Light and sweet, no matter if you prepare it as hot mate or cold tereré, Taragüi Maracuyá can be a great first stepping stone to those materos who started off with traditional Argentine yerba mate and want to see what’s all the fuss is with tereré. It can also be a no-nonsense mate for those who want to get all the benefits and effects of yerba, served in a drink that almost tastes like a fruit juice. For that reason, it also may be a perfect introduction mate for your children, who will definitely enjoy the taste of passion fruit and orange, but will still get an idea of what the actual yerba mate tastes like.
The aroma of Taragüi Maracuyá is surprisingly subtle. I don’t smell almost any flavoring at all! It has a pretty typical nose for Argentine yerba mate — hay, wood, dry fruits, raisins. After a couple of whiffs tropical fruity smell starts to come out, most likely from the passion fruit flavoring. Orange flavoring is added as well, lending a little citrusy and slightly sour aroma to the bouquet of this yerba mate. There are no harsh notes in the aroma of Taragüi Maracuyá — I don’t sense any smokiness nor tobacco notes, that I usually get in yerbas from Taragüi. A touch of sweet floral note finishes the simple yet pleasant nose of this yerba mate.
No surprises here as well — Taragüi Maracuyá has a standard Argentine con palo cut. Leaves vary from small to medium-sized, stems are also present in a healthy amount, and powder is noticeable but not abundant. Speaking of powder — in my experience flavored yerbas are usually dustier than an average con palo yerba mate, due to the fact that in most of the cases it is added as a dry extract. Here, flavoring is not visible and looks like a moderate addition to Taragüi Maracuyá that is not intended to overshadow the yerba mate itself.
I am pretty pleased with the color of Taragüi Maracuyá — it has a quite vibrant and saturated shades of green for an aged yerba mate. Still, there are some inclusions of slightly toasted brownish leaves that indicate a standard drying method with quick fire exposure.
Con palo cut of Taragüi Maracuyá makes it easy to prepare it without clogging your bombilla. This yerba mate definitely can be enjoyed with any type of bombilla, so it presents a good opportunity to whip out your rare and less used ones — I, for some reason, like my spring bombilla with Taragüi Maracuyá. Be accurate with temperature though! Taragüi Maracuyá is a somewhat forgiving yerba mate, but you will enjoy it much more when prepared with water that is 70°C - 75°C / 160°F - 165°F . Hotter water makes this yerba mate less stable and less durable, and water that is about 60°C / 140°F is simply not enough for it to give off any flavor and makes Taragüi Maracuyá bleak and boring.
Because I was not impressed by the performance of Taragüi Maracuyá at lower temperatures, I was a bit skeptical towards its ability to make a tereré. Luckily for us, this yerba mate is absolutely great with cold water! All you need is some ice to keep it cold in the thermos, and you’re good to go. And due to the presence of the flavoring you don’t even need to add any juice to it! The only thing I want you to keep in mind is that Taragüi Maracuyá is still an Argentine yerba mate that is mostly intended for hot water, so some steeping after a refill is advised for a more flavorful sip of this tereré.
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 .
The water breaks the shackles of those subtle tropical notes found in the nose of Taragüi Maracuyá and really makes this yerba mate bloom. Passion fruit and orange come to the fore in the taste of Taragüi Maracuyá. Nonetheless, the inherent earthy woodsy herbal flavors of yerba mate do not disappear, and create a delicious harmony with the tropical fruits. It is a light-bodied, sweet, slightly bitter and overall quite simple yerba mate that does not invent anything new, but nails the earthy hay herbal essentials of Argentine yerba mate. I totally agree with that approach — for a flavored yerba, manufacturer wants to get a solid and no-nonsense base that will get everything you expect from a yerba mate taste-wise, and then add the flavoring that will play well with that base. Subtle notes that you get from experimenting with drying and aging will simply get lost in a flavored yerba.
Similar things happen in the taste of tereré made from Taragüi Maracuyá. Right off the bat I get the tropical fruitiness — it takes no time to transfer passion fruit and orange flavoring to the ice-cold water. Yerba mate remains silent for a first few refills. It slowly starts to bloom, giving off some earthiness and herbal bitterness that pair well with the sweet and fruity notes. Very light-bodied and not harsh at all, Taragüi Maracuyá is a great first stepping stone for materos of all ages who may not enjoy smokier and bolder yerbas for tereré.
The simplicity of flavors transfers to the aftertaste of Taragüi Maracuyá, making its finish also quite simple. The flavoring is still the main actor here, filling the roof of the mouth with vapors of passion fruit flavoring. Orange is surprisingly missing in the finish of Taragüi Maracuyá, probably because it was not as present in this yerba mate as a flavoring. Tropical notes do not stay there for long, leaving you with a short, non-sweet and slightly bitter aftertaste that relatively quickly fades away, making Taragüi Maracuyá a drinkable mate that you can sip at a fast cadence.
As with hot mate, the finish of tereré from Taragüi Maracuyá is pretty simple and fruity. Passion fruit and some yerba mate bitterness dominate the aftertaste of this tereré, which is as drinkable as the hot mate.
As I mentioned earlier, the right water makes Taragüi Maracuyá more durable, but no matter the temperature it still makes a moderate mate. Water that is around 70°C / 160°F will get you closer to the higher end of the moderate durability range — you can expect 21-23 refills. Water that is hotter or colder will make a shorter, yet still moderate mate — about 16-18 refills. I did not observe any evolution of flavors while drinking hot Taragüi Maracuyá, but that is expected from a simple flavored yerba mate. Tropical flavorings seem to last longer than base yerba mate that completely washes off few refills prior to the dry extract of passion fruit and orange, allowing you to enjoy a fruity and sweet lavado.
Tereré from Taragüi Maracuyá lasts about 17-19 refills, which also falls into a moderate durability category. In my experience it needs about 5 refills to become fully flavorful, and start shifting from a lighter sweeter cold drink to a bolder and more bitter tereré, and then back to fruity sweet and light as it reaches lavado.
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.
I did notice some surge of energy while drinking hot Taragüi Maracuyá in the mornings. However, it was not as invigorating as it can get with some yerba mates — grogginess will not fade away after drinking this mate. It made evenings on the other hand a good time to enjoy Taragüi Maracuyá, as it did not mess up my sleep and overall was quite neutral no matter the time of day. Taragüi Maracuyá is a good all-day mate that will not alter your energy levels, but will provide you with its health benefits as well as inherent effects of yerba mate, such as the increased focus and concentration, making it a great companion for you work during morning and afternoon or leisure in the evening.
Tereré from Taragüi Maracuyá is, as expected, refreshing and cooling, which is especially welcomed on a hot summer day. It does not become more energizing with ice-cold water, so you can safely enjoy Taragüi Maracuyá on languid and sultry evenings.
What are your thoughts on Taragüi Maracuyá? Comment below!