When you start drinking mate, you may be surprised by its bitterness. This can be related to inadequate preparation, the wrong choice of yerba mate or other factors which we detail below:
Before making your first yerba mate, there is an essential step to perform if you have chosen a traditional mate cup (in dried squash). You have to scrape it. This action is not necessary for glass, ceramic or aluminum mate cups.
To properly cure your mate cup, fill it (container) with 2/3 with yerba mate. Then, add hot water (not boiling at the risk of cracking your mate cup) to the edge . Leave to infuse for 48 hours top up with water if the level drops and the grass dries up. The gourd will soak up the mixture. This will strengthen the structure and give a better taste to future infusions. After 48 hours, empty the mate cup and scrape it with a teaspoon. This will remove the small rinds of the squash. Your mate cup is finally ready. You can taste your first mate. The taste will be better with the multiple uses.
Caring for your ate cup can have several long-term benefits. Not only will the taste be different, you will extend the life expectancy of your gourd and reduce the risk of mold.
DO NOT POUR TOO HOT WATER
In case you want to drink hot mate, be careful not to pour too hot water. It will burn the leaves and increase the bitterness. The ideal temperature is between 70 ° and 80 °. Since we know that it is not easy to know the temperature of the water when using a kettle or a saucepan, we give you two tips:
Stop boiling water when it starts to simmer
Add cold water to boiling water
DO NOT ALLOW THE YERBA TO BREW FOR A LONG TIME
As with tea or other infusions, the taste of mate may be more or less strong depending on the time of the infusion. On the other hand, unlike tea, you don’t need to wait several minutes before drinking your mate. It only takes a few seconds for you to taste it.
BREW YOUR MATÉ SEVERAL TIMES
Unlike tea, which cannot be brewed a large number of times, mate can be brewed up to fifteen times. Its taste will even soften as the infusions go on.
CHOOSE A FLAVORED YERBA MATE
Even if it is customary for you to drink mate pure, today there are flavored matés that allow you to gradually familiarize yourself with mate. Brands such as CBSé, Taragüi and Piporé offer mates with orange, citrus, mint, lemon and many other flavors.
These yerbas allow you to significantly soften the bitterness of mate while retaining all its benefits.
FLAVORING YOUR MATÉ
Do you still want to prepare your mate with a traditional Yerba rather than flavored?
Before pouring the water, you can add an additive in the hole left for the bombilla. You can flavor your mate as you want.
Here are some examples of possible additives: orange / lemon / grapefruit peels, ginger, mint, stevia, honey, cinnamon, sugar …
PERSIST IN THE TASTING
If you are drinking mate for the first time, you will certainly find that it tastes funny. But it’s a bit like any other drink. Coffee, tea, wine or beer, the taste may surprise at first glance. Then we get used to it to finally appreciate it .
It would be a shame to block on this first tasting and stay with a negative impression. The best is to repeat the test one or two days later. After a while, it is obvious that you will not be able to do without it!
Maybe you didn’t choose the right type of mate for your first time? The different brands do not all offer the same type of mate like the flavored products for the most skeptical.
If you are reluctant to prepare your mate in a calabash, you can very well enjoy it in the form of sachets (mate cocido) like a tea. Another solution is to drink the cold mate with ice cubes (mate tereré).