Yerba Mate has been with us for thousands of years. If you want to learn about the different types of yerba mate that exist and how to choose a yerba mate, you've come to the right place.
In this article, we will explore the most popular variants of yerba mate and guide you through their flavors and particularities. Get ready to embark on a sensory journey and discover the perfect yerba mate for you.
Yerba Mate with Stems
Yerba mate with stems is a popular and highly appreciated variety in the world of yerba mate. In this version, the leaves of the yerba mate plant are mixed with thin and flexible stems from the plant's stem. This gives it a smooth and balanced flavor, perfect for those who prefer a milder experience.
According to the Argentine Food Code, it must contain at least 65% dried, broken, or pulverized leaves and no more than 35% stems.
The presence of stems in yerba mate not only gives it a smoother flavor but also helps regulate the water flow during mate preparation. This means you can enjoy a consistent and quality infusion with every sip.
Yerba Mate without Stems
Yerba mate without stems is a variant that stands out for its intense and pure flavor. In this version, only finely chopped leaves of the yerba mate plant are used, without including stem sticks.
The Argentine Food Code establishes that yerba mate without stems must contain no less than 90% dried, broken, or pulverized leaves and no more than 10% stems.
The absence of stems in yerba mate without stems results in a more concentrated and potent infusion. Its flavor is characterized by being strong and bitter, offering a robust and energizing experience.
Compound Yerba Mate
Compound yerba mate is a variant that combines traditional yerba mate with other natural ingredients. This special blend adds unique flavors and aromas to the infusion.
According to the Argentine Food Code, each package must contain up to 40% aromatic herbs, with the remaining 60% consisting of yerba mate.
Herbs such as mint, boldo, poleo, and even flowers and fruits are added to the traditional yerba mate in compound yerba mate. These complementary ingredients add a refreshing and distinctive touch to the flavor of yerba mate.
Flavored Yerba Mate
Flavored yerba mate is an exciting option for those looking for new and delicious flavors in their mate. In this variant, yerba mate is mixed with natural flavors such as citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, orange), coffee, spices, and even tropical fruits.
These flavored infusions provide a unique and refreshing experience. Each sip transports you to a world of exquisite and captivating flavors. You can enjoy a wide range of options, from fruity and refreshing flavors to bolder and more exotic combinations.
Yerba Mate for Tereré
Yerba mate for tereré is a special variety designed to be enjoyed as a cold and refreshing drink. This traditional beverage is popular in Paraguay and some regions of Argentina, making it perfect for hot days.
Yerba mate for tereré is carefully selected to withstand contact with cold water without becoming bitter. When preparing tereré, yerba mate is combined with cold water and often mixed with lemon juice and/or herbs such as mint.
It has a lower dust content to prevent the bombilla from getting clogged. If traditional yerba mate is used, the combination of cold water with the dust may clog the bombilla. That's why it is advisable to use this yerba, which has a coarser grind and less dust.
Barbacuá Yerba Mate
Barbacuá yerba mate is a unique and distinctive variety that stands out for its special drying process. In this method, the yerba mate leaves are exposed to smoke from a bonfire or barbecue, giving it a smoky and distinctive flavor.
The smoking drying process gives barbacuá yerba mate a unique character and an intense flavor experience. Its smoky flavor combines earthy nuances with a gentle toasted sensation, creating a completely different mate experience.
Organic Yerba Mate
Organic yerba mate is a variety that is grown and processed without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals. It is cultivated following sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural practices.
Organic yerba mate offers benefits for both your health and the planet. By being organically grown, it avoids exposure to harmful chemical substances, making it a more natural and healthier choice.
In addition to being environmentally friendly, organic yerba mate also has an exceptional taste. Its pure and authentic flavor allows you to appreciate the herbal and earthy notes of yerba mate more clearly.
How to Choose the Best Yerba Mate
When choosing the best yerba mate, it is important to consider some key characteristics that will ensure a satisfying experience. Here are some tips for finding high-quality yerba mate that suits your preferences, considering your senses:
1. Based on Sight
When selecting the best yerba mate, paying attention to the color is essential. Quality yerba mate will display a greenish-yellow tone, avoiding intense greens or brown hues. Achieving harmony between the different components—such as stems, thick leaves, fine leaves, and leaf dust—will determine the taste and quality of the blend.
2. Based on Touch and Sound
Not only sight, but the sense of touch can also reveal valuable information about yerba mate. When holding it between your hands, you should feel a dry consistency, and upon lightly pressing it, you should hear a gentle crunch as a small amount of leaf dust is released. These tactile characteristics indicate high-quality yerba mate.
3. According to the sense of smell
The aroma of high-quality yerba mate is characterized by being fresh, dry, and slightly toasted. It's important to pay attention and identify if the smell is too intense or reveals signs of moisture because although a certain level of bitterness is expected in yerba mate, excessively strong aromas are not a good sign.
4. According to the taste
The taste of mate is widely recognized: it should be refreshing with a pleasant touch of bitterness. Yerba mate, by nature, has a bitter flavor that is influenced by various factors such as its origin and the production process. These elements play a decisive role in creating its characteristic taste.
Should yerba mate have dust?
The dust in yerba mate plays a fundamental role as it consists of finely ground leaves. It adds body and consistency to the yerba mate and during the preparation of mate, it helps create foam and provides a characteristic aroma for a delicious final flavor.
However, it's important to be careful to prevent it from settling at the bottom of the container and clogging the bombilla. To avoid this, simply invert the yerba mate and gently shake it before starting to pour.
Now you know the different types of yerba that exist and how to choose the best one to prepare your mates. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us at TheArgentino. We are here to assist you.