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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.
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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°Cand75°C/140°Fand165°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.
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.
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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,
or a very popular in South America
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!
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Pronounced [YER-bah MAH-teh] (or [SHER-bah MAH-teh] in Rioplatense Spanish). Also known as Ilex paraguariensis, a holly plant natively grown in South America, particularly in Northern Argentina, Paraguay and Southern Brazil (the term erva mate is used there more often). Yerba mate is used to make a beverage known as mate in Spanish, or chimarrão in Portugese. Oftenly, the term yerba mate is used to describe not only a plant, but also a final product of grinding, drying and aging the plant. Wikipedia article
When mate is prepared traditionally, a mountain of yerba is yerba that is located inside the gourd in form of slope, that is exposed to hot water while drinking. Proper mountain of yerba will be always half-dry and half-wet, which results in more balanced and long mate. On the opposite side of mountain is the water hole.
Pronounced [MAH-teh]. Traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, very popular in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Southern Brazil (the term chimarrão is used there more often). It is prepared by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in the gourd. Sometimes the gourd itself is referred to as mate. Wikipedia article
Characteristic, used to define the tactile feel of mate in the mouth, similar to other gourmet products, like wine or coffee. It includes the mouthfeel of the drink, its thickness and weight. Cut of yerba mate, drying methods and aging all contribute to the body of mate. Usually, body can be described as light, medium and full — the more thick and dense mate feels in the mouth, the more full body it has.
Spanish adjective which means washed. Used as a term to point out that all the flavors “washed away” from mate and it becomes tasteless. The more refills yerba mate can take before becoming lavado, the longer durability it has.