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It’s not a surprise that Cruz de Malta Tradicional is the favorite yerba mate of many people, because it manages to deliver on all fronts. Rich and interesting taste profile, surprising and unique finish and one of the longest drinking durations of any yerba mate on the market — Cruz de Malta Tradicional is a true gem that beats every other mate when prepared correctly.
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I would describe the aroma of this yerba mate as very vegetal with a little sourness. Floral notes and a very unique smell of dried berries — it almost doesn’t smell like yerba mate at all!
Cruz de Malta Tradicional is a traditional Argentine con palo yerba mate and the cut of it reflects that. The leaves are ground unevenly, so you can see huge coarsely cut chunks along with small pieces. The amount of stems is medium as well as their size. Good amount of powder rounds up interesting cut of this yerba mate.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any official information about the process of drying and aging Cruz de Malta Tradicional. That would be interesting to know, because it has a very pretty kaleidoscope of different shades of green — from dark and almost brown to light and bright.
Classical Argentine con palo cut means that Cruz de Malta Tradicional should give you no problems in the gourd.
What’s interesting about the preparation process of this mate is the temperature of the water. On the package manufacturer recommends to use
70°C-80°C/160°F-175°F water, but I have to disagree with them. I found that even
70°C/160°F water ‘burns’ and destroys subtle flavors of Cruz de Malta Tradicional and trust me, you don’t want to miss those! In my experience
60°C-65°C/140°F-150°F is ideal for this mate.
Wow, the taste profile of Cruz de Malta Tradicional is very unique. Wild and bright, at the same time it is mild and calm. Bitter and tart but smooth at the same time.
As the nose of this yerba mate, the taste is also a bit sour and berry. It’s not light and fruity though, with some heavy earthy and even compost notes. Slightly sweet and very well-rounded, this is a medium-bodied mate with full body attributes.
Despite the fact that I’m absolutely in love with rich and saturated taste of Cruz de Malta Tradicional, I think my favorite thing about it is its aftertaste. In my opinion even the most deep and delicious mate can be ruined by shallow and bad finish, but luckily this is not the case with Cruz de Malta Tradicional.
Aftertaste of this mate is long and pronounced but what’s most interesting is that other new flavors start to unravel in the mouth. It’s woody and berry at first and becomes pleasantly tart after a while and ends up with strong and tasty flavor of raw fresh hazelnut. I haven’t tasted this flavor in any other mate, so drinking Cruz de Malta Tradicional creates a really unique and memorable experience.
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On average Cruz de Malta Tradicional lasted for amazing 30 refills, which makes it one of the longest Argentine mates. I have to remind that Cruz de Malta Tradicional reached those heights when it was brewed with temperature of
60°C-65°C/140°F-150°F. When I tried to brew it with manufacturer’s recommended temperature it became lavado significantly quicker, after around 20 refills. It’s not that bad, but in my opinion
60°C-65°C/140°F-150°F is better both in terms of flavor and duration of drinking.
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
In my experience Cruz de Malta Tradicional is a good “all day every day” mate due to its long drinking duration, mild effects and interesting taste profile that never gets boring. It was nice to drink it at any time of day, be it the morning when I needed to wake myself up, or in the evening before going to bed. I drank it mainly throughout the day because usually I don’t have that much time (remember, 30 refills!) in the morning or in the evening.
What are your thoughts on Cruz de Malta Tradicional? 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
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.)
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
Spanish adjective which means washed. Used as a term to point out that all the flavors “washed away” from mate and it becomes tasteless. The more refills yerba mate can take before becoming lavado, the longer durability it has.