Cachamate — 2.95 of 5 palos — reviewed 3/00/2012
Type: Hierbas Serranas (Mountain Herbs). Con Palos (stems).
Region: Misiones, Argentine and Worldwide locations. Produced by Cachamaí.
This is a yerba company that has definitely taken a different tact. Mate doesn’t seem to be their official product, but one of many. Positioned as a “natural herb” producer, Cachamaí offers a slew of concoctions: mint tea, chamomile, green tea, black tea, linden tea, including over 10 mixtures of yerba mate, each with it’s own variety of herbs, ranging from peppermint and lemon verbena to, get this, sea weed! Their website states that the herbs are grown in the mountains of Argentina, The Andes, and others in Chili and India. The actual mate appears to be grown in Misiones, Argentina.
This variety, Hierbas Serranas, includes: Poleo (Pennyroyal), Peperina (Peppermint), menta (mint). Interestingly, a concentrated dose of Pennyroyal is extremely toxic and deadly, sometimes used for self-induced abortions. Since October 1994, all manufactured forms of the plant, in the United States, must carry a warning label for pregnant women. Obviously, when the leaves are used for infusion purpose, one can experience the purported positive effects of the herb.
When asked where their mate was grown, I was responded with the following:
“David, todos nuestros productos provienen proveedores especialmente seleccionados a lo largo de todo el pais y del mundo. Trabajamos junto a ellos para la correcta evolucion de los cultivos y su optima calidad segun nuestros requerimientos. Esperamos que disfrutes nuestros productos!”
David, all of our products are supplied by providers that are especially selected throughout the country [Argentina] and the entire world. We work together with the cultivators to ensure the optimal quality that we require. We hope that you enjoy our products.
This was very vague and leaves me clueless as to the origins of their yerba.
Cut 2.75 palos
I think I found a new mate souvenir: a palo the size a third of pencil in this bag of yerba. Talk about monster palos! This was like a wooden bombilla! Puts Jesper to shame. There’s a lot of lumber in this mixology of herbs. Multicolored stems and leaves, from light green to tan, to dark brown. In this case, the ridiculous amount and size of lumber (palos) doesn’t seem to wash out the taste of the herbs too badly—the other herbs keep the yerba’s strength. Good moderate polvo. Some splinter palos. Overall, there’s too many palos and not enough leaves—low PPL-R.
Body/Texture 2.75 palos
Minty and refreshing. Has a different kick than Kraus Silvestre, which also includes mint. Mild body. Very herby tasting. Some astringent notes. Subtle cherry notes. Syrupy. Not very harmonious taste profile — the mint and yerba mixture is in somewhat conflict and neither one has the necessary dominance to balance out the taste.
Nose 3.25 palos
Bright and clean. Minty. Smells like a fresh spring morning. Vernal characteristics.
Finish 3.00 palos
Simple and elegant finish with clean minty palate. Lacks the strength and boldness of one of the Gaucho yerbas such as Canarias and Kraus Gaucho, but works for what it is—a mate with minty herbs. Weird bitter aftertaste.
Cycle 3.00 palos
Decent cycle for such a mild yerba. I expect without the aid of the other herbs, this yerba would have a much shorter cycle — saved by the bell, or mint, that is.
Overall: 2.95 palos
Overall, a very unexciting mate. Nothing too special here. No character. If you like minty mate, then Kraus Silvestre is a better starting point. This yerba is confused on what it is — there’s no identity here. They tried too hard with this mix. Worth a try if you’re a minty mate sort of guy. This isn’t my cup of “tea.”