Fresh, green and simple - it’s not a chimarrão for every day, but if you are drinking mostly Argentine or Paraguayan mate Laranjeiras Tradicional can be somewhat fun, just for a change of pace. But that over-the-top simplicity, and unpredictable difficult cut can easily lead to frustrating experiences, so it’s hard for me to recommend this erva mate. If this is the only available erva mate for you - go for it, otherwise - there are more interesting and enjoyable Brazilian brands on the market.


Complexity:

Simple

Body:

Light

Duration:

Short

First look


Nose

I like the nose of Laranjeiras Tradicional a lot - it is very green and fresh, as you would expect from Brazilian erva mate. Fresh-cut grass, chlorophyll and peas - Laranjeiras Tradicional has a very similar, almost identical nose to other erva mate I reviewed - Barão De Cotegipe Tradicional. Slightly sweet and compost smells are also present in the nose of this erva mate.

Cut

Laranjeiras Tradicional has very typical Brazilian cut - leaves are grinded very finely, almost to a consistency of a flour. Stems are also chopped in Brazilian style - very big, thick and long. Laranjeiras claims that there are at least 70% of leaves and no more than 30% of stems in the cut of this erva mate, and visually it pretty much seems to be the truth.

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Preparation


The most difficult part of drinking any chimarrão is to correctly prepare it, and Laranjeiras Tradicional is no exclusion. Proper cuia and bomba like this one are a must before trying this chimarrão. Unfortunately, Laranjeiras Tradicional presented more challenges that I was expecting from Brazilian erva mate during its preparation. While having no problems with Barão Tradicional, this erva mate was very unpredictable - one bad move and you have a swampy gooey mixture of erva and water, that is completely undrinkable. Sometimes it was fine, though, but I wasn’t able to get consistently well-prepared chimarrão from Laranjeiras Tradicional.

On the package manufacturer suggests to use a water that is not hotter than 70°C (160°F), and I will agree with them. I haven’t noticed any difference with a hotter water, while colder water doesn’t seem to be enough to extract mellow grassy flavors of Laranjeiras Tradicional.

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

As I mentioned earlier, this chimarrão has very mellow and light taste that partially translates from from the nose of this erva mate. As a non-aged Brazilian erva mate it is silly to expect rich and complex flavors, but Laranjeiras Tradicional is really an extremely simple on the palate even for chimarrão. It is light-bodied and tastes literally like a hot slightly sweet grass.

Finish

The aftertaste of Laranjeiras Tradicional disappointed me, because it doesn’t have all that freshness that you would expect from Brazilian chimarrão. Instead, the compost notes that I picked up in the nose of Laranjeiras Tradicional dominate the finish, making it quite unpleasant.

Duration

It should come as no surprise that I never managed to get a decent duration out of Laranjeiras Tradicional - on average already weak flavors of this chimarrão disappear anywhere between 10 to 15 refills. It is still not completely clear to me what does the duration of drinking depend on, because, for instance relatively more complex Liebig Original, that has been aged for 18 months also has a short duration. I guess this mystery and variety of experiences that a single plant of yerba mate can offer is why we love this magical herb.

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


Energizing effects of Laranjeiras Tradicional are very noticeable, but they are not as smooth as effects of some of the Argentine or Uruguayan mates. Laranjeiras Tradicional is closer to a coffee - and once again this solidifies reputation of chimarrão as more energizing drink than aged mate, that delivers its kick more quickly. I would not recommend to drink Laranjeiras Tradicional in the evening - this chimarrão is suited better for quick morning or early afternoon sessions.




Check out other reviews:


Barão De Cotegipe Tradicional

Barão De Cotegipe Tradicional

This erva mate can literally be a breath of fresh air for materos that are starting to feel bored by more common Argentine, Paraguayan and Uruguayan mates. It would be interesting enough for both regular chimarrão drinkers and materos who mainly drink other regional cuts of mate and want to freshen up their palate with something more exotic and different. Barão Tradicional is a wonderful example of what world of Brazilian mate has to offer, and another proof of how diverse is this beautiful beverage.


Liebig Original

Liebig Original

Another sweet yum by Cooperativa Liebig - this time more subtle, delicate and fragile, like the first flower in the beginning of the spring. Complex, light, sweet and floral flavors will definitely be approved by both seasoned cebadores and novice drinkers who haven’t yet developed palate for more bold and earthy mates.


Playadito Con Palo

Playadito Con Palo

At a first glance this mate may seem like another ordinary con palo yerba, but it cannot be further from the truth. Playadito Con Palo boasts one of the longest durations that you can experience in the world of Argentine yerba mate, along with naturally sweet taste and long pleasant finish.