The Tip Jar- Brewing Guayaki Yerba Maté

Wednesday August 31, 2011 // By Tia Peck

After having a discussion about possible brew methods for Guayaki Traditional Yerba Maté with Alex (our new warehouse guy), Kari and I decided to do some experimenting in the BPS training café.  We taste tested four different brew methods side by side using Guayaki Traditional Loose Yerba Maté.  Each method changed the Yerba Maté not only in taste, but in texture and strength as well.

Yerba Maté is a species of holly and is traditionally brewed in a gourd and you drink it through a bombillas (a type of metal straw).  Its taste is strongly vegetal, herbal, and grassy; reminiscent of some varieties of green tea.

the 4 brew methodsWe brewed the Guayaki Traditional Loose Yerba Maté in a French Press, a Clever Dripper, Hario V60 Pour Over and an Aeropress.

 The French Press was brewed using the directions from Guayaki - 2 cups of hot water, 12 grams of Guayaki Traditional Yerba Maté; let it steep for ten minutes with lid on and press up.  After ten minutes press and serve.

The French Press was a light honey color with sediments at the bottom of the cup and had a strong mossy scent.  The flavor of the French Press was smooth and smoky with a little after taste.


The Clever Dripper was brewed with 1 ½ cups of hot water, 12 grams of Guayaki Traditional Yerba Maté; let it steep for one minute. Add ½ cup more hot water and stir. Place lid on top of the Clever and continue to seep for an additional nine minutes. Set Clever on top of cup and let maté drain out completely.  Loose Guayaki Yerba Mate

*Handy tip: Pre wet the filter after its put in clever. This will help to get rid of the paper taste.*

The Clever was only slightly darker the French Press, but was more evenly colored and with more clarity.  The Clever’s scent was also very similar to the French Press; let’s say ‘mossy’.  The Clever had a very clean flavor, sweet with a little bit of a bite.  I think we both agreed this was the best tasting for straight Yerba Maté.


The Hario V60 Pour Over was brewed using 12 grams of Guayaki Traditional Yerba Maté into the Hario and slowly pouring 2 cups of hot water over top. As expected the water ran through the yerba mate very quickly. Although the Hario was dark amber in color and had a strong smoky scent; its flavor was very

Light and slightly underextracted.  The initial flavor was sweet, but it had a mossy and smoky after taste.


AeroPressThe last method we tried was an Aeropress which in our first attempt failed due to the larger particles of the yerba maté the water ran right through and did not hold like it was supposed to. But with some quick thinking on Kari’s part we adjusted the method by adding two more filters to the press.  To brew, we put 12 grams of Guayaki Traditional Yerba Maté into the Aeropress and added water to the number 2 line.  Stir for ten seconds and then press into cup.

The Aeropress was dark amber and had a very strong smoky sweet scent.  The Aeropress’s flavor was bitter and astringent.  The Aeropress was more concentrated almost like an espresso shot.

 Mate Latte

To finish off our Maté Brew Fest, we decided to make maté lattes!  We used:  4 ½ oz. Aeropressed Maté, 4 ½ oz. of Pacific Natural Foods Plain Soy Blender, 1 pump of Monin Honey Sweetener, and 1 pump of Monin Natural Pure Cane Syrup.  The maté latte is very sweet with a bit of a bite and an earthy aftertaste.


Guayaki Yerba Maté has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage.  It’s no wonder why this nutritious drink is becoming so popular!! 

For more information about Yerba Maté, check out this great Ask The Pros article.

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