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Playadito Yerba Mate or Green Tea?

Mar 16, 2012

Playadito Yerba Mate - by Circle of Drink
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.

Description:

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

Recommendation

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.

 

Purchase Playaditio yerba mate here >>

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9 comments


  1. JustExtreme

    I have to say I agree with you pretty much.

    I find this Yerba so boring that I still have half a 500g pack leftover from a few months ago, I ordered more because it was simply too bland for my “mate mouth”

    Props to UruShop.co.uk for providing so much variety so I could try it, though – one of the few online retailers in general that I use and have never felt robbed

    • Dave Mate

      Yeah, Playidito is really boring. Try some Canarias Especial if you get a chance. Kraus Gaucho is pretty amazing, too.

      Dave Mate

  2. Andres

    Pardon my dissent, but I completely disagree…. As an Argentine I have been drinking mate since I was ten or so… I don’t discredit other marks of mate, but Playadito is not bunk. If you spend any significant time in north central Argentina, such as Corrientes (where my family comes from) you will learn that mate has a different refinement. Playadito requires extremely controlled water temperature to activate correctly. Too cold, and it is weak as you say. Too hot and it burns, not only shortening the cycle but also releasing tannins and giving it too much chalkyness. Correntinos are known to check the water temperature with their fingers before putting it on the yerba. I recommend you head to Goya and see how the aesthetic of Marcas such as Playadito are not “wrong” but different… this is a “suave” style yerba, but it does not lack depth. And heck, you may learn how to prepare your mate in a new way that you may like.

    Just my two cents.

    • Dave Mate

      Hey Andres,

      I really liked your two cents. It sounded more like a quarter!

      No, really, what you say is valid: different mates are expressed differently with
      various temperatures of water. No doubt.

      Then comes “preference.”
      I’m sure that people who like their mate soft and light, Playadito is preferable. However, if a Matero is seeking robustness and strength, then Playadito isn’t even an option.

      You’ve inspired me to give it another chance—so we’ll see what happens.

      Saludos desde NY 🙂
      Gracias!

    • Deborah Boisvert

      Thank you Andres for your explanation.
      More helpful than that of those tea ‘snobs’.
      I am going to try this brand and remember your advice a out the water temperature.

  3. Nathan Clark

    Playadito Is amazing. A favorite that is good alone or with sugar. A bit of sugar gives it a tart cherry taste. The flavor may not be as “Robust” as say Rosamonte (another favorite) But the flavor is complex and pleasant. Slow down and really taste this mate, it has a lot to offer. The evolution of flavor is excellent, the first take is as amazing and it finishes well at end of the cycle. I run about .75 liters through this mate before its done, as mentioned before, play with your water temperature. and even if you typically like your mate amargo, try it witch 1/8 teaspoon of sugar if your still not a fan.

    My Two favorite Argentinian mates are Playadito and Rosamonte seleccion especial. Two very different mates with a lot to offer. There will always be room for Playadito in my cupboard. If a new person want’s to try mate I give them the Playadito, Just because it’s easy to like does not mean it’s not a good or complex mate. There is no inherent value in a mate just because it’s more of an acquired taste, it has to have something special to offer and Playadito has that in spades.

  4. Tucan

    I am a bit surprised by this very negative review. I have been drinking yerba mate for a while and I do not consider myself neither as a reluctant drinker nor a beginner. I appreciate siruping some Canarias or La Rubia mates in certain circumstances and those Uruguayan or Paraguayan yerbas are really interesting. But among the yerbas from Argentine my feeling is that Playadito has got the best nose… Dust, and delicate hazelnut… That’s true it is mild but very subtle and delicate on the palate (my feeling is that non subtle palates will prefer yerbas such as Rosamonte with very smoky flavors that tend to mask any subtility… À kinf of overroasted playadito) and lasts much more than any other yerbas from Argentine. With Cruz de Malta and some other poorly known brands it is probably my favorite yerba.

    • David Askaripour

      Hey, thanks so much for your comment. I wrote this review during my early stages with mate. Over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate the subtle, delicate nature of Playadito and mates along those lines.

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