Knowing precisely what mate tastes like is an arduous and complicated task. The reason is very simple: the taste of yerba mate tea is something that develops on our palate as we drink it frequently. It is your experience together with certain properties of its herbaceous naturalness that define its taste. They are a set of qualities and senses that you must take into account when creating a profile for your favorite drink or the one that is about to be one.
Here is a brief review of these qualities, their origin and some qualifications that yerba mate has according to the type of user, knowing them will help you decide the right drink for you. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, go ahead and discover with this article what does yerba mate tastes like, and so we are more who share this drink.[toc]
What does traditional yerba mate taste like?
It has a peculiar but not unique flavor, since a lot of notes are attributed to it according to the consumer’s experience. That is why you will hear and read that the flavor of yerba mate is earthy, smoky, woody, fruity and a number of other notes that are not present at the same time in the infusion, but are a product of the taste we feel when tasting it. To recognize the taste of mate, it is necessary to consider the impressions when drinking it.
To begin with, all the evaluations agree that it has a bitter taste, but such a taste is experienced in another way when you are an expert consumer. For the beginner, this trait is decisive to advance or decide not to take it anymore. Usually he progresses, and as he gains experience, he realizes that its bitterness is not unpleasant.
Over time, the consumer gains experience and begins to distinguish strong and subtle notes in the variety of yerba mate on the market, and the infusion acquires nuances such as those mentioned. So, to answer the question of what does yerba mate drink taste, we can say it gives off its herbaceous naturalness along with tones such as earthy and smoky that gratify the palate of its consumer.
We can say yerba mate will be an acquired taste if you are used to drinking other beverages like coffee or green tea.
Reasons for the taste of yerba mate
The planting and processing of yerba mate play an important role both in the proper concentration of its nutrients and in its flavor. Experts say that when mate tea is grown on a sunny hillside, it will likely develop high levels of caffeine as well as a lighter sweet taste. On the other hand, yerba mate that was sown in the shade will have less caffeine and an earthy and herbaceous flavor.
During its processing, the drying of the yerba mate can also contribute to the infusion having a characteristic flavor. Some experts point out that those who dry the leaves over an open fire or with a heat source take advantage of this step to create a special flavor profile. There are mates that have a herbaceous taste, like that of a raw yerba mate, because their leaves have been dried in a closed room.
After it is dried, there are manufacturers who put the leaves through a process of fermentation and oxidation to create more complex flavors that are not in the unfermented yerba mate. During this process, flavored mate can be created with the taste of fruits, nuts, prunes and berries, for example. It is the right process for the flavors to develop and the yerba mate to change color, from light green to brown.
Finally, the cut of yerba mate does not affect its flavor so much but its texture. The more pulverized the mate, the more body it will have and the more intense its flavor. If it is mate with stems, the higher the concentration of these, the lighter it will be.
Flavored yerba mate
Flavored or herbal mates are a combination of yerba mate with herbs, natural products or essences with flavors that range from citrus to exotic. In the market you can get mixtures of yerba mate with herbs like pennyroyal, chamomile and peppermint. These combinations add a fresh and pleasant nuance, in addition to increasing its health qualities to improve the conditions of our body.
Also, you find fruity citrus flavors such as yerba with orange and lemon. They are a delicious alternative thanks to the nuances of their flavor and the new experience they provide. Along with these you can get other varieties such as prunes and red fruits. They actually provide a delicious, fun and pleasant taste, as well as being very healthy due to their beneficial properties.
Ways of preparation
Traditionally in Argentina mate tea is prepared hot. However, in other countries like in Paraguay you will find people drinking cold mate, or even with milk or a with fruit juice. In South America the most usual way is hot, with hot water under 80 degrees to avoid a bitter taste. It is sip out of a gourd and with a metal straw (bombilla). To prepare it, fill one third of the mate cup with mate, finish filling it with hot water (under 80 degrees) and start drinking.
Now that you know what mate tastes like, you just have to live your own experience. Wether you want to start drinking it to replace your cup of coffee or because of the known health benefits of yerba mate, now you know what you can expect. With the information provided, we believe that you can now join the habit of drinking mate and creating your own profile. If what perhaps still has you a little doubtful is where to get a good mate, we have the best yerba mate on the market to give you different impressions.