Yerba Mate Taragüi - How to make “tereré” (cold-brewed Yerba Mate)
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How to make “tereré” (cold-brewed Yerba Mate)

Apart from the traditional hoy Yerba Mate infusion, there is also a cold version called “tereré”. This cold brewed Mate is perfect to refresh and hydrate the body, whilst having extra flavour, especially during the summer.

Yerba Mate is a tasty, natural and healthy beverage with major nutritional value and health properties, recognised and appreciated all through history. Even though the most popular version is hot, bitter tea, this drink can in fact be truly versatile. There are several ways of having Mate, depending on the country, the weather, the context and the individual preference.

Actually, there is a cold version of Yerba Mate, tereré, especially fit for the summer, the park, the beach – or simply for those looking for a refreshing drink. Tereré is a blend of cold water, ice, fruits, super fresh and delightful!

What is tereré?

Tereré is a cold-brewed Yerba infusion, originally from Paraguay. However, its popularity has spread to other countries that consume Yerba Mate, like Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Brazil.

One theory states that the term tereré derives from the Guaraní people, who would drink Yerba Mate until they heard the sound of the three last sips “te-re-re”. Other scholars ascribe the name to a derivation of the phrase “té jere” that means “round of tea” in Guaraní. Jesuit priests made use of this concept to describe the ceremony of sharing Mate.

Step by step: how to make cold Mate or tereré

Fill half your cup with Yerba Mate. We suggest using fruit flavoured Yerba Mate, such as the orange or citrus fruit ones.

  1. Cover the cup with your hand, turn it upside down and shake it softly for the components to be well mixed. 
  2. Add lemon, grapefruit or orange wedges to a jar or flask of cold water.
  3. Pour the flavoured water into the Yerba Mate container. Be generous the first time, so that the whole Yerba gets soaked. Let it rest for some minutes, then put the bombilla in, pressing it gently against the inner wall.
  4. Add some ice cubes, and you’re all set! You can now delight in your tereré. Continue adding cold water or ice and sip straight through the bombilla.

Some tips for making the perfect tereré

  • Tereré needs a bit more water in comparison with traditional Mate. The quantity of liquid should exceed the level of Yerba Mate by very little.
  • It is key not to move or rotate the bombilla, so that the mixture is not altered.
  • Tereré can be prepared in a glass, ceramic, stainless steel container to keep it cold for more time.
  • Just like with hot Mate, the Yerba loses its initial flavour over time; therefore, it should be replaced with new Yerba when you cannot taste the Mate’s typical flavour.
  • A popular way to make tereré is to squeeze lemon in cold water, sweeten it and add a touch of mint. Some like using fresh orange or grapefruit juice.
  • For a healthful and medicinal morning tereré – which could even work as a coffee substitute – you may add herbs like boldo leaves, chamomile, peppermint. Of course, you can add more flavours to your cool Yerba Mate infusion and use it to refill nutrients, minerals and vitamins lost through perspiration on hot summer days.
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