Or, if you want to be more efficient, strain the entire brew into a large bowl then pour the filtered brew back into the rinsed container.
So there you go! We hope you enjoy cold brewing yerba mate as much as we do. I recommend that you experiment with adding zesty and flavorful herbs when brewing your mate. This makes for a fruitier drink. Some herbs to consider: mint, chamomile, holy basil, orange/lemon peel, rosebuds, chicory root, lemongrass, lemon verbena, lemon myrtle leaf, ginger, goji berries, rooibos, lemon balm, and dehydrated fruits.
For my more interactive friends, here’s a video presentation of the process for making cold brewed yerba mate. Salud y disfruta!