Sweet Yerba Mate

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Yerba maté Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
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205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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From Samovar

Origin: Yerba Mate from Paraguay. Licorice root from United States.

Flavor Profile: Earthy and sweet with notes of bran, hay, and sweetgrass and a hint of sweet anise.

Tea Story: Our honeyed take on Yerba Mate sweetened up a bit with the delightful anise flavor of organic licorice root. This herbal is the only herbal we have that has caffeine. Yerba Mate was originally sipped by the Guyarani Indians in South America. Today, Yerba Mate has become a daily ritual all over South America and now San Francisco too.

In the fields and villages of rural Paraguay, Yerba Mate consumption provides a reflection of the strongest traditional values of rural Paraguay. When receiving guests, a host always invites them to drink Yerba Mat? not just out of courtesy but also because of tradition.

Yerba Mate is customarily sipped from a gourd, called aguampa, through a metal straw, called a bombilla, while being passed from person to person. In this fashion, Yerba Mate is consumed in the presence of family, friends, co-workers or guests because it provides an opportunity for social interaction.

People take the time to visit, share ideas, and get to know each other while drinking Yerba Mate These customs demonstrate their place in Paraguayan culture as a tradition based in community and regard for others.

The people of Paraguay have enjoyed Yerba Mate for hundreds of years. Yerba Mate has been regarded as a traditional herbal medicine and healthy daily ritual throughout regions of South America. In Europe, it has been recommended as a stimulant that reduces stress, obesity, headaches, and arthritis.

The nutrients of this naturally caffeinated drink comprise of 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, potent antioxidants, and 196 active compounds (superior to green tea’s active compounds). Yerba Mate does contain caffeine (in spite of the “myth” about “mateine”). However, compared to coffee, Yerba Mat?contains up to 50% less caffeine. As a result, a serving of Yerba Mate provides a more balanced stimulation without the nervous jitters often associated with coffee and other highly-caffeinated beverages.

Yerba Mate is more than just a yummy herbal infusion – it is used as a tonic, a diuretic, and as a stimulant to aid gastric function in herbal medicine systems throughout South America and is regarded as a rejuvenating, healthy drink to aid in everyday life.

We tasted a lot of Mate out there, but finally hooked up with a small collective of family farmers in Paraguay to supply us.

We chose them for two reasons:
1. We really liked the full, strong, bittersweet, vegetal taste of their product.
2. We wanted to help support them maintain their traditional farming methods and culture.

There are other small farmers all over South America who are currently seriously threatened by big agro-business, and they are being tempted to convert all of their farms to soybean production. The problem with soybean farming is that in a few years their land gets depleted of its nutrients, they use pesticides and chemicals to produce the biggest crops in the fastest way possible, and their local economy is threatened by big-business interests.

Brew up the best Yerba Mate around, and help to support these small family farms. We think mate tastes best when sipped in the traditional gourd, guampa, from the traditional metal straw, bombilla.

Samovarian Poetry: Bittersweet & vegetal, a antioxidant boosting beverage from South America

Food Pairing: Yerba Mate earthy and slightly bitter, but it pairs well with morning pastries: raisin bran muffins, croissants with lots of butter, Samovar’s Quinoa Ginger Waffles.

About Samovar View company

Samovar's is dedicated to preserving the simplicity and integrity of the tea traditions and inspiring people to practice peace through drinking tea.

9 Tasting Notes

911 tasting notes

Apparently I had this about a month ago. I didn’t rate it since I wasn’t really sure about it, mate being well outside my normal range of teas. But instead of thinking it over, having some more and rating it, I managed to forget all about this tea. So okay, forgetting I’ve had the tea certainly doesn’t speak favorably for it, but at least it wasn’t so horrible that it scarred me – because that’s the wrong type of memorable. Anyway, I’m prepared to give this one another go and actually rate it this time.

Huh. I think mate and I just aren’t going to develop a close relationship. It’s a little too woodsy and autumnal for me, but not in a crisp-autumn-day-spent-hiking-through-the-woods type of way that I could get behind. Instead, it’s more of an I-live-on-a-commune-with-goats-and-never-shave kind of way. Which isn’t to say that commune living with goats is a bad thing. It’s just that I like my razor and my husband says I can’t have goats (or alpacas) because I’d let them in the house. (He’s right.) So even though this is (very) sweet from the licorice and has a simultaneously clean and cuddly taste, I think it is a little too natural tasting for my personal tastes.

ETA: Dropping the rating a lot (a lot). Licorice apparently gives me bad heartburn. This tea killed me for hours after the cup was done.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec

I kind of like it, but I certainly wouldn’t want it every day. It’s DEFINITELY a ‘living on a commune with goats’ kind of thing. I might add ‘in a yurt’ too.

PS: Speaking from personal experience: goats are evil.

They are like cats with horns and a constant desire to head-butt everything that moves and eat everything that doesn’t.

(They are cute though.)


Hehe! My grandma used to have goats. I enjoyed their chins quite a bit. But then I like my headbutting cats, too. (Though they have no horns.)


Oh, tea-related, it’s not a bad tea at all. I think it kind of boils down to a style thing. And I do think a yurt is a good addition to the description!


@sophistre: lol!! Have you seen the movie “Babies”? There’s this cute scene with one of the babies, Bayar, bathing and a goat wanders over to drink the bathwater! http://www.filminfocus.com/video/babies_bathing


The licorice in this tea does not soften the grass flavor at all..


Something like this doesn’t make me think of grass at all though. Sencha is grass-like to me. This was more… moss.


Yes moss is a better description….I am likely going to put my smalll tin on the Take it Away thread. But shoot, who will be brave enough to try this one?


Mate in general is kind of scary to me.

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4846 tasting notes

OK… I really… don’t like this. And I’m surprised, because I love licorice, and I have never been disappointed by Samovar before… but this… is just horrible.

Licorice and Yerba Mate do not go well together.

Just say no.


What a shame. Thanks for the warning. A yerba mate/licorice blend was something I planned on trying some day at home. O_O; I would’ve assumed I just used some wrong balence and wasted so such tea!


Well, it could be the wrong balance from Samovar’s end… I don’t wish to discourage you from trying to blend your own blend. What really disappointed me was not so much that the tea itself was terrible but that it was from Samovar, because I have tasted a few from Samovar over the last couple of days, and in one of my reviews (written for Tea Review Blog but not yet published), I had mentioned that I’ve not yet been disappointed by a blend from Samovar… looks like I have to retract that statement now. :(


Ouch. That’s an almost personal let down on Samovar’s part. Maybe I will try that blend. Do you know any yerba mates that could work a little better?


Well, yesterday I tried a Peppermint Yerba Mate from Samovar which was tasty. I really like Mate Factor’s Yerba Mate (their dark roast is great). Over the last year particularly, I’ve tried several yerba mate blends that I have really enjoyed (more that I’ve enjoyed than not).

Michelle Butler Hallett

Eeewww. Licorice and yerba mate just sound vile to me. But Im genuinely sorry it tasted so bad for you,

@ Batrachoid: I really like the Jumpy Monkey blend from David’s Teas: green yerba mate with coffee beans, almonds, white chocolate and cloves.


Liber TEAS- u r absolutely right! This was the worst blend ever. After one sip, I had to throw the cup away. I donated the my small tin to some unsuspecting Steepster-ite. Weirdly, Samovar’s peppermint mate does work.


@Lori – it was the same way with me. I was going to write a review about it, but I couldn’t because I couldn’t get past the first sip! I tried to take another and I just couldn’t bear to do that to myself. LOL


@Michelle Butler Halltt: That does sound good, both on its own and as a possibility wth licorice. I love licorice and I like to try it with a lot of “odd” flavors. It tastes amazing with a lot of things like pineapple, sour cherry, and galangal (Er- but not all those at once).

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328 tasting notes

I am not sure if I like this this blend or if I even like non-roasted plain mate. This tea is accurately described by Samovar as bittersweet, and vegetal and those flavors do dominate. Let’s put it this way, anytime a tea is flavored with licorice, the licorice flavor predominates. But not in this tea at all…The licorice is a background note providing just a touch of sweetness…

I have always thought I liked Yerba Mate but now maybe I don’t. I have always had the roasted kinds (52 teas Malted chocomate, Teavana’s MyMatevana) ; the only non-roasted one I tried was Kusmi’s Detox, but maybe, in the Detox blend, the Mate was second-fiddle to the lemongrass and green tea.

Like Auggy described earlier, this tea blends up a cloudy, brackish, brownish , grassy green…


Aw :( Did you buy a whole tin, or just a sample? Maybe it will grow on you :)


It may yet grow on me…I bought the small tin which I think was less than $10 . At Samovar, the sample is $3 and is soooo tiny , so sometimes a better deal to splurge for the tin. If I try it again and still don’t like it, this may be a “Take it away” giveaway (along w/Samovar’s hibiscus herbal tea). I usually like Samovar’s offerings though..


I couldn’t tell if I liked this one either. It’s a very confusing tea!


I still can’t decide. But it sure must have some serious caffeine as it does provide some extra- energy boost. Tomorrow I will try Samovar’s peppermint yerba mate


Lori, Mate has a lot of caffeine.


LOL about the caffiene content…Britt- I have decided this was just blech…

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23 tasting notes

(Tea 2 of 8 in the my-boyfriend-is-awesome series)

This tea is utterly confusing. When you take a sip, it tastes plain and grassy, but after you swallow it, a sudden sweetness creeps up your throat out of nowhere!

If I drink it unsweetened, it’s not sweet enough for me. If I add sweetener, it tastes fine while drinking it but the aftertaste is almost medicinal.

I honestly can’t tell whether I like this tea or not, so an inconclusive rating of 50/100 seems only appropriate.


I love exhaling after taking a sip of this tea.

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100 tasting notes

Wow. I can’t decide it if is vile or somewhat interesting. The interesting part tastes like fresh snapped peas (non-cooked)… that have been doused in cigarette ashes. Yes, I believe that is about as complex as this one gets. The green bean taste saves this from being rated lower. I am staring at the mug daring myself to drink more but my stomach says nooooooooo.

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2242 tasting notes

Ouch. Harsh. 47 rating for this one?!? No way…. excuse me while my rating makes this one higher than 47:
Another from Rachel’s sale a while ago – thanks again! This might be my favorite of the Samovar yerba mates I have tried. This one has some licorice in the blend and it really adds a sweet flavor that pairs really well with the yerba mate. Smooths it out. I just love the earthiness. I thought star anise was licorice though, but this isn’t star anise. Searching the Wikipedia page and it says they aren’t related. hmm. I wonder why I thought that. The color of the cup is very green – a very unique color.. I haven’t even seen other yerba mates look like this. Very good. Maybe Samovar has improved this one since the other tasting notes? Most of my Samovar yerba mates have half a teaspoon left, so it looks like I’ll be combining some of them to steep. (I guess these were supposedly one cup samples anyway.)
Steep #1 // 30 mins after boiling // 2-3 min
Steep#2 // 15 mins after boiling // 3 min


Star Anise has a very licorice-y flavor.


Well, that would confuse me then. haha.

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