HomeHerbal TeaHow to Make Yerba Mate Tea At Home in 3 Ways
iced yerba mate tea

How to Make Yerba Mate Tea At Home in 3 Ways

Trying Yerba mate tea for the first time is a whole new tea adventure.

Unlike any tea I’ve had before, it involves following specific steps and even getting new tea equipment.

The experience is quite different, and I must admit, I’ve never quite enjoyed tea in this unique way.

To enjoy Yerba mate, you use a special cup known as a gourd and sip through a straw called a bombilla.

The idea intrigued me, and what’s even more appealing is that Yerba mate boasts more caffeine than black tea and is loaded with antioxidants, even more than green tea!

It was a no-brainer for me – I decided to get my own bombilla and gourd to dive into this experience and truly understand what the hype was all about.

But if you’re not ready to commit to the gourd and bombilla just yet, don’t worry.

I’ve got you covered with some alternative methods to make and try Yerba mate tea for the first time.

This way, you can get a taste of it and decide if you’re ready to take the plunge into the full experience.

What Is Yerba Mate?

Yerba mate tea is this awesome South American drink that’s like a big deal there. It’s the cold herbal tea Paraguayans drink.

Imagine something that’s part coffee, part tea, and just super social.

People gather around with a gourd, a bombilla (that’s the fancy straw thing), and this herb called yerba mate.

I remember the first time I had it – it was this whole ritual. My friend showed me how to prepare it.

We filled the gourd about halfway with yerba mate leaves, inserted the bombilla, and then added hot water.

Not boiling, just hot. It’s like a bonding thing, you know? Passing the gourd around, sipping and chatting.

What’s cool is that you can make it in different ways.

Some folks make it super strong, while others prefer it a bit milder. And then there’s iced mate too.

Just brew it up, let it cool, and pour over ice. Perfect for a sunny day.

You can tell I’m a fan, right?

It’s got this earthy, kinda grassy taste that’s really unique.

And the energy boost – it’s real, but not jittery like coffee.

More like a focused clarity.

winter melon green tea have caffeine
yerba mate

How Does Mate Taste Like

Mate tastes like a mix of earthy and sweet flavors, with just a hint of bitterness, but it also feels fresh.

You might notice that it’s quite different from other drinks you’ve tried.

It’s a good energy booster too.

In fact, it has about 80 milligrams of caffeine in each cup, which is just a little less than what you’d find in coffee.

So, if you’re looking for a pick-me-up, mate could be a great choice!

Yerba Mate Kcal

When you’re sipping on yerba mate, you might wonder about its calorie content.

Yerba mate contains calories, like any other food or drink you consume.

The calories in yerba mate come primarily from the natural compounds present in the leaves.

However, don’t worry too much, as the calorie count in a typical serving of yerba mate is generally quite low.

On average, a cup of yerba mate usually contains around 5 to 15 calories. So, it makes 0.015 kcal in yerba mate.

This amount can vary slightly based on factors like the concentration of the brew and any additional ingredients you might add, such as sweeteners or milk.

Snag Your FREE Mini Brewing Guide Now!

Intuit Mailchimp

What You Need to Make Yerba Mate

Sure, let’s talk about what you need to make a good yerba mate tea. I’ll break it down into different categories to make it easier to understand.

1. Mate Cups

When it comes to mate cups, you’ve got options.

  • Mate Gourd: This is the classic choice. It’s made from a hollowed-out gourd and often comes with cool designs. It gives your mate a unique flavor as it seasons over time. Just remember to cure it before using it for the first time.
  • Wooden Mate: Wooden mates are a rustic choice. They have a natural feel and can be quite charming. They also add a subtle flavor to your mate.
  • Guampa: These are made from cow horns, and they look pretty cool. They’re a bit less common but can be a conversation starter.
  • Metal, Glass, Ceramic, and Silicone: If you prefer something more durable and easy to clean, these materials are for you. Metal and glass mates are stylish, while ceramic ones often come in various designs. Silicone is a modern, lightweight choice.

2. Bombillas (Straws)

The bombilla is your mate’s best friend.

It’s a straw with a filter at the end that allows you to sip the tea without getting a mouthful of leaves.

You can find bombillas in various materials like stainless steel, brass, or even bamboo. Pick one that feels comfortable to you.

3. Anything Else

You might want a thermos with hot water nearby for refills because sharing mate is a social thing.

And it’s common to have a small dish to catch any loose leaves that escape from the bombilla.

yerba mate tea in a ingredients

Yerba Mate Tea Ingredients

Once you have all the tools, here’s what you need to make mate tea in them.

1. Yerba

This is where things get interesting.

Yerba mate is the heart of the drink, and you’ve got a lot of options here.

Yerba without Stems: This gives you a smoother and milder taste. It’s great if you’re new to mate or prefer a more subtle flavor.

Yerba with Stems: This type has a stronger, bolder taste. It’s the traditional choice in South America and is often considered more authentic.

Flavored Yerba: If you want to jazz things up, try flavored yerba. You can find it with hints of fruits, herbs, or even chocolate. It’s a fun twist on the classic.

Yerba Blends: Some brands mix different types of yerba to create unique blends. These can be quite tasty.

Organic Yerba: If you’re into organic stuff, look for yerba that’s certified as organic. It’s grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

Yerba in Tea Bags: If you’re in a hurry or don’t want to deal with loose leaves, you can find yerba mate in tea bags. It’s convenient but might not be as flavorful as loose yerba.

2. Hot Water

Boiling water is essential to brew yerba mate. It’s recommended to use water at around 150-180°F (65-80°C), as using boiling water can make the tea bitter.

You can use a kettle, a pot, or a water heater to heat the water.

Optional Additions

4. Sweeteners

Some people like to add sweeteners like sugar, honey, or even stevia to their yerba mate for a touch of sweetness.

This is entirely up to your taste preferences.

5. Flavorings

You can experiment with adding other herbs or flavors to your yerba mate for a unique twist.

Mint leaves, lemon zest, or even a cinnamon stick can add interesting flavors.

6. Milk or Milk Alternatives

In some regions, it’s common to add milk or milk substitutes like almond milk to yerba mate.

This creates a creamier texture and adds a different layer of flavor.

7. Ice (for Cold Yerba Mate)

If you’re making cold yerba mate, you’ll need ice to cool down the brewed tea.

yerba mate tea caffeine
yerba mate

How to Make Yerba Mate in a Gourd

If you’re looking for an authentic yerba mate experience, using a gourd (also known as amate“) is a great way to go.

Here’s how I like to do it:

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies

First things first, let’s gather what you need.

You’ll need yerba mate leaves, a mate gourd (a traditional cup made from a hollowed-out gourd), a bombilla (a metal straw with a filter at the bottom), and hot water.

If you don’t have a mate gourd, no worries, a French press or any other similar vessel works too.

Step 2: Preparing the Mate Gourd

If you’re using a mate gourd, you’ll want to cure it before your first use.

This isn’t mandatory, but it can enhance the flavor.

To do this, fill the gourd with yerba mate, cover the opening with your hand, and shake it gently.

This helps to create a layer that prevents the bombilla from clogging the mate.

Step 3: Filling the Mate Gourd

Take a deep breath – it’s time to fill your mate gourd with yerba mate.

Fill it about two-thirds full, tilting it at a 45-degree angle.

Tap it gently to let the finer particles settle at the bottom.

No need to be too precise – this is about getting comfortable with the process.

Step 4: Inserting the Bombilla

Now, gently insert the bombilla into the yerba mate, making sure it’s touching the bottom.

Be patient, as this takes a bit of practice.

If you’re new to this, the bombilla might get blocked by the yerba mate.

Don’t panic – just give it a gentle shake to clear the blockage.

Step 5: Adding Hot Water

Heat the water to around 150-180°F (65-80°C).

Don’t use boiling water; it can make the yerba mate bitter.

Pour a small amount of water into the mate gourd, letting it soak into the leaves.

This is a crucial step to wake up the leaves and release their flavor.

Then, fill the gourd with hot water, but don’t completely submerge the yerba mate.

Step 6: Sip and Share

With the bombilla in place, take your first sip. There’s no need to rush – savor the flavor.

Yerba mate is about enjoying the moment, maybe with a friend or a good book.

Refill the gourd with water as needed – the leaves will continue to give flavor for several refills.

Brewing Guide for Yerba Mate – Temperature + Steeping Time

 Hot Yerba Mate TeaCold Brew Yerba Mate Iced Tea
Yerba Mate Tea2 teaspoons yerba mate tea2 teaspoons yerba mate tea
Water1 cup (8 oz.)1 cup (8 oz.)
Water Temperature160-180°F or 70-80°CCold water
Steep Time5 minutes15 seconds

Scroll to the bottom to have complete recipe with ingredients and instructions.

Preparing Yerba Mate in Different Ways

When it comes to enjoying yerba mate, there are various ways to prepare it that offer unique flavors and experiences.

These are really helpful when you are not in the mood to invest in the tools but want to give mate tea a shot.

Here, I’ll share two popular methods that I’ve personally tried and found quite enjoyable.

How to Make Yerba Mate Loose Tea (Without Gourd)

Making yerba mate loose tea is a great way to enjoy this energizing drink without the need for a traditional gourd.

It’s a bit like brewing regular loose leaf tea. Here’s how I like to do it:


  • Yerba mate loose tea leaves (around 2 tablespoons)
  • Hot water (not boiling, around 160-180°F or 70-80°C)
  • Optional: sweetener (like honey or sugar), lemon slices


  1. Take about 2 tablespoons of yerba mate loose tea leaves. You can adjust the quantity based on how strong you want the flavor to be.
  2. Place the loose tea leaves in a tea infuser or a fine mesh strainer. This will prevent the leaves from floating around in your cup.
  3. Heat water to around 160-180°F (70-80°C). It’s important not to use boiling water, as it can make the yerba mate taste bitter.
  4. Pour the hot water over the yerba mate leaves in the infuser or strainer. Fill your cup about halfway to start, as yerba mate leaves expand when steeped.
  5. Let the yerba mate steep for about 3-5 minutes. You can adjust the steeping time based on your preference for strength.
  6. After steeping, remove the infuser or strainer from the cup. If you like, you can add a touch of sweetness with honey or sugar, and a slice of lemon for extra flavor.
  7. Take a sip and savor the earthy and slightly bitter taste of yerba mate. Feel the energy and focus that it brings.

I find this method to be convenient, especially when I’m on the go or don’t have a gourd and bombilla handy.

It’s a simple way to enjoy the benefits of yerba mate without the traditional equipment.

How to Make Yerba Mate in French Press

Using a French press to make yerba mate is a clever way to enjoy this traditional South American drink with a modern twist.

Here’s how you can do it:


  • Yerba mate loose tea leaves (around 3-4 tablespoons)
  • Hot water (not boiling, around 160-180°F or 70-80°C)
  • Optional: sweetener, herbs, spices


  1. Begin by adding about 3-4 tablespoons of yerba mate loose tea leaves to the French press.
  2. Heat water to around 160-180°F (70-80°C). Boiling water can make the yerba mate taste bitter, so it’s best to avoid it.
  3. Pour a small amount of hot water into the French press, enough to wet the yerba mate leaves. Let it sit for a moment to allow the leaves to bloom.
  4. After the leaves have bloomed, slowly pour the remaining hot water into the French press.
  5. Put the lid on the French press without pressing down the plunger. Allow the yerba mate to steep for about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Press down the plunger slowly to separate the brewed yerba mate from the leaves.
  7. Pour the brewed yerba mate into your cup. You can enjoy it as is or add some sweetness or spices to enhance the flavor.
  8. Take a sip and relish the unique taste of yerba mate, coupled with the convenience of the French press method.

I’ve found the French press method to be a creative way to prepare yerba mate, allowing me to extract its flavors and benefits in a way that’s reminiscent of making coffee or loose leaf tea.

It’s a delightful fusion of cultures and tastes.

arizona green tea caffeine
iced yerba mate

Yerba Mate Hot or Cold?

Although yerba mate is traditionally enjoyed as a hot drink, there’s a cold version of yerba mate (terere) that you can savor.

When it’s cold outside or you’re seeking a cozy moment, hot Yerba Mate is the way to go.

The steam rising from the cup and the earthy aroma create a comforting experience that’s perfect for quiet moments of reflection.

It’s my go-to during chilly mornings or when I want to unwind.

On the other hand, when the weather’s scorching or you need a refreshing boost, cold Yerba Mate steps up.

It’s invigorating and revitalizing, making it ideal for hot afternoons or when you’re hanging out with friends.

I often prepare a pitcher of cold Yerba Mate with ice for a quick and energizing sip.

Honestly, there’s no strict rule here. It’s all about what suits your mood and the circumstances.

Personally, I switch between the two based on how I’m feeling.

Hot Yerba Mate for contemplative moments, cold for a quick rejuvenation – it’s a win-win situation.

How to Make Yerba Mate Iced Tea

If you’re looking for a refreshing twist on your mate experience, why not give Yerba Mate Iced Tea a shot?

Trust me, it’s a game-changer on hot days.

Let me spill the (iced) tea on how I make this delightful concoction.


  • Yerba Mate tea leaves (about 1/4 cup)
  • Cold water (4 cups)
  • Sweetener (optional, to taste)
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon slices or mint leaves for garnish

Yerba Mate Cold Brew

  1. First off, I grab my trusty Yerba Mate leaves. About a quarter cup should do the trick.
  2. I toss them into a large pitcher. You know, the one that’s been begging to be the star of summer sips.
  3. Slowly, I pour in cold water – roughly four cups of it. I’m all about that refreshing kick!
  4. Now comes the waiting game. I let the Yerba Mate steep in the cold water. Patience is key here. I give it about 6 to 8 hours in the fridge. Yep, I let it hang out overnight.
  5. Once it’s reached peak deliciousness, I strain out the leaves. Smooth move? You bet.
  6. Here comes the customization part. Sweetener time! A dash of honey or a sprinkle of sugar – it’s up to you. Go with your gut feeling.
  7. Time to chill! Ice cubes in the glass, and I pour that beautiful Yerba Mate brew over them.
  8. A slice of lemon here or a sprig of mint there – a touch of garnish never hurt nobody.
  9. I take a sip. The satisfaction of a well-brewed, ice-cold Yerba Mate is beyond words.

3 Factors That Affect the Flavor of Yerba Mate Tea

When it comes to enjoying yerba mate tea, the flavor is a big deal.

But you know what?

The flavor isn’t just a random thing.

It’s influenced by several factors, some of which I’ve come to learn through my own experience.

1. Quality of Yerba Mate

Alright, so the first thing to note is the quality of the yerba mate itself.

Think of it as the foundation of your flavor journey.

I’ve found that using fresh, high-quality yerba mate makes a world of difference.

The leaves should be vibrant and aromatic, with a mix of stems for a balanced taste.

You’ll notice the contrast between top-notch and lower-quality yerba mate right away.

2. Roasting and Aging

Now, let’s talk about roasting and aging.

Just like wine, yerba mate gets better with time.

Roasting influences the color and flavor profile.

Lighter roasts might have a grassier taste, while darker ones can be richer and almost chocolaty.

And aging?

That’s where the magic happens.

As it ages, yerba mate can develop deeper flavors that are simply delightful.

3. The Gourd and Bombilla

Using a traditional gourd (or “mate”) and a bombilla (metal straw) can also add to the flavor experience.

The gourd imparts a unique earthy undertone that’s hard to replicate, while the bombilla filters out the leaf particles, allowing you to savor the infusion.

I personally didn’t like the flavor of mate in a gourd, perhaps, it was my first time trying it.

But give it a go may be you’ll like it..

ingredients to make butterfly pea flower tea taste good

How to Make Yerba Mate Tea Taste Good

So, you’ve got yourself some yerba mate, but maybe you’re not quite loving the taste just yet.

Don’t worry, I’ve been there too.

Let me share some tips that have totally transformed my yerba mate experience.

Choosing the Right Yerba Mate Blend

First things first, the type of yerba mate you choose matters.

There are different blends out there – some are more earthy, while others are more on the herbal side.

Personally, I’ve found that starting with a milder blend can be a great introduction, especially if you’re new to the world of yerba mate.

Water Temperature Makes a Difference

Using water that’s too hot can make yerba mate taste bitter.

I usually go for water that’s around 150-180°F (65-80°C).

It brings out the flavors without that bitter bite.

Infusion Time – Not Too Short, Not Too Long

Here’s where personal preference comes into play.

The longer you let yerba mate steep, the stronger the flavor gets.

I usually go for around 3-5 minutes for a balanced taste.

But hey, if you enjoy a bolder flavor, let it steep a bit longer – there’s no hard and fast rule here.

Adding Some Natural Sweetness

If you’re like me and have a bit of a sweet tooth, you might want to add a touch of natural sweetness.

I’ve found that adding a slice of lemon or a bit of honey can really complement the grassy notes of yerba mate.

Experimenting with Add-Ins

Remember, yerba mate is pretty versatile.

Some folks enjoy adding fresh mint leaves, a cinnamon stick, or even a slice of orange.

These add-ins can bring a whole new dimension to the taste.

Finding Your Perfect Mate-to-Water Ratio

This one took me a bit of trial and error.

Finding the right balance of yerba mate to water can make a big difference.

I usually go for about 1-2 tablespoons of yerba mate per cup of water.

Adjust it to your taste – a stronger or milder brew, it’s up to you.

In the Gourd or Not

Now, some people love that traditional yerba mate experience using a gourd and bombilla (metal straw).

If you’re into it, great! But if the taste of the gourd isn’t your thing, don’t worry at all.

You can still make fantastic yerba mate using a French press or a regular tea infuser.

How to Make Yerba Buena Tea

Yerba Buena tea is a unique brew made from the leaves of the Yerba Buena plant, which is a type of mint found in various regions.

It’s not your average mint tea – Yerba Buena has a special touch that sets it apart.

Ingredients and Quantity

Alright, gather these simple ingredients to make a cup of Yerba Buena tea:

  • A handful of fresh Yerba Buena leaves (about 8-10 leaves)
  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey or sugar to taste (if you like it sweet)

Brewing Up Yerba Buena Tea

1. Harvest Fresh Yerba Buena Leaves: If you’ve got a Yerba Buena plant around, pluck about 8 to 10 fresh leaves.

You want them to be young and vibrant for the best flavor.

2. Boil the Water: Pour a cup of water into a pot and bring it to a gentle boil.

There’s something magical about the sound of water bubbling, isn’t there?

3. Add the Yerba Buena Leaves: Once the water’s bubbling away, toss in those lovely Yerba Buena leaves.

Don’t be shy – let their refreshing aroma fill the room.

4. Let it Simmer: Lower the heat to a gentle simmer.

Take a moment to inhale that minty goodness wafting up.

You can close your eyes and just enjoy the scent.

5. Steep and Infuse: Let the leaves steep in the water for about 5 minutes.

This is when the flavors mingle and create that soothing Yerba Buena taste.

6. Sweeten the Deal (Optional): If you’re into a touch of sweetness, now’s the time to add a drizzle of honey or a sprinkle of sugar.

I find that it rounds out the flavors nicely.

7. Pour and Savor: Grab your favorite mug and carefully pour the tea through a strainer to catch those leaves.

Look at that beautiful, aromatic Yerba Buena tea you’ve created! Take a sip – the cool, minty flavor is like a gentle breeze on a warm day.

yerba mate chai latte
yerba mate chai latte

Yerba Mate Chai Recipe

Yerba Mate Chai is a delightful fusion of traditional yerba mate and the rich, aromatic flavors of chai spices.

It’s a warm and comforting beverage that combines the refreshing qualities of yerba mate with the cozy charm of chai tea.

As a fan of both yerba mate and chai, I’m excited to guide you through crafting this wonderful blend.

Chai Yerba Mate Ingredients

For this warming blend, gather the following ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon of yerba mate leaves (adjust to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3-4 crushed cardamom pods
  • 2-3 whole cloves
  • 1-2 slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of milk (dairy or plant-based)
  • Sweetener of your choice (like honey, sugar, or maple syrup)

Note: Adjust quantities based on your preferences and the number of servings.

Chai Yerba Mate Instructions

1. Infuse the Spices: In a small pot, add the cinnamon stick, crushed cardamom pods, cloves, and ginger slices.

Toast them gently over low heat for a few minutes until their aromas start to bloom.

This step adds depth to your chai.

2. Boil the Water: Pour in the water and bring it to a gentle boil.

Allow the spices to steep in the water for about 5 minutes.

This infusion will infuse the water with the chai’s wonderful flavors.

3. Add Yerba Mate: Reduce the heat to a simmer and introduce the yerba mate leaves to the pot.

Let them steep for another 3-4 minutes.

You can adjust the amount of yerba mate based on how strong you want the flavor to be.

4. Add Milk: Pour in the milk of your choice.

I usually go for almond milk, but you can choose any dairy or plant-based option.

Let everything simmer together for an additional 3-4 minutes.

5. Sweeten the Blend: Depending on your preference, add a touch of sweetness with honey, sugar, or maple syrup.

Stir well to ensure it’s properly mixed.

6. Strain and Serve: Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the Yerba Mate Chai into your favorite cup.

The straining step ensures you enjoy a smooth cup, free from any lingering spices or leaves.

7. Savor and Reflect: Take a moment to appreciate the soothing aroma rising from your cup.

Each sip carries the essence of both yerba mate’s vitality and chai’s warmth.

I’m sure you’ll love the aroma and taste it gives off!

Yerba Mate Tea Blend Recipe

A Yerba Mate tea blend is a combination of yerba mate leaves with various herbs, spices, and flavors that enhance the taste and aroma of your traditional yerba mate.

It’s a creative way to customize your yerba mate experience and explore new flavors.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Yerba mate leaves: 3 tablespoons
  • Peppermint leaves: 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon verbena leaves: 1 tablespoon
  • Orange peel: 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon stick: 1 small stick
  • Honey or sweetener of your choice: to taste

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Prepare the Base Yerba Mate

Start with 3 tablespoons of yerba mate leaves. This will be the base of your blend. Yerba mate provides the energizing and earthy flavor.

2. Add Peppermint Leaves

Include 1 tablespoon of peppermint leaves. Peppermint adds a refreshing and cooling note to the blend.

3. Introduce Lemon Verbena

Add 1 tablespoon of lemon verbena leaves. Lemon verbena brings a citrusy and slightly floral aroma to your blend.

4. Include Zesty Orange Peel

Put in 1 teaspoon of dried orange peel. The orange peel adds a tangy and fruity undertone.

5. A Touch of Cinnamon

Place a small cinnamon stick into the blend. Cinnamon adds a warm and comforting flavor.

6. Sweeten to Taste

If desired, add honey or your preferred sweetener to taste. This balances the flavors and adds a touch of sweetness.

7. Mix Thoroughly

Gently mix all the ingredients together to ensure an even distribution of flavors.

8. Store and Infuse

Transfer your Yerba Mate Tea Blend into an airtight container.

Allow the blend to sit for a day or two to let the flavors meld together.

Brewing Your Yerba Mate Tea Blend

1. Measure the Blend

Scoop 2 to 3 tablespoons of your Yerba Mate Tea Blend into your mate gourd or teapot.

2. Add Hot Water

Pour hot water (around 150°F or 65°C) into the gourd or teapot. Let it steep for a few minutes.

3. Enjoy Your Custom Blend

Sip and savor the unique flavors of your Yerba Mate Tea Blend. The combination of herbs and spices will create a delightful and cool experience.

Experiment and Explore

Feel free to adjust the quantities of each ingredient based on your taste preferences.

Creating your Yerba Mate Tea Blend allows you to explore different flavor profiles and find the perfect blend that suits you best.

What is Chimarrão?

Chimarrão is a traditional South American drink that’s similar to yerba mate tea.

It’s particularly popular in countries like Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

People gather around to share chimarrão as a social and cultural activity.

Here’s what you need to know:

Origins and Importance

Chimarrão comes from the Guarani indigenous culture. It’s more than just a drink; it’s a way of connecting with others.

The act of sharing chimarrão has deep cultural significance and promotes friendship.

Ingredients and Preparation

Chimarrão is made using dried leaves and twigs of yerba mate plant.

To prepare it, you need a specific cup called a “cuia” or gourd and a metal straw called a “bombilla” (yes, the same one we used in yerba mate.)

How to Make Chimarrão

1. Fill the Cuia: Start by filling the cuia (cup) with the dried chimarrão leaves. Fill it up to about two-thirds full.

2. Shape the Pile: After filling, shape the chimarrão leaves into a mound on one side of the cuia, leaving a hollow space on the other side.

3. Insert the Bombilla: Insert the bombilla (straw) into the hollow space you created in the mound of leaves.

4. Pour Hot Water: Pour hot (but not boiling) water into the hollow space, over the leaves, and let it sit for a moment. The temperature should be around 160-180°F (70-80°C).

5. Sip and Enjoy: With the bombilla in place, sip the chimarrão through it. The metal straw has a filter at the bottom to keep the leaves out of your mouth.

How Does Chimarrão Taste Like?

Chimarrão has a unique taste that might remind you of a blend between grassy and earthy flavors.

When you take a sip, you might notice its fresh, green notes, somewhat like a mild herbal taste.

Some people describe it as having a bit of bitterness, but not overly strong.

Overall, the taste can be refreshing and soothing, perfect for enjoying a moment of relaxation.

fresh fruits and sweeteners
fresh fruits

Yerba Mate Tea Food Pairing

As a fan of yerba mate tea, I’ve discovered some wonderful food pairings that enhance its flavors.

Here are some delicious combinations to try:

Pairing Yerba Mate with Snacks

Yerba mate is perfect with snacks like nuts and seeds.

The earthy notes of mate complement the nutty flavors, creating a balanced, satisfying combo.

Plus, it’s super easy to snack on while sipping!

Yerba Mate and Fresh Fruits

I love pairing yerba mate with fresh fruits like apples or pears.

Their natural sweetness contrasts the herbal bitterness, making each sip refreshing.

It’s like a healthy, fruity dance in your mouth.

pastries to pair with yerba mate

Yerba Mate with Pastries

If you’re into pastries, mate pairs wonderfully with them.

The crispiness of croissants or the sweetness of muffins complements the herbal richness of mate.

It’s like having a cozy breakfast any time of the day.

Yerba Mate and Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate and yerba mate are a match made in heaven.

The deep flavors of dark chocolate enhance the mate’s complexity.

Take a bite and a sip – you won’t regret it.

cheese straws
cheese straws

Yerba Mate and Cheese Delight

Cheese and yerba mate go surprisingly well together.

The creaminess of cheese mellows the mate’s strong taste.

Try it with mild cheeses like mozzarella or a soft brie for a delightful harmony.

Yerba Mate with Grilled Meats

For those who enjoy savory pairings, yerba mate and grilled meats are a winner.

The smoky, charred notes of barbecued meats harmonize with mate’s bold profile.

It’s a South American fiesta in your mouth!

Yerba Mate and Citrus Zing

Citrus fruits like oranges or lemons bring a zesty twist to yerba mate.

Squeeze a slice into your mate for a refreshing, tangy kick. It’s like sunshine in a cup.

Empanadas for yerba mate

Yerba Mate and Empanadas

Empanadas and yerba mate are a classic combo in South America.

The savory goodness of empanadas pairs beautifully with the herbal warmth of mate.

It’s comfort food at its best.

Yerba Mate and Sweets Galore

If you have a sweet tooth, pair yerba mate with your favorite desserts.

Whether it’s cake, cookies, or ice cream, the mate’s herbal depth balances the sweetness for a delightful treat.

When to Drink Yerba Mate Tea

Yerba mate tea is a great pick-me-up drink. I usually enjoy it when I need a gentle boost of energy.

It’s perfect for starting my day, kind of like a replacement for coffee.

It gives me a sense of alertness without the jitters.

I’ve also found that sipping yerba mate during a study session or work hours keeps me focused.

It’s like a natural way to stay on track without the crash that sometimes comes from sugary drinks.

On warm days, I love having iced yerba mate. It’s so refreshing and makes a nice alternative to sugary sodas or energy drinks.

And if I’m in need of a little relaxation, I sometimes have a cup in the afternoon.

It doesn’t interfere with my sleep like coffee can, so it’s a good way to unwind.

Remember, there’s no strict rule about when to have yerba mate. It’s versatile and can fit into different parts of your day.

Just avoid having it too close to bedtime, so your sleep isn’t disrupted. Enjoy it when it suits your mood and needs!

Related to Tea Making

Yerba Mate Tea Recipe

Recipe by Tania FaysalCourse: DrinksCuisine: South American


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time



This quick Yerba Mate tea recipe is perfect for 2 servings!


  • 2 tablespoons of dried yerba mate leaves

  • 4 cups of water

  • Optional: Honey or sweetener of choice


  • Prepare the water: Bring your water to a boil. Aim for a steeping temperature of 160°F (70°C) to fully capture the nuances of the yerba mate leaves.
  • Steep the yerba mate: Add the dried yerba mate leaves to your French press, teapot, or mate gourd. Pour the hot water over the leaves and let them steep for 5 minutes.
  • Sweeten if desired: For those who prefer a sweet touch, add honey or your preferred sweetener to taste.
  • Serve and enjoy: Strain the tea into cups and revel in the authentic taste of South America right in the comfort of your home.

Recipe Video


  • Straining Yerba Mate: When you strain yerba mate tea, it's totally okay if you see some tiny bits of leaves in your cup. Don't worry, they're safe to drink. If you want it extra smooth, you can strain it a couple of times to catch the smaller pieces.
  • Adding Sweetness: Usually, yerba mate tea isn't sweetened, but if you'd like to add some sweetness, go for simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar). It mixes really well with iced yerba mate. For a delightful twist, try using lemon simple syrup – yerba mate and a touch of lemon go great together.
  • No Special Gear Needed: You don't have to own a traditional gourd to enjoy yerba mate properly. A regular teapot and a cup work just as fine. It's all about savoring the flavor, no matter the vessel.
  • Freshness Matters: When buying yerba mate, it's a good idea to get it in smaller portions. While it won't go bad, the herbs can lose their freshness over time. Opt for smaller quantities to keep that delicious taste intact.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does Yerba Mate tea taste like?

Yerba Mate has a bold, earthy flavor with grassy and slightly smoky undertones.

Yes, Yerba Mate tea contains 80 mg caffeine per cup, providing a natural energy boost.

No, Yerba Mate isn’t a true tea; it’s an herbal infusion made from the leaves of the Yerba Mate plant.

Yerba Mate tea typically has around 5-10 calories per serving.

About 1-2 tablespoons of yerba mate per cup is commonly used.

Brew Yerba Mate at around 150-180°F (65-80°C) to preserve its flavor and nutrients.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *