Looking at the characteristics of Amanda Tradicional it is easy to just brush it off as too safe, boring and unremarkable yerba mate that is only good for novices. But don’t judge it too soon — while it’s true that the sweet simplicity will certainly appeal to new materos, Amanda Tradicional leaves such a charmingly uncomplicated impression that it’s hard not to recommend it even to seasoned mate aficionados who will find here a great daily mate to enjoy in between more bold and complex ones.
Amanda Tradicional has that very welcoming fruity hay aroma that we all love in Argentine yerba mate. The candy-like sweetness of the nose of this yerba mate almost feels like artificial or enhanced by some kind of flavoring. I also get notes of pipe tobacco, sawdust and rose petals in addition to the pleasant overwhelmingness of dry fruits and dried strawberry.
As it is obvious from its name, Amanda Tradicional has a traditional for Argentina con palo cut, which is fairly balanced, albeit tad low on stems and slightly high on powder. Leaves and stems vary greatly in their size, creating kind of jagged appearance that reminds me more of a local small batch yerba mate, rather than mass-produced one.
The color of Amanda Tradicional is nice and saturated for an aged yerba mate, with almost no pale and dull-looking leaves, but with some inclusions of darker and brown toasted particles that indicate the standard drying method.
Amanda Tradicional presents no challenges when it comes to preparation of this yerba mate. Slightly higher dust content allows for an easier molding and maintenance of the mountain of yerba, and leaves with stems while uneven, are not so fine to clog most of the bombillas.
I found Amanda Tradicional to be pretty forgiving to the temperature of the water — anything between 60°C and 75°C / 140°F and 165°F is absolutely fine for this mate. Water that is hotter than 80°C / 175°F though makes Amanda Tradicional taste more bitter and acidic at the same time, while also lowering its durability, so I would not recommend drinking this mate at that temperature. Personally, I enjoyed Amanda Tradicional the most at 60°C - 65°C / 140°F - 150°F — in my opinion it just felt more “right” and true to its Argentine nature.
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 .
Right from the first sip of Amanda Tradicional I got this classic Argentine taste that is associated with yerba mate from this country, but with a slight twist in form of a softer and velvety mouthfeel. This mate surprised me with this paradoxical combination of light body and syrupy viscose texture, something that I never experienced before.
After the initial surprise fades a bit, sweet pleasant notes of caramel, popcorn, cereal and sugar cane start to come up. Combined with hay-like grassy and woodsy notes inherent to Argentine yerba mate in general, it creates a flavor profile that is so naturally sweet that it can compete with the absolute champions in the sweetest mate category — Playadito Con Palo and Liebig Original.
With this sugar bomb I almost forgot about the wonderful array of dry fruity and strawberry notes that dominated the nose of Amanda Tradicional, simply because they were missing in its taste. I felt like that fruitiness would’ve helped to add an extra layer of complexity to this mate that is otherwise quite simple and straightforward.
With a relatively lower temperature of water I felt like I’ve got a longer and more pronounced aftertaste from Amanda Tradicional. It is as sweet as the taste but feels like it has more body, but overall the finish of Amanda Tradicional is still pretty simple and nothing to write home about.
When it comes to the duration of drinking, Amanda Tradicional proved to be a solid moderate mate — on average, I was able to get from 18 to 20 refills. Due to the relative simplicity of flavors, this mate showed no evolution throughout its duration, and lavado came gradually and gently.
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.
As most of the mates, Amanda Tradicional offered clarity, focus and state of increased awareness and consciousness, but I hardly noticed any energizing or invigorating effects. It was a safe mate that never messed up my sleep, and in my opinion can be enjoyed at any time of day — just don’t expect Amanda Tradicional to magically wake you up in the morning or put you to sleep in the evening.
What are your thoughts on Amanda Tradicional? Comment below!