The official guide to choosing the Best Yerba Mate Blend
How to choose the best yerba mate for your taste. A consumers guide.
Argentina’s National Yerba Mate Institute (INYB)INYB has launched an "official" guide for consumers.
Yerba Mate is the drink most consumed by Argentines: according to a survey by the National Yerba Mate Institute (INYB), Argentines drink more than 100 liters of yerba mate a year.
In a market where there are more than 200 brands, which blend is the best for your taste?
"There is a large variety and many types of yerba mate available in the market today and when it comes to choosing them, we must take into account several factors in choosing which one satisfies our needs, such as the drying time and the mixture or blend that each brand creates", instructs the guide developed by this institute based in Posadas, Misiones, and which they have just published on their website.
The first thing to know is that the drying time and the proportions of leaf, stems and leaf powder (what is called the "blend") will influence the flavor, intensity and duration of the mate. "Each brand of yerba mate determines the drying time for your product and makes its own blend, meaning that the time and proportions of leaf, stems and leaf powder will vary," said the INYB.
To create “the blend”, each element of the blend contributes to the taste: the leaves provide the intensity, while the stems help to achieve a smooth balance of flavors. "The powder is the fundamental component that fuses the different notes that compose the flavor of the blend and, in addition, is responsible for achieving a smooth and foamy mate," they explain. It is during the drying time - in conditioned rooms where temperature and humidity are controlled - where the yerba mate develops its aroma and flavor. This period lasts between nine months and a year and up to 18 months in the case of Rosamonte Especial.
After all of these variable are considered, it is still a matter of taste. That is why INYB developed a classification of the different types of yerba mate blends according to the recommendations of consumers.
Milder yerba mate
For those looking to drink for a mild yerba mate, a good choice is traditional yerba mate (with stems). According to the Argentine Food Code, this blend must have at least 65% of dried, broken or crushed leaves and not more than 35% of stems. On average, the brands of the market have 70% of dry and crushed leaves and a 30% of stems.
More Intense yerba mate
Use yerba mate without a stems. The same code says that this blend must have not less than 90% of dried, broken or crushed leaves and not more than 10% of stems.
Blended with Herbs
To the antioxidant and energizing properties of yerba mate, natural herbs such as Boldo, Linden, Chamomile or Pennyroyal (among others) are added. Many are digestive and others produce a comforting, relaxing and a sensation of well-being. These blends can contain up to 40% herbs and the remaining 60% should be yerba mate.
Flavored yerba mate
For those who prefer to alter the flavor of yerba mate and do not like the bitterness of intense blends, you can find a wide variety of yerba mate blended with natural essences and flavors ranging from citrus (grapefruit, lemon, and orange) to exotic fruits from the tropical forest like Guarana, Maracuyá (Passion Fruit) and others.
Yerba mate blended for Terere
Terere is a drink typical of Paraguay and the coast of Argentina, the infusion is made with cold water or natural juices. For this preparation, the yerba mate is milled thicker and with lower powder content. This prevents the bombilla from clogging. If traditional yerba mate is used for Terere, the combination of cold water and powder will most likely clog the bombilla. Therefore, it is advisable to use this blend that has a thicker grind and less powder.
Organic Yerba Mate
For this certified blend, from the sowing until the harvest, the use of agrochemicals is avoided. There are different national and international organizations that certify both the process and the use of recyclable materials is the packaging of these blends. In Argentina, the Ministry of Agroindustry gives an "organic" seal to products that minimize the use of non-renewable resources and do not use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Toasted Yerba Mate (barbacúa)
For this blend the yerba mate subjected to a drying process used by the Guarani natives. Barbacuá means "toasted" in Guarani. It consists of a slow and Artisan process in which the leaves are exposed to the heat of a wood fire for a whole day. This process gives the yerba mate a slight smoky or roasted flavor of the wood used during the drying of the leaves.
We hope this concise guide will help you to find the right blend of yerba mate for your discerning taste at My Yerba Mate Store.
Return to FAQ's