Although yerba mate is very versatile, because of the variety of ways it can be enjoyed and also because of its many different health benefits; its classic version is hot and bitter. This is Argentina’s favorite way of drinking mate, and not in vain is this country the largest producer of yerba mate in the world and one of the main consumers: 8 out of 10 Argentinians drink yerba mate.
This infusion is always based on yerba mate leaves, which have gone through a drying and grinding process that gives them their characteristic bitter taste. In Argentina and other mate-consuming countries, the water used for mate is usually hot (but not boiling) and the original bitterness of yerba mate is preserved; however, there are many options to customize it later according to your preferences.
Enjoying a good mate in the morning or in the afternoon is no longer a privilege of Argentinians; today we can learn how to prepare and enjoy one of the best drinks in the world.
🗸 Hot water is ideal to bring out all the properties of yerba mate, since it increases the solubility of its components. It is advisable to keep the water in a thermos flask so it maintains its ideal temperature.
✗ The water should not boil, since the solubility increases so much that all the substances are extracted in a few rounds and the yerba can quickly lose its flavor.
🗸 Pour the water slowly and always through the same place.
✗ Be careful not to soak all the content (so you can enjoy the taste of yerba mate much longer)
🗸 Although the classic mate tea is bitter, some people prefer to sweeten the infusion with a little sugar on the surface. You can also add more flavor by placing some dried orange, lemon or grapefruit peels at the bottom; or even mint, melissa or cedron leaves.
✗ The bombilla should not be moved so as not to alter the taste of the mate.
🗸 It is recommended that the first sips are continuous.
✗ Don’t take too long to drink your mate or it will cool down. Also, you should always drink all the water in the gourd before adding more.
Although this is the most common way to drink yerba mate, there is always an opportunity to add a personal touch! Besides traditional yerba mate with or without stems; there is also fruit-flavored yerba and even yerba with extra mateine to start the day full of energy. And apart from the traditional presentation, yerba mate is also available in tea bags to be prepared just like tea. On hot summer days, you can also enjoy a delicious tereré (cold-brewed mate); so there is no excuse not to enjoy all the benefits of yerba mate!