Playadito — 2.55 of 5 palos — reviewed 3/16/2012
Type: Traditional, Con Palos
Region: Colonia Liebig, Corrientes, Argentina.
Producer: Cooperativa Agrícola de la Colonia Liebig Ltda.
This cooperatively grown yerba of Corrientes, Argentina, bordering Misiones,has some history to it. Upon immigrating to Argentina around the end of the 19th century, German farmers, with the combined efforts of Ukrainian and Polish immigrants from the adjacent province of Misiones, joined together to form a cooperative of, now, over 140 workers, focusing on the production of honey, livestock, and, of course, mate. For 80 years now, this band of farmers have been going at it; providing principal jobs for the locals of around 4,000 population. Though as nice as this history sounds, and the good work coming out of this region, I can’t speak with the same esteem as to the taste and depth of their yerba. This extremely mellow yerba is not only weak, but bodiless.
Cut 2.75 palos
Clumsy, chunky, broad cut. Plenty of surface area with these wide leaves. I can go boggiebording with one of them! Some palo monsters. Low polvo content. Weak PPL-R. Low splinter stem content. Very fluffy and airy.
Body/Texture 2.50 palos
Very light body. Lacks body. Lacks richness. Granted, if water is allowed to over-steep, the character is greatly improved, but cycle is shortened. Some woody notes. The experience is very light — too light. This yerba is floating.
Nose 2.50 palos
Very nondescript. Light. Some sweet, but extremely subtle, hints.
Finish 2.75 palos
Very light. To its credit, little to no bitter kickbacks. Somewhat refreshing, but lacks structure and versatility. Flat. Green tea.
Cycle 2.25 palos
Short cycle. With the lack of polvo and inclusion of high palo count, this mate doesn’t stick around long.
Overall: 2.55 palos
Closer to green tea than yerba, this mate is best suited for the most reluctant yerba drinkers that prefer an almost bitter-free experience. Smoother and mellower than even the likes of Unión Suave, this yerba is your training wheels to the more character rich yerbas that, in my opinion, make mate what it is: a necessarily bitter, yet subtly sweet and aromatic drink with complexities that go beyond the steeping and continue within yourself. Playadito doesn’t quite open the door to my taste buds, still less entering my spirit, and keeps me in constant wanting for that “kick” that I’ve become so adjusted to. Perhaps the American palate, yet untrained to the bitterness of typical Argentinian and Uruguayan taste, would appreciate this yerba more than anyone else. Though, dare I say that even this yerba may fall short of such a task. I’m actually looking forward to not drinking this yerba anytime soon.