Argentine girl sipping yerba mate in Tandil, Argentina - photo by ©circleofdrink

A Beginner's Guide to Yerba Mate Tea by Circleofdrink.com

Getting started with yerba mate is simple. Grab yourself a handful of mate, add the herb into a frenchpress, teapot, or traditional mate gourd,  then add hot water (or make it cold), wait a few minutes, then enjoy. That’s all you need to start drinking yerba mate, especially if you’re a a beginner. Now, if you want to lean a lot more than that, and go deep deep into the beautiful and intricate world of mate, then stick around and read on…

One of my favorite books is Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Suzuki. It’s a lesson on, no matter how experienced or seasoned you’ve become in any of life’s many arenas, humbly returning back to the basics and once again starting with a fresh pair of eyes; a renewed mind; and revitalized energy to continue building upon the fundamentals.

In essence, inheriting the child’s mind once more. An overly confident mind that becomes too full of itself, literally, remains “full” and stops expanding and absorbing. Atrophied and ossified and stale….

But no! Let’s go beyond that!

Shall we…? 🙂

In this new spirit of renewal, let us fertilize the soil and replant good seeds. Together, we can move mountains. With mate, what can hold us back? Nada!

So now I gladly present to you a Getting Started with Yerba Mate Guide.

Culling together dozens of articles and videos and guides I’ve produced over the years, I’ve synthesized a unique yerba mate journey through my personal vista and experience. From my first sip of mate back in 2009 to this very day, I’ve never stopped exploring this vitalizing and enriching herb from South America. It has changed my life forever.

For seasoned Materos and those freshly embarking upon their mate journey alike, nothing can be lost and only the world gained by drawing closer to this sacred herb we know as yerba mate.

Below, you’ll find a loose table of contents, more or less chronologically corresponding to the video via timestamp markers — allowing you to jump through time and space — and banking through some twists and turns in between, exploring the different landscapes and undulations and altitudes of yerba mate, from Classical Argentine cuts to selecting your first wooden or calabash gourd.

Yes, we’ll have both practical and not-so-practical discussions at times, equally infusing mate philosophy — Mateology – with step-by-step instructions. Let’s connect those hemispheres!

You with me? Okay, cool.

Now Let’s Get Started

Table of Contents, Markers, and Additional Yerba Mate References

Below please find links to references I made in the video, with associated timestamps. Thanks for watching 🙂 Now let’s get started.

Who is Dave Mate? [2:42]

Explore our yerba mate blends [3:45]

The company and community Circle of Drink [3:28]

What our customers think of yerba mate (testimonials )

Yerba Mate Land: We distribute other popular brands of yerba mate [4:02]

Read reviews of Cruz de Malta and other brand of mate [4:07]

What is Yerba Mate Tea? [4:18]

Building a relationship with yerba mate [6:15]

Learn about saponins in yerba mate tea [6:35]

Chlorogenic Acid in Yerba Mate & Yerba Mate vs Green Tea [6:44]

Yerba Mate vs Coffee [7:08]

“Clarity of Mind” with Yerba Mate [7:28]

Mate Sharing ‘Rules’ and Etiquette [8:34]

The History of Yerba Mate [8:54]

Here’s a real Online Yerba Mate Circle in Action [9:30]

Which yerba mates to start with? [10:05]

Clean Organic Pure Yerba Mate – Mission

If you don’t want any bitterness but still want to experience mate — Lady’s Breath

Our Galaxy Yerba Mate (Gaucho Mate) has rich and creamy espresso flavors.

Here we have a wide variety of organic yerba mate blends.

Some other popular yerba mate brands:

Cruz de Malta (Earthy, robust, Classical Argentine Mate)

Del Cebador (Malty and creamy, Gaucho Yerba Mate)

Canarias (Malty and soft, Gaucho Yerba Mate)

More Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

Health Benefits of Yerba Mate [14:11]

The facts on yerba mate and cancer [15:04]

Learn how yerba mate reduces negative effects of junk food by neutralizing free radicals [17:33]

Yerba Mate may help regulate glucose levels for diabetics [19:17]

There are many ways to prepare and enjoy yerba mate [14:37]

Traditional Ways to Prepare Yerba Mate Tea

  • Yerba Mate Gourd and Bombilla
  • How to prepare powdery Gaucho Yerba Mate
  • How to prepare Chimarrão / Erva Mate (traditional Brazilian yerba mate that’s not aged and nearly pure powder)

Modern Ways to Prepare Yerba Mate Tea

Yerba Mate Terms and Glossary [24:37]

My book on yerba mate, “Mateology”

Does Caffeine or “Mateine” Exist in Yerba Mate? [26:35]

Learn about the Yerba Mate Gourd and Bombilla

Selecting a yerba mate gourd and bombilla [36:00]

Comparing different types of wooden mate gourds

Argentine Calabash vs Brazilian Cuia Gourds

Comparing different types of yerba mate bombillas (straws) [39:15]

Clean your bombilla with a brush

How to properly use a yerba mate bombilla

Our bombilla collection can be found here

Exploring the Regional Cuts, Terroirs, and Flavors of Yerba Mate

Understanding the different cuts of yerba mate (composition of leaves, dust, and stems)

Exploring traditional Brazilian “erva mate” (aka “chimarrão) [46:00]

Preparing cold yerba mate aka “tereré” (typical in Paraguay) [56:26]

Thanks for coming along on this yerba mate journey with me, guys.

Sip on!

Dave Mate and Co.
February 2017

🙂

Yerba mate with orange - by circleofdrink

Zesty Herbs for Blending with Yerba Mate

If yerba mate is too bitter for you, add a natural sweetener such as raw honey, agave, cane sugar, or brown sugar. These sugars are lower on the glycemic index than traditional white sugar and immediately cut through the natural bitterness of yerba mate. And why not add some naturally zesty herbs, too? Read on to learn more…

Some people can’t stand yerba mate’s natural bitterness

“I want to love yerba mate but it’s too bitter, what do I do?” Someone recently asked me that and it’s true, yerba mate is naturally bitter. Personally, I love the bitterness. It’s not just “bitter,” but also sweet, complex, and infused with all sorts of subtle tastes, aromas, textures, and profiles.

But we aren’t going to leave any mate drinker behind. That’s not how we roll. So for those of you still trying to battle the bitterness of mate, it’s time to put down your sword and shield because we have some simple solutions to cut right through the bitterness, with the peaceful and beautiful power of zesty and fruity herbs.

What are the best herbs for blending with yerba mate?

When it comes to brightening up the naturally bitter mate, especially Classical Argentines mates with their explosively strong green tea, herbaceous profiles, there isn’t anything better than mint. Both spearmint and peppermint will do the trick, but if you want more of a sharp mint flavor, go with the peppermint (think candy cane); spearmint is more like trident gum (sweeter and softer).

Below, we’ve created a video discussing several more herbs such as: sage, lemon balm, licorice, orange and lemon peels. The most important thing is to have fun with it. Blending mate with zesty herbs is the best of both worlds — the power of mate with the sweetness of fruity herbs. Win-win, baby!

Here are some fine mates to use as bases when coming up with your own blends: Mission, Kraus Pure Leaf, Cruz de Malta.

Enjoy and Salud!

Brazilian yerba mate gourd - by Circleofdrink

You Don't Have to Cure your Yerba Mate Gourd

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to cure your yerba mate gourd. The gourd will naturally cure on its own with daily use and attentively allowing the gourd to dry each night. Mold and mildew may occur—this is expected and normal. Within a few weeks, the inside of the mate gourd will turn a uniform greenish brown and the smoothened inside will dry more rapidly. Read on to learn more…

Curing your mate gourd is option, not required

The yerba mate gourd is the most traditional way of experiencing yerba mate. Oh man, I remember it like it was yesterday. My friend in Argentina pulled out a calabash gourd from his pantry and said “Here you go, Dave. Here’s your first gourd.”

What an honor. Over seven years later, I’m still sipping mate from a gourd, be it a ceramic, glass, wooden, or calabash. There’s nothing else like it. Now let’s talk about the whole “curing process” you’ve probably heard of by now.

Do I need to cure my yerba mate gourds?

Good question. If you asked me that seven years ago, I wouldn’t definitely said “heck yeah, man! Go cure that baby right away.” I even made several popular youtube videos about the entire traditional curing process.

The entire process of adding your yerba, adding warm water, letting it sit for about a day, then dumping out the mate and you’re set to go. Yup, that’s what I used to swear by…but not so much these days as you’ll learn.

Then why are so many people still curing yerba mate gourd?

When I first learned about yerba mate while living in Argentina, everyone I spoke to told me to cure my gourd. Many Argentines believe that curing helps to concretize the calabash (squash) gourd and prepares it for many years of use.

Other Argentines cure the gourd to establish a certain taste and aroma from the gourd, using their favorite mate during the curing process. The is akin to seasoning a cast iron pan.

And still, other Argentines cure the gourd for both reasons or simply because they’ve been told to through the grapevine of oral tradition.

Now I’m not going to categorically say that a gourd should never be cured the traditional way, as the aforementioned reasons still hold some value. Curing a gourd for flavor definitely makes sense. And in some instances, the curing process can save a gourd from future leaks by essentially swelling hairline cracks and microscopic holes within the calabash vessel. True indeed.

So here’s the deal on naturally curing your gourd vs curing the traditional method

After many years of curing hundreds of gourds, I’ve come to realize that, more times than not, curing serves as the ultimate strength test of a mate gourd. If a gourd has a structural weakness beyond a certain threshold, no matter what, it’s going to be exposed and usually cause leaking. No amount of curing is going to correct that; in fact, it’s going to speedily exploit the weakness (which is fine if that’s what you’re seeking).

I’ve found that simply using the calabash mate gourd right away, without any traditional curing process, creates the best situation to extend the life of your gourd. Ironically, not curing the gourd traditionally, makes for a stronger gourd.

Using the gourd right away and gently scraping out the inner walls of the gourd every night after a day of sipping mate is all you need to do. Over several weeks, the gourd will naturally cure on its own and form a dark and relatively smooth patina on the inner walls of the gourd.

Once the color becomes uniform and all the lingering debris from the plant fibers have naturally eroded, your gourd is fully cured. You’ll now notice that the gourd stays perfectly dry and all the funny business of mold, dampness, and oxidation now completely subsides.

So enjoy your gourd and sip on, Materos.

Brazilian Cuia and Argentine Calabash Gourd

Argentine Calabash vs Brazilian Cuia Yerba Mate Gourds

Argentine calabash gourds and Brazilian cuias are both made from the hollowed and dried squash plant. In Argentina, these gourds are shaped without a wide brim and are usually harder; the Brazilian cuia has a significantly larger form with a wide brim and the gourd is usually softer, with a sponge-like interior. Read on to learn more…

“Every yerba mate drinker needs a calabash gourd.” Yup, that’s what I’ve told almost every serious Matero (yerba mate enthusiast) that has asked me which gourd to go with over the years.

Granted, it’s much easier to use a glass, silicone, or wooden gourd, since they dry easily and you don’t have to worry about any curing, mold, whatever, but still! Something about the good ol’ calabash gourd…ahh… so simple and true. There’s nothing else like it. A different vibe, for sure.

What’s the Difference between a Calabash (Calabaza) and Cuia Yerba Mate Gourd?

The general term “calabaza” simply means “squash” in español. “Calabash” in English, as we’ll refer to it moving forward. The term “cuia” is also used to describe a calabash mate gourd in Brazil. Effectively, these terms are interchangeable.

However, there are differences in the shapes, sizes, and styles of mate gourds between Argentina and Brazil, the two countries where mate is insatiably enjoyed every day, along with Uruguay and Paraguay where over 90% of the populations consume mate daily. I kid you not. Mate life is serious out there.

Calabash gourds are as much a part of the Argentine identity as a French Press in France and moka pot in Italy. From time immemorial, the simple calabash gourd has been used across the Argentine, Paraguayan, Brazilian, Uruguayan regions.

The Guaraní Tribe of Paraná, evolving from chewing and spitting the mate, begun using these vessels along with hollowed twigs to consume “the drink beyond a drink” – a practice that continues to this day as millions of people across South America and beyond prepare mate the traditional method, with a gourd and bombilla.

The Argentine calabash gourd is usually thinner and lighter. They’re generally smaller than cuias and more times than not, no support is needed to rest the gourd on a flat surface (many times, you’ll see cuia resting inside a leather or metal chair). Fresh gourds usually have a flaky interior that slowly breaks down over continual use as the gourd naturally cures on its own.

Cuias are generally larger and thicker, with a sponge-like interior (usually no flaking). The gourds are closer to the wood spectrum than calabashes. They’re more prone to absorbing the flavors of the mate which makes for interesting subtle tastes profiles, constantly evolving over time.

Conversely, Argentine calabash gourds absorb less flavors, which helps to preserve the true taste of the mate with each cycle (completion of the gourd before hot water is added once more).

Pairing Gourds with Mate Varieties and Cuts

You can drink just about any type of yerba mate with any gourd and bombilla. However, for the mate connoisseur, that’s not going to cut it. No sir!

When drinking finely ground mate from Brazil, referred to as erva mate and chimarrão (mate grown specifically for the local Brazilian market – pronounced she-ma-HOWN), it’s best to use a Brazilian cuia along with a spoon bombilla that has a high amount of filters – pin-sized holes on each side of the spoon filter.

The high density of holes decreases the chances of clogging – but keep in mind, it’s totally normal for small amount of mate particles to pass through the bombilla (“bomba” in Brazil) during the first several cycles. Ximango is a prime example of Brazilian erva mate.

For your classical Argentine mates, predominately coming out of the Misiones region of Northern Argentina, an Argentine calabash gourd with any traditional spoon or double-action bombilla will do.

These mate varietals contain coarse cut leaves and moderate amounts of chopped twigs (called “palos” in español), making for additional surface area – that means that you don’t necessarily need a spoon bombilla with plenty of filters to drink Argentine mate; just about any bombilla will do. Cruz de Malta, Mission, and Piporé are fine examples.

Have fun and drink yerba mate

Okay folks, so here we are. Two standard calabash gourds. The Argentine Calabash and the Brazilian Cuia. Neither one is better than the other – it’s a matter of style, preference, and cultural identity. I enjoy drinking from both fashions on a regular basis, making for a nice departure from the more modern wooden gourds, which, in my mind, are in a different class unto themselves.

Whichever gourd you’re drinking from, have fun and enjoy the gift of mate. What a powerful, amazing, miraculous plant! What an honor to continue this tradition. Salud!

Explore our yerba mate gourds here>>

Rooibos

Yerba Mate Tea vs Rooibos Tea

One hails from South America and another from South Africa, but both of their health benefits and growing popularity point North. Exclusively grown in Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis), pronounced “yer-BAH mah-TAY”, is the National Drink across the region, where at least 90% of the population drinks this holly plant daily. Focused predominately in Southern African regions, rooibos (Aspalathus linearis), pronounced “ROY-bos”, can surely be considered the “green tea” of the area—more apt, the “red bush,” as the oxidized leaves of this legume plant — grown within the mountains of the fynbos shurbland — produces a checkered peachy red, brown, and maroon color.

How does rooibos compare to yerba mate tea?

As you may have already seen with our yerba vs coffee and yerba mate vs green tea discussions, yerba mate is now a recognized contender in the pantheon of healthy teas, tisanes, infusions, whatever you’d like to call the heating and brewing of herbs into a tea. I’ll use the term “tea” colloquially, without limiting it to the Camellia sinensis plant (traditional green/black tea).

Today, we’ll discuss yerba mate vs rooibos. Whether you’ve been forced to give up coffee by your caring wife or concerned doctor, or you’re a part of the growing interest in health remedies that stretch life and boost the immune system, we’ve got you covered. And in the spirit of full disclosure, we are providers of yerba mate and rooibos, namely with our delicious Princely Peach Rooibos blend. We provide this article as educational information only and never to replace the advice of your doctor. Now on to the flavors!

Taste Difference Between Rooibos and Yerba Mate

Since there’s no fun in drinking a tea that tastes like cough syrup, notwithstanding any health benefits, let’s first compare the tastes of each herb. Luckily, both teas are delicious, which can’t be said for all medicinal herbs.

Yerba mate (Argentine) is usually robust, earthy, muscular, and herbaceous, with delicate layers of sweet and rich tones — depending on the variety, some mate tastes sour (Paraguay) and other taste dank, malty, and creamy (Brazil). Generally, expect something along the lines of a strong and complex green tea.

Rooibos is lighter and more buoyant in nature. Significantly less robust and earthy, there’s a fruity levity and crispness backed by a heavier creamy and viscous earthy body, with whispers of floral and tangy elements. Think peaches, chicory, and maple syrup with some essence of black tea.

Yerba mate vs Rooibos Health Benefits

First it must be stated that both plants have a long way to go with pharmacological investigation. Attention has only recently been renewed with these herbs, despite their long tradition and rich folklore of healing properties, passed down from generation-to-generation.

Both herbs have an impressive list of antioxidants and polyphenols, beneficial molecules that fight disease, boost immunity, and retard the aging process. Now, it’s one thing for a plant to have antioxidants and it’s a completely different matter when discussing the “antioxidant capacity” of the herb—the actual measurable effect of the plant’s nutritive ability after it has successfully entered the blood and passed through the body’s natural breakdown, or digestive/metabolic, pathways.

Both plants have shown quantifiable health benefits, but discussing them all is outside the scope of this article. We’ll discuss the primary compounds — or the compounds mostly associated with the herb — to highlight the plant’s hallmark health applications.

Yerba Mate compared to Rooibos TeaChlorogenic Acid and Saponins found in Yerba Mate Tea

Yerba mate, easily eclipsing green tea in active compounds, contains one antioxidant of particular note, chlorogenic acid (CGA). The science is still being worked out, but many yerba mate researchers believe that CGA, coupled with another group of compounds known as saponins, are behind the powerhouse of mate’s ability to boost the immune system, combat free radicals and cancer cells, as well as improve the overall health of the body. CGA has been related to promoting a healthy heart and reducing dangerous fats and lipids that clog arteries and lead to high blood pressure.

Mate may also fall into a category of herbs known as adaptogens, that are among the Earth’s treasure chest of herbs that normalize stress (internal and external — bacteria, viruses, depression, anxiety, etc.) and restore the body to optimal functioning.

How does Rooibos Compare to Yerba Mate?Aspalathin and Nothofagin found in Rooibos Tea

Unique to rooibos, aspalathin may be a contributing factor in the plants ability to “significantly increase the antioxidant capacity in the human body, thereby boosting the body’s natural defense,” as stated in a study published in “Food Chemistry”. A conclusion that parallels Dr. Mejia’s, the foremost mate scientist, research that claims mate’s ability to increases the solubility of vitamins and nutrients in the body. Effectively, both plants can boost the overall pool of antioxidants in the body, reducing a process known as oxidative stress which naturally occurs when free radicals (harmful molecules) begin to surpass antioxidants (helper molecules).

Explore green tea vs yerba mate >>

Unlike yerba mate, rooibos is caffeine free (though the caffeine in yerba mate appears to work differently, without crashing or jitters). Volunteers in a South African study were shown to have elevated glutathione levels “by 100%” by drinking 6 cups of rooibos daily — results pointing to a growing pile of evidence that suggests rooibos may play a role in reducing heart disease and cancer.

Both yerba mate and rooibos have been associated with the following health benefits

  • Fighting cancer (chemopreventive).
  • Reducing risk of heart disease and lowering blood pressure (cardioprotective).
  • Enhancing skin.
  • Boosting immune system function.
  • Promoting healthy bones.
  • Normalize sugar levels for diabetics.

In conclusion

On a personal note, having consumed these herbs for several years, and despite their wide-ranging health benefits, I tend to enjoy yerba mate primarily for it’s ability to energize the mind and body while enhancing focus and concentration—something between the effects of coffee, chocolate, and green tea, but without having to worry about drinking too much, as there are seldom, if any, crashing effects.

As for rooibos, what appeals to me most is the natural delicate sweetness and fine subtleties of flavors—akin to a light summer wine of the tea world. It’s one of the most elegant and delicious herbs I’ve encountered, usually having a soothing and calming effect on my system.

Both yerba mate and rooibos are powerful herbs, full of health benefits and brimming with delicious flavors to explore. Though the science around yerba mate does look more promising as to the overall superiority of the herb, we mustn’t be so quick to categorically state that one tea is “better” than the other. Herbs, with their myriad entourage of compounds, never work in a vacuum. While yerba mate has CGQ and saponins, and rooibos aspalathin and nothofagin, both plants share unique methods of boosting the immune system and thwarting the aging process, with promising research on their ability to fight and prevent cancer, both herbs are worthy of a shelf in your tea cabinet.

Sources

houston texas

Where can I buy yerba mate in Houston?
From the fecund Eastern forests of Paraguay to the frenzied metropolis of Buenos Aires, Argentina, yerba mate tea has righteously wafted beyond the once unknown little holly plant solely consumed by the Guaraní and neighboring tribes within the Southern Cone (Southern regions of South America) to a staple tea for millions of people around the world.

Collectively, over 90% of the population across Brazil (Southern region), Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina gladly sips on the ancient mate leaves through a filtered metal straw (bombilla) and a natural cup (mate gourd) every single day. Literally, every-single-day.

Can you believe that?

That first day back in 2009 when I had my first sip, I wouldn’t have imagined that this hot bitter-sweet tea commanded such loyalty and trust, for both its status as a cultural symbol — proudly unifying people with every sip — and its remarkable resume of health benefits that continues to grow with each year of research.

Yes, yerba mate has transformed, expanded, and integrated itself into almost every major city across the globe. No longer a sterile “dietary supplement” as it was positioned in the early 20th century throughout the United States and Europe, but a true and living, everyday health and lifestyle drink that can be consumed just as much as green tea, appreciated for it’s ability to stimulate the mind and body with clarity and clean energy sustainable through the day (unlike coffee).

I wasn’t surprised when I recently came across an article discussing the influence of yerba mate in Houston, Texas. Some of you reading this article may be wondering right now, where can I buy yerba mate in Houston? No worries, I’ll soon provide a comprehensive list of cafes and stores that sell yerba mate in Houston.

When I started Circle of Drink back in 2012, it was my dream to revitalize yerba mate across my home country, the United States. Several years later, we’re well into our mission and not only here in the US, but across the globe.

The “Matero” (mah-ter-ROW) is a yerba mate drinker that has accepted yerba mate beyond a plant or a drink. I know, that may sound a bit whimsical and ethereal, but every mate drinker — the ones who stick with the tea and begin to explore it’s true potential — comes to realize what it means to be a Matero.

At first you may begin to feel more buoyant and lively, as mate has a unique way of restoring the body to optimal health. As time passes, you’ll go deeper into the journey, coming to see mate as more of a way of living than just a cup tea. I can’t quite explain it, but mate has a way of brining people together and promoting harmony amongst all those that share it. Ask any longtime mate drinker about this, and I’m sure you’ll be enlightened on only what I can attempt to futilely explain—truly, the mate experience is beyond words. It’s transformative.

Okay Houstonians and soon-to-be Materos across the globe, whether you find yourself in Texas searching for a place to purchase yerba mate tea or you call Houston your home, here’s a list of markets in Houston that sell yerba mate.

Where to buy yerba mate in Houston, Texas

I truly hope you embark upon your yerba mate journey and come to see the Way of the Matero. Find us on facebook and join the Circle.

Iced yerba mate in glass jar with herbs - by circleofdrink

How to make cold brew yerba mate tea

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.

How to make cold brew yerba mate tea

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.
  • Ice.
  • A jug or container.
  • Strainer.

How to make cold brew yerba mate tea

How to make a cold brew yerba mate

  1. Add some ice to your container.
  2. Add several heaping tablespoons over the ice.
  3. Add cold water to your container, leaving enough room for the ice to melt.
  4. Gently stir.

How to make cold brew yerba mate tea

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.

How to make yerba mate ice tea

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!

Here’s another article on brewing cold yerba mate aka tereré >>

Pouring a gourd of yerba mate - by circleofdrink

Understanding Yerba Mate Cycles

The yerba mate cycle is the strength of the yerba mate. The stronger the mate, the longer the cycle. Cycle also refers to each time you completely finish one gourd of yerba mate.

Understanding Yerba Mate Cycles - How long does the mate last in the gourdEvery varietal and brand of yerba mate has its own strength. Mates such as Mission, Galaxy, and Canarias have long cycles. What’s a yerba mate cycle, you ask? Simple. Yerba mate cycles are determined by how long the mate retains its strength (flavors/body) throughout the duration of a 1-liter thermos, assuming your drinking yerba mate the traditional method, with a gourd and bombilla.

medium-cycleMost mates have a medium cycle, allowing you to enjoy the flavors for at least half a liter. Some mates, such as the lighter varietals like Unión Suave, Eco Teas Traditional, Mate Factor, and Playadito are closer to the “white tea” spectrum of yerba mate, with a shorter cycle lasting through a third of the thermos.

short-cycleHowever, don’t let the cycle length of the mate determine the taste and quality. Those that prefer bolder mates will usually enjoy longer cycles. Others will appreciate medium body mates that usually have, you guessed it, medium cycles. And light body mates, with subtle taste profiles which can be quite exciting to explore, will usually coincide with shorter cycles.