If you tried hot mate and found it be too bitter, there are a few alternatives you can try.
First, if the yerba mate you used had little to no stems, try with one that has a higher content of stems. Second, if that is not a solution, try adding lemon or orange zest – there are blends of yerba that already contain them. Finally, you can add sugar or use milk instead of water. Here’s a few ways you can prepare them:
Boiled mate – Mate cocido
To prepared mate tea simply put 1 generous tablespoon of yerba mate per cup of water and bring it to a boil. Remove from stove and let it cool down for a couple of minutes.
Note that the temperature for boiled mate is higher than the typically recommended temperature for yerba mate of about 160-180°F / 71-82°C. Still, some experts believe mate cocido should be at 192°F / 89°C. Try a variety of temperatures to see what works best for you.
Rinse and enjoy!
There exist also mate tea bags so it can be prepared like any other tea.
Hot and sweet
Sweetened mate is a popular option in the north of Argentina and the central region of Chile. If you want to try sweet mate there are a few ways to do it:
- Add a sugar cube or teaspoon of sugar either at the bottom of the gourd (as the first step before adding the yerba) or close to the bombilla, and continue adding the sugar as desired.
- Add the sugar to the thermos and dissolve it.
- Put a sugar cube on your mouth before drinking the mate
- Try with honey, brown or cane sugar instead.
Mate with milk
Using milk instead of water will also soften the taste of the yerba mate, the same way that a cappuccino is less strong than an espresso. There are two ways of preparing it:
- Using hot milk the same way the hot water is – cebando. This mate, called milk’s mate or mate de leche is popular in Argentina and Chile.
- You can also prepare boiled mate using milk instead of water, making a mate latte.