|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 1 to 2|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 0g||0%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 0g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
This easy recipe for cold-brewed yerba mate brews in the fridge overnight. It can be enjoyed straight, mixed with honey, or made into a yerba mate smoothie in the morning. It is traditionally consumed in parts of South America, particularly Argentina, Bolivia, southern and central-western Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and southern Chile.
Yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis) is a species of the holly family that can grow up to 50 feet tall. The leaves are evergreen and are often called yerba (Spanish) or erva (Portuguese)—both of which mean "herb." The leaves contain caffeine and related xanthine alkaloids. When it's harvested, the branches are often dried by a wood fire, resulting in a smoky infusion of vegetables, herbs, and grasses; some people say it tastes a little like green tea. It varies in flavor, strength, caffeine levels, and other nutrients depending on whether it is a male or female plant; the latter tend to be milder in flavor and lower in caffeine.
Flavored mate is also available, in which the mate leaves are blended with other herbs (such as peppermint) or citrus rind. In Paraguay, Brazil, and Argentina, a toasted version of mate is sold in tea bags and in loose-leaf form. It is often served sweetened in specialized shops or on the street, either hot or iced, pure or with fruit juice (especially lime) or milk. In Argentina and southern Brazil, this drink is commonly consumed for breakfast or in a café for afternoon tea, often with a selection of sweet pastries. An iced, sweetened version of toasted mate is sold as an uncarbonated soft drink—with or without fruit flavoring. Yerba mate can also be found in various energy drinks on the market.
Gather the ingredients.
Combine water and yerba mate in a glass or jar.
Cover with a lid, plastic wrap, or small saucer.
Leave it in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, strain the leaves or remove the tea bags.
Add honey to taste. Serve and enjoy.
- Some yerba mate leaves and stems are rather fine and will fall through the average mesh tea strainer. If you prefer a cleaner tea, use a micro-mesh strainer or loose leaf tea bag.
- Make a larger amount of cold brew yerba mate and store it in the refrigerator for a few days. It's generally best with 1 tablespoon yerba mate for each cup of water.
- Yerba mate can be very bitter if it's brewed at temperatures at 170 F or above; avoid using boiling water.
- Rather than honey (or along with it), sweeten the yerba mate with lemon, orange, pineapple, or another type of juice. Start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more to taste.
- Add herbs to the yerba mate for a boost of flavor. Chamomile, lemongrass, lemon verbena, mint, and rooibos are good choices. You can also add lemon or orange peel.
- If you're short on time or want to try iced yerba mate with a deeper flavor, switch to the hot brew method: Use twice the amount of yerba mate (typically 2 tablespoons) per cup of water and heat the water to 170 F. Steep for 4 to 6 minutes before straining. Let it cool in the refrigerator or add a few ice cubes for an instant chill, then serve with more ice and sweeten as desired.
How Much Caffeine Is in Yerba Mate?
What Are the Health Benefits of Yerba Mate?
Like many naturally-derived beverages, including tea and herbal tisanes, there are many claims to yerba mate's health benefits. Research is ongoing, though studies have found that yerba mate may be beneficial to liver cells, the central nervous and cardiovascular systems, and possess anti-inflammatory properties. However, it is advised to avoid consuming excess yerba mate or very hot tea.
Lutomski, Piotr et al. Health Properties Of Yerba Mate. Annals Of Agricultural And Environmental Medicine, vol 27, no. 2, 2020, pp. 310-313. Institute Of Rural Health, doi:10.26444/aaem/119994