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How to cold-brew yerba mate

Posted on April 07 2022

How to cold-brew yerba mate

Besides the traditional hot yerba mate tea, there is also a cold version of yerba mate called tereré. This cold-brewed yerba mate is ideal to refresh and hydrate the body while adding a touch of flavor, especially in summer.

Yerba Mate is a delicious, natural and very healthy drink with enormous nutritional value and health benefits, well-known and appreciated throughout history. Although bitter and hot yerba mate tea is the most common version; this drink can actually be very versatile. There are different ways of drinking yerba mate depending on the country, the weather, the situation or individual taste.

And especially for the summer, the park, the beach (or simply for those who are looking for a refreshing drink), there is a cold version of yerba mate called tereré: a mix of cold water, ice and fruits, super fresh and enjoyable!

What is tereré?

Tereré is a drink based on cold-brewed yerba mate. This drink is originally from Paraguay, but its popularity has extended to other yerba mate consuming countries such as Argentina, Uruguay and some regions of Chile and Brazil. 

One theory says that the word tereré comes from the Guarani people, who used to drink yerba mate until they hear the sound of the last three sips: “te-re-re”. Other historians attribute that name to a derivation of the phrase “té jere” which in Guarani means “round of tea”. The Jesuit priests used this term to describe the ceremony of sharing yerba mate.

Step by step: how to prepare cold yerba mate or tereré

1. Fill your cup halfway with yerba mate. We recommend using fruit flavored yerba mate, like orange or citrus fruits. 

2. Cover with the palm of your hand, turn it upside down and shake gently so that all the elements are well mixed.

2. Add lemon, grapefruit or orange slices to a jar or thermos filled with cold water.

3. Pour this flavored water into the yerba mate cup. Be generous the first time, soaking all the yerba. Let it rest for a few minutes and then insert the bombilla, pressing it lightly against the internal wall.

4. Add a few ice cubes and – done! You can now enjoy your tereré.  Keep adding cold water or ice to your cup and drink directly from the bombilla

Some tips for making the perfect tereré

  • Tereré needs a little more water than traditional yerba mate. The amount of liquid should slightly surpass the level of yerba.
  • It is important not to move or rotate the bombilla, so as not to ruin the state of the mix.
  • Tereré can be prepared in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel cup to keep it cool for longer.
  • Just like with hot mate tea, the yerba loses its initial flavor over time, so it should be changed for new yerba when you no longer taste mate’s characteristic flavour.
  • A very common way to prepare tereré is to squeeze a lemon in cold water, then sweeten and add a touch of fresh mint. Some people like to use natural orange or grapefruit juice.
  • For a healthy and medicinal morning tereré, which can even be a good substitute for coffee, you can add herbs such as boldo, chamomile or peppermint. Don’t hesitate to add more flavors to your cold yerba mate tea and use it to replenish nutrients, minerals and vitamins lost through sweat on hot summer days. 
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