Aguantadora Despalada

Yerba Mate Review

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Aguantadora Despalada is not your typical sin palo yerba mate — it’s easy to prepare traditionally, it’s fairly sweet, balanced and relaxing; it is a perfect despalada for those who would like to dip their toes into the territory of stemless yerba mates, but don’t want to be overwhelmed by the first experience. The lack of strong bitter flavors and powerful energizing effects may disappoint some fans of sin palo yerba mates, but nevertheless, those unique features of Aguantadora Despalada separate it from the crowd and make it worthwhile to try at least once.


Complexity:
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Durability:
Effect:

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First look


Nose

Aguantadora Despalada has a pretty strong and fragrant aroma. With notes of sawdust and composted leaves, this yerba mate smells like woods in the fall. That slightly sour compost note is usually found in organic yerba mate, but I don’t find any mention of it anywhere on the package or their website, meaning that it is highly unlikely to be organic. Other than that, Aguantadora Despalada has a pretty classic and familiar nose of an aged and unsmoked Argentine yerba mate that can be easily enjoyed by anyone.


Cut

As you would’ve probably already guessed from its name, Aguantadora Despalada is a sin palo yerba mate. There are still some small amounts of stems in the cut of Aguantadora Despalada to provide a little natural sweetness, but it’s nothing surprising considering that I’ve yet to find a completely stemless despalada.

Leaves have a nice variety both in size and color and the amount of powder looks absolutely perfect to me, making it an exemplary sin palo yerba mate.

Speaking of color — despite having a wide range of different shades of green, in general, Aguantadora Despalada has a pretty saturated and deep green color for an aged yerba mate. Leaves range from pale to dark toasted and almost brown, indicating that this yerba mate was quickly exposed to a fire before being dried in a smoke-free environment.

Aguantadora Despalada

Preparation


The lack of stems in despaladas can often make them harder to prepare, as leaves tend to slide off of each other more easily, thus collapsing the mountain of yerba. Luckily, this isn’t the case with Aguantadora Despalada — unlike, say, Taragüi Sin Palo, which is very low on dust, this yerba mate has enough powder that will act as a binding agent to the mountain and will pretty much guarantee an effortless preparation. The amount of powder is enough to easily mold the mountain of yerba, but it is not too abundant to clog the bombilla, which again, makes me admire the perfect amount of dust present in the cut of Aguantadora Despalada.

When it comes to the temperature of water, I find this yerba mate not only to be very forgiving, but also exhibit different qualities depending on how hot you decide to heat up your water. Pretty much any temperature in the range between 60°C and 85°C / 140°F and 185°F will be fine for Aguantadora Despalada, but I will elaborate more on that topic when I’ll dive into more details about its taste and durability.

Most convenient way to get ideal water temperature is to use an electric kettle or a stovetop kettle with temperature control. If you prefer traditional kettle you can use a infrared thermometer or a food thermometer .

Taste

If I would’ve taken a sip of this mate without knowing that it is Aguantadora Despalada, I would’ve never guessed that it is a sin palo yerba mate. It’s very balanced and moderately sweet, without overwhelming bitterness or harshness, and honestly tastes like a nice and classic con palo yerba mate.

Aguantadora Despalada tastes like what I wanted Aguantadora Tradicional to taste like. This mate is a little more sweet, more bold, in a good way, more pronounced and “definitive”, for the lack of a better term. It has more to say than Aguantadora Tradicional, and simply is a more interesting mate between these two.

Putting aside the comparison between Aguantadora Despalada and its con palo sister, this yerba mate is not going to blow your mind with complex array of flavors, but rather focuses on those basic and essential earthy woodsy notes to make them balanced, pleasant and non-intrusive, that way allowing you to concentrate on other things, while still enjoying it in the background. At the end of the day, this is what mate is all about — to be enjoyed along with your daily tasks without distracting you from them.

The mouthfeel of Aguantadora Despalada will greatly depend on the temperature of the water — I find this mate to be more light-bodied with a colder water, around 60°C - 70°C / 140°F - 160°F , but with more conventional 70°C - 80°C / 160°F - 175°F it becomes more of a medium-bodied mate. I personally enjoy this mate more on the hotter side, because to me it feels like the added thickness pairs well with a slightly astringent and bitter-sweet taste of Aguantadora Despalada.


Finish

Astringency is the name of the game when it comes to the aftertaste of Aguantadora Despalada. If you’re a fan of astringent mates like I am, you’ll love the finish of Aguantadora Despalada, although it makes this mate less drinkable as this astringency accumulates in the mouth with each consecutive sip. Apart from that, the aftertaste of Aguantadora Despalada is as simple as its taste and is nothing really to write home about.

Durability

Aguantadora Despalada is one of those rare yerba mates that exhibit different durability upon different temperatures. In my experience with this mate, I found that lower temperatures increase durability and vice versa. 60°C - 65°C / 140°F - 150°F water will yield around 20 refills, while a more hot water will reduce this number to 14 refills at most times, very rarely reaching that 15 refill mark.

As a cebador, you are presented with a choice — go with a moderate durability while sacrificing some flavor, or go with a more full-flavored mate while sacrificing some durability. I personally chose the latter because to me the taste of mate is much more important than its durability, rendering Aguantadora Despalada as the short mate in my book.

Besides that interesting feature, this mate was really nice and even, giving off its flavors right from the first refill and moving into lavado gradually yet quickly.

The last thing you want while drinking mate is to constantly re-heat your water or add more ice to it. No matter if it's hot mate or cold tereré, use a vacuum bottle or a very popular in South America mate thermos with sprout.

Effect


Compared to con palo yerba mates, despaladas are usually associated with more noticeable energizing effects that can be overwhelming for majority of mate drinkers, but are welcomed by hardcore materos and former coffee enthusiasts. Aguantadora Despalada seems to be a different breed — not only its effects feel more subtle compared to the average sin palo yerba mates, it also proved to be quite relaxing when I sipped it in the evening. Again, the sedative effect is mild and subtle, so you won’t fall back to sleep if you decide to drink Aguantadora Despalada in the morning.

***

Special thanks to Un Mate Europe for providing Aguantadora Despalada for this review!

What are your thoughts on Aguantadora Despalada? Comment below!

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Aguantadora Despalada

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