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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 reward patient and skillful cebadores and definitely will be approved by novice drinkers who haven’t yet developed a palate for more bold and earthy mates.
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Liebig Original, much like its cousin — Playadito Con Palo — has very sweet and pleasant smell. It’s really tempting and inevitable to draw parallels between Liebig Original and Playadito, since they are made by the same manufacturer, but there is a reason why these yerbas produced under different branding.
Liebig Original smells very floral, there are absolutely no harsh notes in the nose of this yerba mate. You won’t find any tobacco, hay or wood, just a dozen of different sweet aromas — flowers, fruits, honey, cereal, jam, pastry — I can continue this long list, but you get the idea.
There is not much to say about the cut of Liebig original — it is an average con palo yerba mate. The average cut of leaves, the average amount and size of stems, and the average amount of powder — overall it is a balanced cut, but nothing really to write home about.
Liebig Original is a very delicateyerba mate that requires a very low (for hot mate) temperature to really shine. I experimented a lot with different temperatures for this mate and came to conclusion that the best water to prepare Liebig is somewhere in range between
55°Cand60°C/130°Fand140°F. Such low temperature will not burn off the intricate flavors of this mate, but on the flip side you’ll need to steep it a bit inside a gourd for probably around 15-20 seconds. The reason is simple — lower temperature water needs more time to extract flavors from the yerba. I recommend you to use this information as a starting point and experiment yourself to try and find the balance between water temperature and steeping time that would yield in the mate that you enjoy the most.
If you don’t use a very hot water with this mate, then you’re in for a treat — all those sweet floral and fruity tones that are present in the nose of Liebig Original transfer brilliantly to the taste of this mate. Also, to my surprise, it gaines some body in the process — at first I thought that Liebig Original was going to be a very light-bodied mate, but the more I was refilling it with water, the more it shifted towards the medium body.
The flavors of Liebig Original also change from mellow, almost akin to white tea, to more bold, pronounced, a bit tart and reminiscent of a green tea.
It’s still a very naturally sweet taste that in many ways is similar to Playadito Con Palo, but not as consistent, in a good way.
Aged for 18 months, this mate surprises with wider variety of flavors and that volatility, for the lack of a better term, creates a very interesting taste profile for Liebig Original.
The aftertaste of this mate is surprisingly different to its taste and creates a much needed balance to the overall mouthfeel. The sip of Liebig Original ends up with a bitter and hoppy finish, and combined with sweet floral and fruity flavors, it creates an experience that remids me of a crisp IPA, believe it or not.
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Unfortunately the magic of Liebig Original doesn’t last for long — I never managed to get more than 15 refills from this mate, which falls into a short durability category. On the upside, these are delicious 15 refills, that could be convenient for quick and delightful session when you don’t have time to sip mate for hours.
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,
or a very popular in South America
Just like Playadito Con Palo, Liebig Original makes for a great evening mate. I haven’t experienced any caffeine buzz, and became relaxed and calm after drinking this mate.
What are your thoughts on Liebig Original? Comment below!
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Pronounced [YER-bah MAH-teh] (or [SHER-bah MAH-teh] in Rioplatense Spanish). Also known as Ilex paraguariensis, a holly plant natively grown in South America, particularly in Northern Argentina, Paraguay and Southern Brazil (the term erva mate is used there more often). Yerba mate is used to make a beverage known as mate in Spanish, or chimarrão in Portugese. Oftenly, the term yerba mate is used to describe not only a plant, but also a final product of grinding, drying and aging the plant. Wikipedia article
Pronounced [MAH-teh]. Traditional South American caffeine-rich infused drink, very popular in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Southern Brazil (the term chimarrão is used there more often). It is prepared by steeping dried leaves of yerba mate in the gourd. Sometimes the gourd itself is referred to as mate. Wikipedia article
A vessel used for drinking mate traditionally. Usually it is made from a real dried calabash gourd, or calabaza in Spanish, hence the name. Today the term gourd is used not only to describe a calabash vessel, but any other cup from which mate is being drank (wooden, metal, ceramic, etc.)
Characteristic, used to define the tactile feel of mate in the mouth, similar to other gourmet products, like wine or coffee. It includes the mouthfeel of the drink, its thickness and weight. Cut of yerba mate, drying methods and aging all contribute to the body of mate. Usually, body can be described as light, medium and full — the more thick and dense mate feels in the mouth, the more full body it has.