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The Mate Blog

What does mate taste like?

Oct 21, 2020

For new followers, it can be unsettling.

For fans, it's a real treat. But you should know that each yerba has its own flavor, vegetal, smoky, more or less bitter, etc.

We are going to discover together the different taste textures of mate.

But then, what does mate taste like? How to sweeten this drink? And what are the different types of mate?


  1. The taste of mate
  2. The 3 types of mate
  3. How to sweeten mate?

The taste of mate

Yerba mate has a taste of its own, almost indefinable. Like many other products we know, such as red wine, tobacco, coffee and more, yerba falls into this category.

During your first tasting, the taste can be, for some, very particular or even slightly destabilizing. 

But over time, like all products with character, the palate gets used to the flavor, it becomes more refined.

Mate , to be appreciated, must be consumed multiple times. Some will appreciate from the first sips, others less. One thing is certain, the more you try, the more you will appreciate and develop a palate fine enough to discover the multitude of flavors that characterize this plant. 

The taste of mate is characterized by a rather bitter flavor. More bitter than coffee or some types of tea. There are many brands of yerba. The type of culture, the kind of yerba, the composition and the know-how will drastically influence the final flavor of the infusion.

A yerba harvested before maturity, grown in full sun will have a very bitter taste.

Our organic maté is grown in agroforestry . This mode of cultivation, in the shade of the trees, in the heart of biodiversity, associated with a harvest at maturity, every two years, will allow the leaves to concentrate the natural sugars and thus lead to a sweet maté, with a long finish. and greedy.

The 3 types of mate

different types of mate

The three different types of mate

This grass is also characterized by its various possibilities of transformation and work on the leaf. 

You can find 3 main types of mate :

Each type of yerba has a very different taste, we will try to describe them as precisely as possible, but it is preferable that you taste each alternative so that you discover your personal preferences.

Green mate is freshly harvested yerba. This yerba is very soft , very fresh and vegetal . It tastes similar to a green tea by its sweetness, but moves away from it by the very particular notes specific to mate.

Aged mate can be aged between 3 months and 24 months. As for a wine, a cheese or a piece of charcuterie, the longer the ripening time, the more the flavors will concentrate and move away from the taste of green mate. We refine the yerba for 24 months in order to find a nice bitterness, a balanced sweetness, balanced by a measured acidity with a finish in the mouth of nuts.

Roasted mate drastically departs from the two previous types. Like coffee or cocoa, the leaves are roasted according to a specific recipe. The roasting time will greatly influence the final flavor, you have to master the roasting to perfection in order to get the best out of the leaves.

Roasting brings to the infusion a taste that is literally between a coffee and a tea, you will find the strength, the grilled and caramelized notes specific to coffee , balanced by the sweetness in the mouth of a tea. Some also manage to find certain notes of smoked tea.

When you consume your hot drink in the traditional calabash way, the taste experience of yerba will be more interesting. Indeed, infused in a natural calabash made from a squash, the latter will bring an additional , very pleasant flavor . As you taste it, the mate will gradually soften.

The tasting experience is therefore multiple. We advise the uninitiated to spit out the first sips of the South American drink, especially if they consume a very bitter yerba.

How to sweeten mate?

If you find your mate too bitter or want to initiate your entourage, we have some tips to reduce the bitterness of your preparation.

  1. Spit out the first sips . Indeed, the first sips are the most intense, very concentrated. If you do not appreciate the bitterness and the strength of the taste, you can of course spit out the first 2-3 in order to find a softer infusion.
  2. Do not let your hot drink infuse too long . The longer your mate infuses, the more concentrated it will be! The infusion time is therefore very important.
  3. Add sugar or honey . As with coffee or tea, you can of course add sugar, honey or any other sweetener to the infusion to sweeten the preparation. If you consume it in a calabash, add your sugar or honey in the hollow space of your preparation.
  4. Flavor your mate . You can add dried mint leaves, lemon, orange, grapefruit or other zest! Give free rein to your desires!
  5. Do not be discouraged ! As the infusion progresses, the yerba will naturally mellow and reveal an array of taste textures.

You can also discover our range of flavored yerba mate (lemon, tropical, etc.) if you want to discover the plant without too much bitterness!

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