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Mate de leche – rediscovering tradition

Mate de leche – rediscovering tradition

Ever wondered what makes yerba mate so special? The traditional South American brew has gained international fame for its extraordinary stimulating properties and rich flavours. But what if we told you that there is a way to make yerba mate even more enticing? Meet yerba mate with milk – the perfect way to relax!


  1. Mate de leche – a forgotten tradition from South America
  2. Properties of yerba mate with milk. How does it differ from the traditional brew?
  3. How to prepare yerba mate with milk?
  4. Yerba Mate Latte – a modern twist on tradition
  5. Experiment and discover new flavours!

Mate de leche – a forgotten tradition from South America

Nothing warms you up and improves your mood like a delicious hot drink, especially on colder, rainy days, whatever the season. Among the many options available to us mateists, the one that stands out – of course – is yerba mate. But what about enriching its flavour, adding something that wraps our hearts with a pleasant sweetness with every sip...?

Yerba mate is a brew with a long and rich history that has accompanied the indigenous peoples of South America for centuries. It is not only a valuable natural source of energy, but also an ideal excuse to socialise. Mate de leche, on the other hand, is an interesting variation on the traditional beverage, which is yerba mate brewed with warm milk instead of water. Although the history of yerba mate with milk is somewhat hazy and the exact origins of this variation are difficult to establish, it is known that the idea of combining the two ingredients is not new. Yerba mate with milk (and sugar) gained popularity back in colonial times, around the 17th century, and this variation was born out of a desire to combine two, distinct cultures: the indigenous Guarani Indians and the Spaniards who came from distant Europe. It was an unusual way to temper the natural bitterness of holly. The drinking habits of milk mate vary according to region and the preferences of lovers of the delicious milky flavour, behind which lies the delicate bitterness of mate. Sometimes, in addition to mate and milk, coconut shavings, cinnamon, aniseed, caramelised sugar, a touch of honey or stevia leaves, or even nuts or orange peel are added to the mate gourd. The common denominator for each way is the warmth and cosiness that each sip offers. Mate de leche is usually drunk in the colder seasons, but nothing prevents you from preparing it whenever you feel like it!

Mate de leche

Properties of yerba mate with milk. How does it differ from the traditional brew?

Among the many drinks we can choose to warm up on cold days or simply enjoy, yerba mate with milk occupies a special place. This combination, which may seem unusual, hides more than it might appear at first glance. But why actually reach for yerba with milk? Yerba mate itself is a powerful treasure trove of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and, most importantly, caffeine. Drinking the brew regularly can improve concentration, increase energy, support the immune system and speed up metabolism. Adding milk to mate is not only a matter of taste, but also of health. Milk is a source of calcium, protein and vitamins D and B12, which are essential for bone, teeth and muscle health. Combining yerba mate with milk makes the drink even more nutritious, providing the body with comprehensive support. At the same time, in this version, the drink is softer, creamier and sweeter, which may appeal to those who are not fond of the characteristic bitterness of classic yerba mate. It is also a great option for those who want to diversify their =mate experience by experimenting with different flavours and textures.

How to prepare yerba mate with milk?

Choosing the right yerba mate and milk is the key to the perfect taste. Mate de leche can be prepared using any dried product – whether it is a mild mate green or an intense, smoky Paraguayan yerba mate. Of particular note, however, is yerba mate tostada, a roasted variety of Brazilian mate. This is a standard green mate, which is additionally roasted in a special oven during production. The dry material changes its colour from green to dark brown, its aroma changes slightly also and the infusion takes on chocolate and caramel notes that are reminiscent of cereal coffee. You can find roasted yerba mate tostada among the Verde Mate brand's offerings, such as the classic Toasted version with no additives, Verde Mate Coffee with a touch of ground coffee or the unearthly aromatic Verde Mate Carmella with caramel and coconut additives. When it comes to your choice of milk, the possibilities are almost endless. You can experiment with traditional milk or plant-based milks – almond, oat or coconut. Each type will add a unique character to the drink. Remember that the fattier the milk, the creamier and more substantial the end result will be! Finally, there is the question of additives. A mate-milky drink tastes great, but the combination calls for a touch of sweetness and spices. You can sweeten the milk with honey or sugar or add a pinch of cinnamon, cardamom or vanilla extract.

Mate de leche

And how do you prepare milk yerba mate? The basic recipe for yerba mate with milk is simple: just pour the dried mate into a mate cup, heat the milk to a temperature of about 70-80ºC, enrich it as desired with sweeteners and additives and then, with the milk thus prepared, pour the dried yerba mate. Wait a while for the flavours to blend and then enjoy a wonderful, aromatic infusion!

A few tips:

  • If you want to enrich the drink with new flavours, for example to prepare yerba mate with milk and honey and with spices, combine all the additional ingredients with the milk before pouring it into the mate cup – this avoids having to stir the bombilla in the yerba mate, which could result in clogging the filter.
  • Mate de leche has many benefits – in addition to the basic properties of yerba mate, there are the nutritional values, vitamins and minerals contained in milk. However, it is important to remember that unlike the traditional brew, the milky version of mate becomes more calorific – especially if you sweeten it with sugar. If you want to avoid introducing extra calories into your diet, reach for plant-based milk and natural sugar substitutes.
  • Do not pour milk over yerba mate in a calabash or palo santo wood vessel! Firstly, mate cup made of natural material can very easily take on the intense smell and taste of milk and additives. Secondly, the residue of the dried product, combined with the milk, forms a hard shell when it dries, which is very difficult to remove. Yerba mate in a milky version is definitely better prepared in a ceramic or glass vessel.

Yerba Mate Latte – a modern twist on tradition

Mate Latte is a modern version of milk yerba mate. Combining the deep roots of South American yerba mate with the creamy softness of milk to create a composition perfect for any season. So how do you prepare a Yerba Mate Latte? It's simple!

  1. Brew the yerba mate using a simple tea infuser in a mug or, for better results, in a tall glass. Remember to use water at the right temperature, around 70-80ºC. Fill the mug or glass about 1/2 full with water, leaving space for the milk.
  2. Wait about 5-10 minutes until the infusion becomes strong and intense.
  3. Heat the milk*, add sugar or honey to it and froth it with a frother.
  4. Fill the cup or glass with milk, pouring it in slowly so as not to spoil the spectacular foam.
  5. Done!

* Mate Latte can also be drunk as a cool version, with cold milk. In this option, it will take a little more time to foam and combine the milk with the additives.

Experiment and discover new flavours!

Yerba mate with milk is a fascinating alternative to the traditional methods of drinking this South American brew – a reliable way to warm up and relax on cold days. It's a combination that may surprise many a yerba mate lover! Whether you choose a classic mate de leche or a modern yerba mate latte, each sip will be a step towards discovering a wealth of flavours. We encourage you to experiment and discover new renditions of yerba mate. Don't be afraid to combine different milks with your favourite mate varieties. Any combination can bring unexpected and enjoyable taste sensations. Remember that yerba mate is an extremely flexible drink that goes well with many additives. Discover yerba mate all over again!

Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Mate.
  2. Mate dulce, con coco y leche caliente: la bebida de los dioses en días frescos.


Yerba Verde Mate Green Toasted 0,5kg

Yerba Verde Mate Green Toasted 0,5kg

£5.90 incl. VAT/1pc(£11.80 / kg incl. VAT)
Verde Mate Green Coffee Tostada - 0,5kg

Verde Mate Green Coffee Tostada - 0,5kg

£5.90 incl. VAT/1pc(£11.80 / kg incl. VAT)
Yerba Verde Mate Green Carmella Toasted 500 g

Yerba Verde Mate Green Carmella Toasted 500 g

£5.90 incl. VAT/1pc(£11.80 / kg incl. VAT)
Verde Mate Green Dulcessa - Tostada 0.5kg

Verde Mate Green Dulcessa - Tostada 0.5kg

£5.90 incl. VAT/1pc(£11.80 / kg incl. VAT)