How to recognize high-quality yerba mate?
Not only is necessary to know how to properly prepare mate; The quality of the yerba that we use to prepare it is also fundamental to determine the flavor, the aromas and the whole experience of drinking it. To identify a good yerba, we must use all five senses:
Using the view
Observing the color of the yerba is essential. Ideally, it will show a yellowish green color, and in no case should it exhibit an intense green or shades of brown. There must also exist a harmony between the different components: stems, thick leaves, thin leaves and dust. The right amount of each component will determine the blend’s final flavor.
Using touch and hearing
The tactile sensation can also reveal a lot about mate. The consistency should be equal to a dry leaf; and as we hold it with our hands, we should hear a subtle creak and observe a small amount of dust falling down.
Using the sense of smell
The aroma of a good yerba is always fresh and dry, slightly roasted. Pay close attention if the smell is too strong or if it shows signs of humidity. Although the yerba is expected to be a little bitter, a strong smell is not a good sign.
We all know the taste of mate: it should be fresh and it should have a nice bitter touch. Yerba mate is bitter by nature and, in this sense, its flavor will be determined by several factors such as the origin or the treatment process.
Is dust good or bad?
The dust is a fundamental component of yerba: it is no more than a leaf that is too grounded. It brings consistency and texture, and provides foaminess and aroma to achieve that final taste of a good mate. However, to prepare a good mate we must prevent the dust from staying at the bottom and blocking the straw. For this we just have to put the mate upside down and shake it before we start pouring water.
Combining these tricks with a correct preparation, you will get a good, comforting infusion with all the properties that are expected from a good mate.