Erva Mate Reviews

Mate, or chimarrão in Portuguese, is not really a national drink in Brazil — only three southern states Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Paraná consume this beverage in large quantities. Despite that, Brazil is one of the biggest producers of yerba mate in the world, and also is the main exporter of Uruguayan yerba mate, because the small area of the latter is dedicated to cattle and farming.

Brazilian materos do not limit themselves only to the chimarrão — due to the hot climate, tereré is very popular throughout the Central-West and Northern region of the country, especially in the state of Mato Grosso. Many varieties of tereré can be found there, with flavors such as passionfruit, pineapple, grape, or even coffee flavored tereré.

Brazil flag

Brazilian yerba mate, or erva mate as they call it, is very distinctive in almost every aspect. First of all Brazilians prefer not to age it at all — usually erva mate is quickly dried and packaged to preserve the fresh grassy taste and bright green color. The other distinctive feature is the extremely fine cut of erva mate — combined with neon green color it really resembles the matcha green tea.

Different cut and aging means different approach to drinking chimarrão — it is done with cuia and bomba. Bomba is a regular bombilla straw, but with a much finer filtering system to prevent clogging and is noticeably longer. Why longer? To fit in cuia — a calabash gourd with wide opening, usually much larger in size and volume than typical Argentine gourds. The thing is that aging of yerba mate usually results in a more rich, long, and multidimensional flavor profile, so fresh erva mate that has not been aged usually is more mellow and simple, requiring a larger quantities of product to be used in a single ceremony to get a full-flavored beverage.

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