Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas is one of the herbal blends offered by Cruz de Malta, and it is not a bad yerba mate. My only concern is that I don’t see what it brings to the table — Cruz de Malta Boldo y Menta, for instance, can be enjoyed as tereré, offers a longer durability and similar yet slightly more complex flavor profile. If Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas is your only option for herbal compuestas then go for it, but know that there are more exciting options even within the Cruz de Malta lineup.
Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas has a very fragrant woodsy aroma. In addition to a sawdust note, I can smell medicinal herbal notes, which is to be expected from compuesta yerba mate. To my surprise, I was not able to pick up any mint in the nose of Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas, even though this yerba mate is blended with peppermint and pennyroyal. Overall, it has a very pleasant and pronounced aroma of an aged yerba mate.
If I would’ve guessed the country of origin of this yerba mate just by the look of it, I would definitely say that it is Paraguayan. All the features of Paraguayan cut are there — yellowy-beige coarsely ground leaves with an enormous amount of powder and finely cut stems.
But Cruz de Malta yerba mate is produced in Argentina, and if you have had Cruz de Malta Boldo y Menta or have read my review, this cut should not surprise you — apparently, Cruz de Malta makes their compuestas more similar to Paraguayan because they are intended not only for hot mate, but also for tereré.
Due to a high amount of powder, Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas may present a challenge if you don’t pick the right bombilla. I would suggest not wasting your time with spring bombilla or slotted bombilla and play it safe with a spoon bombilla.
When it comes to water, I find that this mate prefers low to mid-range temperature, so anything between 60°C and 75°C / 140°F and 165°F should be fine for Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas. Hotter temperature makes this mate shorter and very unbalanced.
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 .
Mint went missing in the nose of Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas, but was found in the taste of this mate. In fact, mint is the first and most dominant taste note, which makes sense knowing the composition of this yerba mate. I can mostly taste peppermint, which obviously adds peppery and spicy notes to the bouquet of Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas. Pennyroyal is here mostly for the slightly sweet bitterness and probably for its medicinal qualities.
As with Cruz de Malta Boldo y Menta, the yerba mate that is used for this compuesta is not as good as the one that is used for Cruz de Malta Tradicional, and is quite simple and straightforward. It is woodsy, fairly earthy but generally pretty watery, though dusty cut allows it to gain a medium body.
Addition of peppermint and pennyroyal is welcomed and gives Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas an intermediate complexity, even if it’s still a little less complex than Cruz de Malta Boldo y Menta, and much more simple than Cruz de Malta Tradicional.
Tereré from this yerba mate completely disappointed me — no matter how much I let it steep in the guampa, it was nearly tasteless and boring, which is strange, considering that Cruz de Malta Boldo y Menta made a terrific tereré and had a very similar Paraguayan-like cut.
The aftertaste of Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas is also pretty simple but also has a slightly unpleasant medicinal note that doesn’t allow me to enjoy this mate after taking a sip. Fortunately, the finish is quite short and doesn’t spoil the experience too much.
Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas was somewhat inconsistent when it comes to duration, lasting anywhere from 15 to 20 refills, and falling into a moderate durability category. The flavors were distributed evenly as the mate session went by, and lavado was gradual.
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.
I really enjoyed the effects that I was experiencing after drinking Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas. In the morning I felt a very long-lasting and comfortably energizing sensation that provided me clarity and focus. It was not relaxing, but also never interfered with my sleep, so this mate is safe to drink in the evening. Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas can definitely be an all-day mate, but personally I prefer to enjoy it in the first half of the day due to a really positive and productivity-enhancing effect.
What are your thoughts on Cruz de Malta Hierbas Serranas? Comment below!