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You are watching: What does yerba mate taste like

Yerba mate is a lesser-known beverage than your usual cup of coffee or tea, so we"re going to explain everything you need to know about it from taste to serving tips.


Yerba mate is a very interesting beverage made of the dried twigs and leaves of the South American yerba mate plant. It"s very woody with a strong vegetable flavor and a bit of smokiness, though not exactly like coffee. It"s much more subdued and tastes very natural.

There is definitely a bitterness to yerba mate, though it"s more associated with a grassy flavor than with tannins in black tea. It"s not for everyone, but if you like it, you"re a member of a pretty sizable fan club of yerba mate lovers and tea aficionados.

Yerba mate and green tea are not at all the same. Though both of these beverages have a "green" type of flavor, yerba mate shares some of its characteristics with coffee in that it"s a little smoky with nutty notes.

One thing about yerba mate is that it"s not unusual to combine it with your choice of plant-based milk. As this is not a common practice with green tea, you may prefer yerba mate if you take your tea with almond milk.

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Yerba mate is sometimes preferred over coffee, particularly because it is said to come with added health benefits from antioxidants and various minerals. The caffeine in yerba mate also works differently with a softened kick compared to the buzz produced by coffee.

If you"re looking for a coffee replacement, yerba mate is not necessarily "better." There are big differences in taste, caffeine content and general makeup. We encourage you to read up on yerba mate before deciding to make the switch.

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As with coffee and any other caffeinated beverage, you should limit your consumption of yerba mate every day. Three cups or more may be getting a little excessive, but everyone"s tolerance is different.

One to two cups of mate a day is probably a safe bet. Though the way the caffeine in yerba mate works is considered gentle, caffeine is caffeine. Too much isn"t going to feel good.

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There are many ways to prepare yerba mate. Below, you"ll find a couple of short videos with fruity and iced mates to give you some inspiration.

Yerba mate is traditionally drunk from a special gourd and straw. If you have a mate straw, this video will show you how to use a grapefruit in place of your mate cup, giving your yerba mate a wonderful grapefruit flavor. Don"t worry if you don"t have a mate straw! Just strain as you would any other tea.

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In this video, you"ll see how to make iced yerba mate tea with fresh fruit. It"s quite a straightforward recipe that anyone can try.

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Yerba mate is a brew that"s often compared to coffee for its smokiness and fair amount of caffeine, but it"s not unlike grassy green tea, either. Really, yerba mate must be tasted to know exactly what it"s like as it"s unique. Try mate hot or iced, and if you love it, you can even add the brewed tea to your smoothies.

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