My first meeting with CBSé yerba mate family was not ideal — CBSé Guaraná did not impress me at all. It was a polarizing yerba, some may say gimmicky, and definitely does not completely represent what CBSé is all about — fun, flavored yerba mate that stands out with their attractive fruity flavors. With CBSé Frutos del Valle I decided to give CBSé another chance, start from a clean slate and allow it to give me a second first impression. And it did successfully impress me! I got what I expected — pleasant fruity taste that lays well on top of yerba mate, along with noticeable effects and long durability. Sure, seasoned materos may prefer more “advanced” smoky and malty yerbas, but I feel like not only beginners will like CBSé Frutos del Valle. If you’ll allow yourself to be less serious and drop your presuppositions about flavored and mass-market yerba mates, you’ll find here the one that is hard to complain about.
Upon the first whiff of CBSé Frutos del Valle I immediately get the fruity flavorings that are added to this yerba mate. The aroma is potent, refreshingly tart and corresponds to what is depicted on its package — green apple and pear. The smell of yerba mate is also present, but it plays the secondary role in the nose of CBSé Frutos del Valle. The first impression is very positive — the fragrant, earthy, hay-like notes of yerba mate pair really well with sourness of green apple and sweetness of pear. I know that for a lot of people the mere thought of a flavored yerba mate is disgusting, but I honestly think that CBSé Frutos del Valle will be considered a good-smelling yerba by majority of mate drinkers, especially children and those that are new to this drink and who are not yet used to some of the more smoky and malty yerbas.
When it comes to the cut of CBSé Frutos del Valle, the only word that comes to mind is standard. It is the most common cut for Argentina — con palo — with a nice balance between leaves, stems and powder, leaning a bit on a powdery side. The coarseness of the cut is pretty average both for leaves and stems.
The color is also quite uniform and standard, with a nice saturation for an aged yerba mate. Leaves in the cut of CBSé Frutos del Valle are not too pale, with some inclusions of darker brown toasted leaves, which indicates a standard drying method.
Despite the dustier than average Argentine con palo cut, preparation of CBSé Frutos del Valle is trivial and simple. In fact, extra powder aids in building and maintaining the mountain of yerba, which will help to achieve a better balance and durability from this mate. With a proper mountain I was able to use any bombilla with CBSé Frutos del Valle, be it a slotted bombilla or spring bombilla.
Temperature wise, this mate is also easy and forgiving. The taste was balanced and flavorful at any hot temperature in the range of 60°C to 85°C / 140°F to 185°F . The only difference I noticed in terms of durability — colder water seem to prolong CBSé Frutos del Valle and makes it a long mate, and the hotter you go, the shorter it becomes. But more on that later.
Since CBSé Frutos del Valle is a flavored yerba mate, I naturally wanted to try it with ice-cold water. The fact that it performed the best at a lower end of hot temperature spectrum was also a good sign. Unfortunately to me, tereré from this yerba mate was simply too bleak and tasteless, which is really not a big deal — CBSé never advertised it to be suited for cold brewing.
Most convenient way to get ideal water temperature is to use an electric kettle or a stovetop kettle with temperature control. If you prefer traditional kettle you can use a infrared thermometer or a food thermometer .
Right from the first sip CBSé Frutos del Valle greets you with sweet flavors of fruits along with pleasant bitterness of yerba mate. This mate is not sugary sweet, although the added flavorings definitely increase the overall sweetness. I can taste both pear (duchess pear to be more specific) and green apple. The latter adds very interesting notes to the flavor profile of CBSé Frutos del Valle, ranging from fresh and naturally tart to a more pickled-like and cidery.
Yerba mate here is pretty simple and light, and tastes like a typical Argentine — slightly earthy, fragrant, with notes of hay and wood. As with other flavored yerbas, this choice for a less complex yerba is justified — you want a nice balance between the flavoring and inherent flavors of yerba mate, and complex yerbas will either overpower the additives or their delicate nuances will be lost in a more bold and straightforward flavoring.
The result of this blend is a simple but a very comfortable mate that is not meant for meditative contemplations, but for some casual leisure time at home or as a pleasant reminder of late summer days whenever and wherever you are.
The aftertaste of CBSé Frutos del Valle is pretty much non-existent. The fruity flavorings are the first thing that disappears from the taste of this mate, and yerba here is so passive, inert and is not meant to be in the center of attention that it leaves nothing in the finish of this mate. On the other hand, it makes CBSé Frutos del Valle a very drinkable mate and reinforces it in the role of a comfortable beverage that does not require you to think about it a lot, rather making your leisure time more enjoyable.
As I mentioned earlier, durability of CBSé Frutos del Valle depends on the temperature of the water. With water that is around 60°C - 65°C / 140°F - 150°F this mate can be really long — I am talking about up to 30 refills. With hotter water CBSé Frutos del Valle still has a solid moderate durability, and since the temperature has no effect on the taste, you can be really flexible and vary the durability of this mate by changing the temperature of water depending on the amount of time available to you.
Being a simple mate, CBSé Frutos del Valle has no evolution of flavors throughout the drinking duration — this yerba mate pretty much shows all it got right from the first sip. Despite being super durable, yerba mate flavors wash out quicker than the flavorings, making lavado sweet, fruity and extremely pleasant. I really enjoyed sipping washed out CBSé Frutos del Valle when I still got some water left in my thermos.
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, use a vacuum bottle or a very popular in South America mate thermos with sprout.
Light, simple, fruity, this mate may make you think that it is soft when it comes to its effects as well. I thought so too, and boy was I surprised! Just after a couple of refills I already started to feel a strong surge of energy. At times, it was almost unpleasant, and reminded me of jitters that you get from too much coffee. I would recommend to make CBSé Frutos del Valle your morning or afternoon mate — I definitely noticed increased productivity and concentration in addition to all the health benefits. Drinking this mate in the evening will likely interfere with your sleep and is not recommended unless you are trying to pull an all-nighter.
What are your thoughts on CBSé Frutos del Valle? Comment below!