Mate...what am I missing?
Tired of coffee, so I bought some mate hoping to get the same stimulating effects from a new beverage. Is this stuff supposed to taste like hay? Or is it just an acquired taste (that I have yet to acquire)? Does anyone have a recipe that they use when they brew mate that they'd like to share?
Oh now I get it. Mate. . . the "tea" made from yerba mate. I thought at first that you were from Australia. :-)
I've had mate a couple of times. Like you, I found it to taste kind of like grass. I didn't enjoy it enough to try making it myself. There's a whole ritual for brewing it. If you're interested, check out the article in Wikipedia.
I bought the unsweetened bottled kind at WF (fyi, i usually drink my teas sans sugar). Not crazy about the taste, but I actually got it for the "upper" effect. Mix it with sport drink and take it out on a long run. Seems to help a bit with the stamina. But yeah, it does have a barnyard taste to it.
I've tried it more than once--at least 10-15 times. I decided I don't like it and am not going to press the issue anymore. I'm sure I can find something that I do like that would give me the same benefits.
BTW there is a whole thread about "training" yourself to like certain foods/drinks
Argentinian friend brought back a few bags of a sweet version and one of those special cups made from a hollowed gourd a few years back. I actually really liked it, but it takes a little getting used to as yes, it does have hay-ish qualities. Good delivery on the caffeine though.
I remember having to use quite a bit of yerba - filled 1/3 of the way up the gourd - to get the right flavor. You can of course refill with water a few more times...
Just had a cup of mate this afternoon with some sugar free raspberry syrup. Didn't really help - had to down it like medicine. As a coffee alternative, my preferred beverage is matcha. Or Rockstar.
I'm loving the mate latte, with rice milk and palm sugar or agave nectar. It has a nice smoky flavor, not hay-ish at all to me. I make it in my Aeropress (which I used for coffee until I switched to mate): one scoop of mate; half a mug of rice milk, heated; and another half a mug's worth of water heated to 170 degrees (that's two minutes in my microwave). I press the water through with the mate into the mug with the rice milk, add a teaspoon of the sweetener, and I swear, it's good.
Try a roasted and maybe flavored Mate. Mate Latte from Republic of Tea is quite nice, as is the Caramel Mate from the Green Gables Tea Room. Both measure/steep similar to tea, and are very nice with a touch of sweetener and a splash of milk.