Nontraditional Methods for Preparing Yerba Mate

Some people take right away to the traditional style of using a mate (the gourd container) and bombilla (the metal straw) to drink yerba mate and others work their way up to it slowly by first trying other methods. On this page you will find several nontraditional methods along with recipes to help you discover your preferred way of drinking yerba mate. You can also visit the Testimonials page for tips from other materos (yerba mate drinkers) on how to prepare the perfect yerba mate.

Mate cocido (ko-see-do)

Mate cocido is both yerba in tea bags and loose leaf brewed directly in a container with water. It is brewed using hot water but can be consumed cold.  

The intensity of the flavor in loose leaf mate cocido will depend mostly on the amount of water and partly on the style of yerba used. For loose leaf yerba mate, use a ratio of one rounded tablespoon of yerba to two cups of water. The following steps will consistently produce the best results.

French Press
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Add two tablespoons of yerba mate to a cup of room temperature water in the French press and allow it to soak for about 3 minutes

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Add 3 cups of hot (not boiling) water to the soaking yerba and allow it to steep 3 - 5 minutes.

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Press the strainer down and serve. Sweeten to taste


Pour hot mixture immediately over ice for a refreshing iced tea


Strained loose leaf hot brew

For one cup of yerba mate:

  1. Add 1/3 cup of room temperature water to 1 tablespoon of dry yerba and soak for 3-4 minutes

  2. Pour two cups of hot (not boiling) water into the soaking yerba and steep for an additional 3-5 minutes. The longer it steeps the more intense the flavor.

  3. Strain the mixture through a steel mesh strainer.

  4. If you prefer to sweeten your tea, stevia compliments yerba mate the best.

  5. Drink hot or iced


This recipe will produce 2 cups of yerba mate which will become the base for the flavored mate recipes.

 Strained Loose leaf cold brew or Tereré

Cold brewed yerba mate or tereré is very common in the hot and humid regions of Paraguay and southern Brazil. Cold brewing produces a smooth, enjoyable tea with a lower caffeine content. The slower extraction process captures all the nutrients in the yerba and produces a full-flavored tea.  Unlike hot brewing, cold brewing requires less steps and more time. 

The recipe below will produce a half gallon of cold brewed yerba mate.


Add 4 - 5 rounded tablespoons of yerba mate (low dust content or *BCP works best) to 2 quarts of cold water. A smaller amount can be made with a ratio of one table spoon to 2 cups of water.


Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 8 hours. The longer it brews the more intense the flavor.


Strain the mixture through a steel mesh strainer. You can strain it twice to remove any remaining particles. 


Sweeten with stevia for best results (optional). Try adding citrus, pomegranate, or cranberry juice at a 1:2  juice to yerba mate ratio to further enhance the flavor.


*Bajo Contenido de Polvo (BCP) or low dust content yerba will leave less dust specs in the cold brew. However, powder or dust is part of the composition of some yerba mate and adds intensity to the flavor.