Kurupí Clásica has a very distinctive Paraguayan smell — you can definitely tell that this yerba mate is designed for tereré. It is strong and sharp, with non-overpowering smokiness in it. Sweet dried plums dominate the nose of Kurupí Clásica along with dry fruits. If you’ve ever been to a Finnish sauna you will certainly recognize some of its smells in the aroma of this yerba mate. Very woody, slightly spicy — overall, it has a very sweet, slightly smoky and pleasant smell.
Paraguayan is also the best adjective to describe the cut of Kurupí Clásica — you’ll find very similar cuts in most of Paraguayan yerba mate brands. It is has darker and less saturated color than yerba mate from Argentina and especially Brazil, and has a brown hue — it looks like it has been exposed to open fire or a very hot air during drying process.
The composition of the cut lies somewhere between typical Argentine and Uruguayan yerba mate — it has generous amounts of both stems and powder, and leaves are grinded into relatively small pieces, but not as small as, say in Canarias.
As a Paraguayan yerba mate, Kurupí Clásica is primarily designed for tereré. That means that this yerba mate should be stronger than others so the cold water could extract flavors better. Drinking Paraguayan mate with hot water usually yields in too strong, bitter and overpoweringly smoky drink, but it’s not the case with Kurupí Clásica. I prepared it with both hot and cold water and enjoyed it both ways.
For tereré preparation should be extremely simple — as long as you have a source of cold water and ice you will experience no problems whatsoever.
If you would drink Kurupí Clásica as a hot mate I would suggest using water up to 70°C / 160°F to get the most out of its flavors. Colder water is fine too, but hotter will make it too bitter and astringent.
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.
Ice cold water delivers the taste of Kurupí Clásica brilliantly. The nose of this mate translates into the taste almost identically — I can feel the same woody and spicy flavors, although it doesn’t taste as sweet as it smells. It’s not complicated but very pleasant taste that can be a good base for other added flavors, like mint, lemongrass or other different yuyos.
As it was expected, hot water makes this mate more sharp and bitter. Woody and spicy flavors become very pronounced and pretty much dominate in hot Kurupí Clásica. Very oaky and slightly sweet, it almost tastes like whiskey or even bourbon!
Tereré made from Kurupí Clásica has a very long and flavorous aftertaste. Although this yerba mate contains no mint, the finish of it is very minty and fresh. But mint quickly fades away and changes into a lengthy, pleasant and bitter-sweet aftertaste. Apparently, all the sweetness from the nose of Kurupí Clásica unravels in the finish.
Comparing to a tereré, finish of hot mate is not as long, but still has a decent duration. It’s also not as sweet, but still pleasant and again, very oaky.
When you drink Kurupí Clásica with cold water, expect it to last somewhere between 20 and 25 refills, which makes it a solid medium duration tereré.
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.
Drinking cold Kurupí Clásica on a hot summer day was a truly rejuvenating experience. Sweat disappears immediately, and mind becomes fresh and sharp. This tereré was a savior during scorching and sultry weather, and it showed me why Kurupí is one if the most popular brands in Paraguay.
You can definitely feel the energy rush after drinking Kurupí Clásica with hot water, but it is not sudden, it doesn’t kick you off the seat. This mate gives you rare combination of relaxation, calmness and laser-sharp focus — I think it’s a great mate for busy mornings, ahead of a long anxious day.
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