A surprising addition to an already solid lineup of Piporé, this yerba mate offers a unique composition of con palo cut to take the flavor and durability to the next level. Have they succeeded? The short answer is yes and no. Piporé Sublime definitely is a unique and complex yerba mate that is a must try for every yerba mate connoisseur — just don’t set unrealistic expectations before trying it.
Every time I open a bag of Piporé Sublime I am greeted with a strong and rich aroma. This yerba mate is not mellow by any means — it makes a statement right from the first whiff. The nose of Piporé Sublime is woodsy and tobaccoey, and reminds me of Taragüi yerba mates that had a similar smell almost akin to unlit cigarette. This earthy and spicy aroma may put off some of the novice materos, but I find it to be pleasantly bold and assertive. A mild sweetness and a hint of compost smell add even more variety to the already rich profile of Piporé Sublime.
What got me interested in Piporé Sublime long before I actually tried it was the cut of this yerba mate. As a fan of Piporé I was curious why they decided to add yet another con palo yerba mate to their lineup. How does it differ from Piporé Con Palo and Piporé Selección Especial? According to their website, this yerba mate has a brand new cut with a goal of achieving better durability and taste. For Piporé Sublime they used the most thick yerba mate leaves and ground them much more coarse, at the same time reducing the amount of powder and stems.
Looking at the cut of Piporé Sublime I can definitely see what the manufacturer was talking about — leaves are actually coarse and thick, stems are nowhere near as plentiful as in the regular Piporé Con Palo, and powder content seems to be also pretty low.
The color of the cut is vibrant and deep — the array of various shades of dark mossy green leaves showcases a nice aged Argentine yerba mate. Speaking of aging and drying — Piporé has not specified any particular information, but seeing a big variety in the color and occasional brown toasted leaves, my guess would be that the standard heating method was used for this yerba mate, meaning that it was exposed to a hot air from the fire without the smoke, and it was aged for at least 12 months.
Despite the efforts to minimize the amount of stems and dust, Piporé Sublime is still a con palo yerba mate, so preparation should not be difficult for any cebador. The extra coarse cut allows to experiment with different bombillas that could get clogged with other types of cuts, like spring bombilla or slotted bombilla.
Temperature-wise, Piporé Sublime seems to be inline with other yerba mates by Piporé — the sweet spot is somewhere in between 70°C and 75°C / 160°F and 165°F . Lower than that — and this mate becomes too weak and bleak. Surprisingly enough, hotter temperature doesn’t ruin Piporé Sublime like it would for the majority of other yerbas. At 80°C / 175°F and slightly higher this mate becomes tad bitter but remains balanced and delicious. Still, I would not recommend going any higher to avoid burning the inside of your mouth. If you want to be precise, I would recommend drinking Piporé Sublime at exactly 75°C / 165°F to experience the best this mate has to offer.
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 .
If you follow my advice on water temperature you will find Piporé Sublime to be perfectly balanced, nuanced and delicious. I especially want to accentuate how balanced this mate is — perfect amounts of sweetness and bitterness, earthiness and spiciness, woodiness and grassiness. It is a complex mate that rewards you for paying attention. I can taste the robustness of a fresh bark, oak, soil, tobacco, but also more friendly notes, such as cherry pit, hazelnut and something spicy, peppery, grainy and toasty. The latter I attribute to those slightly roasted leaves — in moderation they add that extra layer of flavors that takes the taste profile of this mate to a whole new level.
Compared to the other con palo yerba mates by Piporé, this one feels similar yet distinctive, it takes some of the flavors from both of the other mates and adds unique character. Piporé Sublime is more complex than Piporé Con Palo, but not as floral as Piporé Selección Especial. It is more bold than both of them, but shares the same medium-bodied mouthfeel. Overall, Piporé Sublime is a delightful mate that will not disappoint even a seasoned connoisseur.
The aftertaste of Piporé Sublime is not very lingering but it is pronounced and distinctive. The finish is slightly tart with even more accent on nutty and cherry pit flavors. The nuttiness brings back memories of Cruz de Malta Tradicional, which I find to be very delicious and unique.
So, with this brand new cut and a fancy name, one of the main questions is still left unanswered — was Piporé able to increase the durability of their mate? The answer is unfortunately no. On average I was able to get 20 to 25 refills from Piporé Sublime. Most of the time it was closer to 20, which makes it a moderate durability mate. It is on par with other yerbas in the Piporé lineup and it is not bad by any means, but leaves me slightly disappointed from all that hype that has been built.
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 spout.
I was drinking Piporé Sublime at different times of the day and the result was the same no matter what — it always was a very neutral mate as I have not experienced neither noticeable energetic buzz nor significant relaxation and calmness after drinking it. This neutrality makes Piporé Sublime very versatile if you drink mate for taste and not effects; I enjoyed drinking it early in the morning, late at night and during occasional afternoons.
Special thanks to Un Mate Europe for providing Piporé Sublime for this review!
What are your thoughts on Piporé Sublime? Comment below!