It’s not a surprise that Cruz De Malta is the favorite yerba mate of many people, because it manages to deliver on all fronts. Rich and interesting taste profile, surprising and unique finish and one of the longest drinking durations of any yerba mate on the market - Cruz De Malta is a true gem that beats every other mate when prepared correctly.


Pros:
  • Rich and deep flavor
  • Unique tasty finish
  • Amazingly long drinking duration
Cons:
  • Needs precise temperature to shine

First look


Nose

I would describe the aroma of this mate as very vegetal with a little sourness. Floral notes and a very unique smell of dried berries - it almost doesn’t smell like yerba mate at all!

Cut

Cruz De Malta is a traditional Argentine con palo yerba mate and the cut of it reflects that. The hojas are grinded unevenly, so you can see huge coarsely cut leaves along with small pieces. The amount of palos is medium as well as their size. Good amount of polvo rounds up interesting cut of this mate.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any official information about the process of drying and aging Cruz De Malta. That would be interesting to know, because it has a very pretty kaleidoscope of different shades of green - from dark and almost brown to light and bright.

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Preparation


Classical Argentine con palo cut means that Cruz De Malta should give you no problems in the gourd.

What’s interesting about the preparation process of this mate is the temperature of the water. On the package manufacturer recommends to use 70°C - 80°C (160°F - 175°F) water, but I have to disagree with them. I found that even 70°C water ‘burns’ and destroys subtle flavors of Cruz De Malta and trust me, you don’t want to miss those! In my experience 60°C - 65°C (140°F - 150°F) is ideal for this mate.

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.

Taste

Wow, the taste profile of Cruz De Malta is very unique. Wild and bright, at the same time it is mild and calm. Bitter and tart but smooth at the same time.

As the nose of this mate, the taste is also a bit sour and berry. It’s not light and fruity though, with some heavy earthy and even compost notes. Slightly sweet and very well-rounded, this is a medium-bodied mate with full body attributes.

Finish

Despite the fact that I’m absolutely in love with rich and saturated taste of Cruz De Malta, I think my favorite thing about it is its aftertaste. In my opinion even the most deep and delicious mate can be ruined by shallow and bad finish, but luckily this is not the case with Cruz De Malta.

Aftertaste of this mate is long and pronounced but what’s most interesting is that other new flavors start to unravel in the mouth. It’s woody and berry at first and becomes pleasantly tart after a while and ends up with strong and tasty flavor of raw fresh hazelnut. I haven’t tasted this flavor in any other mate, so drinking Cruz De Malta creates a really unique and memorable experience.

Duration

On average Cruz De Malta lasted for amazing 30 refills, which makes it one of the longest Argentine mates. I have to remind that Cruz De Malta reached those heights when it was brewed with temperature of 60°C - 65°C (140°F - 150°F). When I tried to brew it with manufacturer’s recommended temperature it became lavado significantly quicker, after around 20 refills. It’s not that bad, but in my opinion 60°C - 65°C is better both in terms of flavor and duration of drinking.

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.

Effect


In my experience Cruz De Malta is a good “all day every day” mate due to its long drinking duration, mild effects and interesting taste profile that never gets boring. It was nice to drink it at any time of day, be it the morning when I needed to wake myself up, or in the evening before going to bed. I drank it mainly throughout the day because usually I don’t have that much time (remember, 30 refills!) in the morning or in the evening.


Check out other reviews:


Rosamonte Traditional

Rosamonte Traditional

One of the most popular yerba mate products in Argentina, Rosamonte Traditional definitely deserves a permanent place on the shelf of every mate drinker. Don’t start with this mate though if you are new to this drink, let your palate evolve first. For experienced materos who for some reason haven’t tried it yet, Rosamonte Traditional is a must-try yerba mate, and getting it should be your top priority. A great showcase of Argentine yerba mate at its finest.


Piporé Sin Palo

Piporé Sin Palo

I like Piporé Sin Palo. It is solid and honest yerba mate that is here to do one thing - to be a trusty companion in your everyday tasks. It’s not going to be a brightest star on the shelf, it will not impress you with array of flavors. It is here to help, and it does that brilliantly. Piporé Sin Palo will always be by your side doing its job - helping to do yours.


Taragüi Sin Palo

Taragüi Sin Palo

This mate is easy to recommend to people looking for strong energizing yerba mate. It is easy to recommend to people that are not familiar with traditional way of preparing yerba mate, people, who look for a healthy alternative to coffee and energy drinks, people, who want to experience the beneficial effects of this drink before diving into the cultural aspects of mate. At the same time it is hard for me to recommend Taragüi Sin Palo to the mate connoisseurs - they won’t find rich variety of flavors in this yerba mate.