With Rei Verde Export, Brazilians decided to go all the way and instead of providing a raw yerba mate for Uruguayan manufacturers, like they usually do, they gave people a complete end-product, aged and packaged according to their preferences, that turned up to be a fantastic, delicious and exemplary Uruguayan yerba mate. An absolute must-try for people who prefer this kind of mate.
Rei Verde Export has a super fragrant and aromatic nose. Notes of prunes, plums, dry fruits, palo santo sawdust and dry crumbs of sweet bread create a very thick, tasty and rich aroma that reminds me of Del Cebador Clásica. I almost want to take a pinch of this yerba mate and eat it right away! Uruguayan yerba mates can often exhibit some smoky and leathery notes in their nose, but I don’t smell any of those harsh aromas in Rei Verde Export.
Despite being made by a Brazilian company, Rei Verde Export is not your typical fresh green erva mate. As the name suggests, this yerba mate is not made for the local Brazilian market, but mainly for the country that is the largest consumer of Brazilian-grown ilex paraguariensis — Uruguay. And in Uruguay they like their yerba mate fine, aged and dusty.
In that sense, Rei Verde Export is an exemplary P.U.1 yerba mate, and is on par with yerbas that are produced in Uruguay, such as Canarias, Sara and Del Cebador. It is a bit more vibrantly green, which is to be expected from a Brazilian yerba mate, and seems to be more powdery than usual. But overall, Rei Verde Export is your typical Uruguayan yerba mate that in no way would make me guess that it was not only grown, but manufactured in Brazil.
As you would probably guess, preparing Rei Verde Export is not that trivial. In fact, this yerba mate is one of the most fine and dusty Uruguayan yerbas that I had, making it more tricky to prepare even by Uruguayan standards. You’ll need a proper spoon bombilla or maybe even a Brazilian bomba for Rei Verde Export. Don’t even think about using slotted bombilla — it will instantly get clogged. Proper molding technique is also required for this yerba mate in order to successfully maintain the separation between the mountain and water hole.
Temperature-wise, I find that this mate is more long, tasty and potent at a higher than average temperature range — go over 80°C / 175°F if you want to get the maximum from Rei Verde Export. Even 70°C / 160°F water, which is not cold by any means, is just not enough to open up this yerba mate and will yield in a mate that is too bleak, mellow and short.
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 laser thermometer or a food thermometer .
I will be honest and straightforward with you — I fell in love with Rei Verde Export from the first sip. And the more I drank it the more strongly I felt about this mate. Complex, rich and full-bodied, Rei Verde Export embodies everything that I love about Uruguayan yerba mate. Creamy, syrupy, malty; notes of plums, cherry and a touch of natural sweetness; bready, doughy and slightly spicy, with hints of vanilla, nutmeg and clove; woodsy, nutty and round, this mate performes a harmonious symphony of flavors like a perfectly conducted orchestra.
Rei Verde Export gives a different experience to enjoy, not quite the same as Canarias, Del Cebador or Sara. It is unique, but still familiar and recognizable as Uruguayan mate. Not as leathery and masculine as Canarias Tradicional, not as chocolatey and milky as Del Cebador Clásica, not as green and vegetative as Sara Tradicional — this mate is different and fantastic.
Aftertaste of Rei Verde Export is quite long and pronounced, letting you enjoy the complex deliciousness of this mate. Pleasantly bitter and welcomingly sweet, Rei Verde Export doesn’t want to let you go. The taste of this mate finishes as strongly as it starts, relying more on the woodsy and spicy notes, compared to a more dry-fruity and bready notes that hit you right after the sip.
If you’re a fan of super long mates where a single gourd can last you the whole day, Rei Verde Export will definitely become your favorite. Everytime I drank this mate it always surpassed 30 refills, making it one of the longest mates I’ve ever had! Keep in mind though — as I mentioned earlier, such incredible duration can be achieved only using water that is hotter than 80°C / 175°F (don’t burn yourself!). Rei Verde Export will still be pretty long even at 60°C - 70°C / 140°F - 160°F , but not as long as at 80°C / 175°F .
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.
Every time I was drinking Rei Verde Export I immediately started to notice a subtle yet noticeable stimulating effect, giving me a feeling of focus and clarity of mind and enough kick to consider it energizing mate rather than neutral. The energy, however, was never over the top, making it quite safe to consume in the evening, which is an all-day mate in my book. I would still advise you to test it out for yourself, especially if you’re overly sensitive to caffeine.
What are your thoughts on Rei Verde Export? Comment below!