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Dual nature is what makes Selecta Tradicional so unique — it shares characteristics of both Paraguayan and Argentine yerba mate. Despite being pretty good as a tereré, Selecta Tradicional is one of those rare Paraguayan brands that is probably even better with hot water. If you have never had a Paraguayan mate and want to start exploring Paraguayan brands — this could be your perfect candidate.
As I mentioned in my Kurupí Clásica review, in general, Paraguayan yerba mate is designed for tereré. But that doesn’t mean that you cannot drink it with hot water — some people even prefer to enjoy strong and pronounced flavors of Paraguayan mate that way. Still, tereré version is without doubt much more easier in preparation. No need to worry and measure water temperature — just throw some ice into a cold water, pour it into your guampa and enjoy tereré.
The cut of Selecta Tradicional should give you no problems in the guampa — you are free to use any bombilla that you like.
As with all Paraguayan yerba mate, when you drink it hot the key is not to overheat the water —
70°C/160°F is more than enough and water that is hotter will, in my opinion, ruin mate such as Selecta by making it too bitter and strong. However, you might want to go lower than that, as low as
60°C/140°F because due to the dual nature of this mate that I will explain in details a bit later, lower temperature water can unveil a whole different set of flavors.
The flavors that you get from cold Selecta Tradicional are very pleasant — slightly sweet and sour, spicy and very herbal. It has no bitterness at all and has all characteristics of a light body.
Hot water delivers the taste of Selecta Tradicional very differently compared to a tereré version of this yerba mate. To be honest with you — it doesn’t taste like Paraguayan mate at all! Hot Selecta has a typical Argentine mate taste — dry grass, hay and a bit of compost, not smoky at all, bready and doughy, sweet, slight notes of caramel and vanilla. This mate reminds me of Piporé Con Palo, and in my opinion the hot version of Selecta Tradicional is much better than tereré from the same yerba mate. In terms of the mouthfeel, hot Selecta leans more towards the medium body.
In the finish Selecta Tradicional tereré transforms from sweet and mellow to a bitter but not repulsive aftertaste, kind of similar to very hoppy IPAs. It is also a lot less herbal and more oaky, pro rata to its smell.
Hot mate has a pleasant savory finish that still has a lot more in common with Argentine mate. Despite that, some of the Paraguayan properties find their way into the aftertaste of Selecta — it finishes definitely more woody and bitter than it tastes.
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On average, tereré from Selecta Tradicional lasted me for 20 refills, which I consider a moderate durability. However, I usually expect a bit longer durability from tereré, because cold water extracts flavors slower than hot water, so 20 refills, to be honest, is quite disappointing.
Hot water was able to extract flavors from Selecta Tradicional for about 25 refills. It’s still a moderate durability, but I was pleasantly surprised.
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
I have yet to discover a tereré that would not be refreshing and cooling, and Selecta Tradicional is not an exception. Few sips — and hot sweaty day turns into vigorous and productive. Not every Paraguayan yerba mate brand manages to deliver its effects so quickly as Selecta Tradicional, and I appreciate that fact a lot.
You can definitely notice slight increase in energy after drinking hot Selecta — it seems that this yerba mate is more caffeinated than average Argentine yerba mate. But overall the effects are rather weak so don’t rely on this mate after a sleepless night.
What are your thoughts on Selecta 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
Infusion of yerba mate, similar to mate but prepared with cold water and ice. Most popular way of consuming yerba mate in Paraguay. Usually is drank with addition of yuyos from guampa. Wikipedia article
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