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What Does Yerba Mate Taste Like?

Jason has been an online writer for over 12 years. His articles focus on everything from philosophy to delicious recipes.

Yerba mate comes as bunch of very small pieces, much like fannings in low-quality tea. The bits are varying colors of green, tan and brown.

Yerba mate comes as bunch of very small pieces, much like fannings in low-quality tea. The bits are varying colors of green, tan and brown.

The Flavor of Yerba Mate

Yerba mate, a South American herb related to the holly whose leaves are drunk much like tea, has a taste that is different from tea, even green tea. It's strong, earthy, bitter, and has a eucalyptus smell.

What does yerba mate taste like?

  • Strong and pungent, especially if prepared in the traditional fashion from the gourd and straw.
  • Somewhat earthy, not completely unlike green pu-erh tea.
  • A slightly camphor/eucalyptus smell and taste (like Vicks).
  • Bitter, but not very astringent if prepared similarly to tea.

Read More From Delishably

How long should I steep yerba mate for maximum flavor?

It also comes in tiny broken pieces of the leaf, so in hot water, it doesn't take long to steep. I typically steep a couple of teaspoons in almost-boiling water for about 30 seconds, while I usually steep tea for at least 3 minutes.

Does yerba mate have caffeine?

Yerba mate has quite a bit of caffeine—more than tea, but less than coffee—so it can be addictive (I'm speaking from personal experience...).

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