Playadito has pretty unique nose for Argentine con palo yerba mate. First whiff of the freshly opened bag really reminded me of the tobacco smell of Taragüi Con Palo. It is a very sweet smell — raw honey and ripe bananas came to mind when I took another deep breath of this yerba mate. A tiny hint of hay and wood evens out the nose of Playadito Con Palo.
As you can probably tell from the name of this yerba mate, it has a traditional Argentine con palo cut, very common and balanced. Compared to other similar yerba mate brands, Playadito Con Palo has a bit coarser cut of leaves than average, and it reminds me of Rosamonte Tradicional. Stems are obviously there, but they are more short and thin. Healthy amount of powder makes the cut of Playadito Con Palo very well-rounded.
As a con palo yerba mate, Playadito should present absolutely no problems in preparation. The most important thing in making this mate though is the water temperature. I found that Playadito Con Palo doesn’t tolerate very hot water — mate becomes very dull and simple. So my recommendation is to use water between 60°C and 65°C / 140°F and 150°F and let this mate steep for 10 - 15 seconds in the gourd before you drink it, if you want to enjoy the natural sweetness and experience those subtle and savory flavors that Playadito Con Palo has to offer.
Most convenient way to get ideal water temperature is to use an electric kettle with temperature control like this one. If you prefer traditional kettle you can use laser thermometer or simpler food thermometer.
In Playadito Con Palo I found one of the sweetest if not most naturally sweet yerba mate on the market. Honey, sugar cane, sweet tobacco are the most noticeable flavors here. It is also a bit floral, with attributes of a green tea, and somewhere in the back I can definitely taste subtle flavor of roasted sunflower seeds. Playadito Con Palo is moderately bitter and even kind of hoppy, which balances out the sweetness. It is a very drinkable mate, if you know what I’m talking about, with light to medium body.
The finish of this mate is long and strong — the pronounced taste of Playadito Con Palo stays in the mouth for quite some time. It also introduces the pleasant astringency to the mouthfeel of this mate, which can be bothering for somebody, even though I personally enjoy it. I find that this astringency makes you enjoy Playadito Con Palo for a longer time than usual — it makes you want to take longer pauses between refills to savor each sip of this mate and to bring that tart mouthfeel down a bit.
In general, stems make yerba mate sweeter, but they don’t hold as much flavor as leaves and powder, so typically the duration of Argentine con palo brands is quite short or medium at best. That’s why I was pleasantly surprised with duration of Playadito Con Palo — on average I got between 25 to 30 refills worth of flavor from this mate. I have no idea how manufacturer managed to do that, but I’m very impressed by such long-lasting con palo yerba.
The last thing you want while drinking mate is to constantly re-heat you water or add more ice to it. No matter if it's hot mate or cold tereré, use a vacuum bottle or a thermos.
I find Playadito Con Palo similar to the same-cut Piporé in terms of effect that it had on me. It is a really great evening mate — calming, soothing and relaxing. Of course that doesn’t mean that you cannot drink Playadito Con Palo in the morning or afternoon, but personally I found the most enjoyment in drinking this mate at the end of a long stressful day.
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