The nose of this mate is very pleasant — sweet, grassy, with a very distinctive dried plum smell. I can also definitely smell roasted sunflower seeds.
Piporé Con Palo is relatively light colored, and obviously has some stems in it (hence the name). But the amount of stems is high even for the con palo mate, so my first thought was that this mate would be very light-bodied and sweet. But don’t be fooled — this mate has a healthy amount of powder, and the cut of the leaves is not as coarse as you would typically find in Argentine mates. Both of those factors are usually a good indicator of more full-bodied mates, so combined with high amount of stems it creates a very interesting and balanced combination of flavors.
I would recommend to use neither very hot not too cold water — Piporé Con Palo shows its best qualities and flavors at around 70°C / 160°F. Thanks to high amount of stems, this mate behaves very well in the gourd. It is very hard to clog the bombilla and it is very easy to maintain the mountain of yerba.
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.
First few refills are bitter-sweet and tart, dried plum flavor becomes bery pronounced. As I continue to pour hot water over and over in my gourd I taste the same pleasant bitter flavors: a little hint of wormwood herb, hay and even bark. Despite the high amount of stems, Piporé Con Palo is a medium-bodied mate though it is fairly sweet: I can taste caramel and toffee, along with green and black tea. The flavor perfectly reflects the cut of this mate — balanced and well-rounded.
Pleasant but short aftertaste contains the same dried plum flavor that is present in smell. I can also feel slight hint of raw tobacco. After few sips astringency starts to accumulate in mouth, which I enjoy.
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of refills that I could get from one gourd of Piporé Con Palo. Again, high amount of stems is balanced by fine cut of leaves and decent amount of powder, and all that makes this mate last for around 20 refills. On top of that, transition to lavado is very smooth, and lavado itself is sweet and delicious — it almost seems that you can sip it forever!
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 didn’t notice any invigorating effects from Piporé Con Palo — quite the opposite, I found it to be very soothing and calming. After drinking this mate I enjoyed my sleep a lot, and woke up in the morning refreshed and full of energy, so I would consider Piporé Con Palo as evening mate with relatively low caffeine content.
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