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The efficiency of yerba mate. How many times can I pour mate tea?

The efficiency of yerba mate. How many times can I pour mate tea?

Yerba mate lovers know well that the first pouring of yerba mate is only the prelude to an extraordinary drinking ritual. The real depth of the valuable qualities of mate tea is reached by pouring again, and again, and again... How many times can you pour yerba mate? How many refills of water can we afford? What factors influence this? These are the questions we will look at in today's blog post.


  1. How to properly brew yerba mate?
  2. How many times can you pour yerba mate? What does it depend on?
  3. What is the most efficient yerba mate available in our online shop?
  4. When is yerba mate no longer suitable for refill?

How to properly brew yerba mate?

The truth is that there is no one proper way to brew yerba mate. Everyone prepares it the way they like it and it is nobody's business. However, there are a few rules to follow in order to enjoy the full benefits of Guarani’s brew. First of all, the right tools are important – calabash and bombilla. Not only do they make the preparation and drinking of yerba mate easier, but they have been integral to the mystical mate ritual for centuries. Secondly, it is important to properly arrange the dried product in the vessel. The main commandment of every mate drinker should also be the use of water at the right temperature. This should absolutely not exceed 80 °C, which has been scientifically proven. With the higher temperature the infusion will become unpleasantly intense and will immediately lose its taste and functional qualities. In addition, it will be less stimulating. This is because the caffeine is released much more slowly in boiling water than at lower temperatures.

How many times can you pour yerba mate? What does it depend on?

Dried yerba mate has the distinction of being both very efficient and economical. In this respect, it differs from ordinary tea, the grounds of which are usually thrown away after drinking a single serving. Sometimes, better quality tea can be poured 1-3 times, but the difference in taste is clearly noticeable with each subsequent refill. With yerba mate it is different. How many times can one serving of dried yerba mate be poured? In theory, from a few to up to a dozen times; in practice, until it loses its taste and aroma. Each successive brewing of mate tea is a completely new taste and aroma experience. On the other hand, each addition of water to a portion of the dried product leaches out the flavour and aroma, as well as the caffeine, vitamins, minerals and other components. In terms of efficiency, most depends on the brand and type of yerba mate. For example, yerba mate chimarrão – very finely ground, almost to flour – can be poured many more times than traditional mate. The brewing technique also affects the performance of the dried product. In the previous paragraph, we mentioned the proper positioning of the dry in the vessel before pouring the water. By this we mean a slanted mound, placed on one of the walls of the mate gourd. Some people think that making a mound is useless and it is enough to simply pour water into the vessel without doing anything unnecessary. As it turns out, it does matter. The mound is poured with water slowly, gradually, from the bottom to the upwards. In this way, dried leaves that are higher up do not soak up the water immediately and release their properties later. To increase the efficiency of yerba mate, the brewing method popular in Uruguay can be used. There, the first pouring of the calabash is generally carried out with cold water. Yerba mate then releases its properties more slowly. Only then is hot water used.

How many times can you pour yerba mate?

What is the most efficient yerba mate available in our online shop?

How long yerba mate will release the valuable compounds and taste qualities it contains depends on the type of dried product. It is generally accepted that the more finely ground it is, the longer it gives up its properties. Therefore, the most efficient yerba mate can be considered to be those with a highly dusty texture. You can convince yourself of this by reaching for the Guarani brand, for example. Available in a variety of flavour variations, Paraguayan yerba is very finely ground. As a result, its flavour remains pronounced even after the fourth or fifth addition of water!

The amount of twigs present in a particular species of dried product is also not insignificant. They do not contain caffeine or have a particularly pronounced flavour. Many mate drinkers consider the sticks to be an unnecessary filler in yerba mate. It can therefore be deduced that yerba mate that does not contain twigs will be more efficient. An excellent confirmation of this thesis is yerba mate by Verde Mate Green brand. The green, stick-free mate teas from this Brazilian manufacturer are characterised by their mild character. However, their delicate, crisp flavour lasts surprisingly long! Some of the flavour variations, such as the herbal Verde Mate Katuava or the luscious green Chimarrão retain their flavour even on the sixth or seventh pour!

When is yerba mate no longer suitable for refill?

We already know how many times you can brew one serving of yerba mate. But how can we tell when mate is no longer drinkable? We need to distinguish between two situations here. The first one is when you prepare a portion of the brew, drink it and, after a short time, pour water over it again. This is repeated several times, but the whole process is completed within a few hours. After a few or more splashes of water, the taste and aroma of the yerba mate will be lost and the leaves will sink to the bottom. Rinsed, poured several times yerba mate even has its own name. In Latin America, it is called "lavado", which literally means "washed out". In the second situation, we make a batch of yerba mate, perhaps pour it 2-3 times, but for various reasons we leave the leftovers of mate in the pot for a longer time, or even overnight. Is such yerba mate drinkable the next day? Yes, but it is important to be careful and cautious. Mould can quickly appear in damp mate, so it is important to inspect and smell it carefully. If there are no signs of mould, the dry can be filled with water – slightly warmer water is recommended.

Drink your mate, cheers!

Let us summarise the information we have gathered. Yerba mate is very efficient – much more than regular tea. A single serving of yerba mate can therefore be poured several times with water without fear – with each addition of water the taste and aroma of the infusion will be slightly weaker. The amount of caffeine, vitamins and minerals will be reduced with each subsequent refill. The efficiency depends on a number of factors: the type of mate, the amount of dust and sticks, as well as the brewing method. Undrinkable yerba mate can be poured again even the next day, but we do not recommend this – harmful mould can form in damp mate left for several hours.

Source of information:

  1. Wikipedia: Yerba mate.
  2. B. Kruszewski, A. Jakóbiak, A. Jasiczek, B. Wieczorek i D. Niemczuk, Influence of brewing parameters on caffeine content in Yerba Mate infusions, Bromatologia i Chemia Toksykologiczna, 2012.


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