How to Make Yerba Mate in a French Press

Heap Of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate: try brewing this popular South American herb in your French press coffee. Jamesmcq24/Getty Images
  • 9 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins,
  • Cook: 6 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
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This recipe for yerba mate tea is made in a French press. Just like coffee and tea, yerba mate's flavor profile changes depending on how you brew it. Some prefer cold-brewed yerba mate, and some like the convenience of a yerba mate tea bag or the flavor of a yerba mate latte brewed with milk, and yet others prefer the classic way of brewing yerba mate with a gourd and a filter-tipped straw.

However, an increasing number of people are using French presses for convenience and a different yerba mate flavor profile. If you're interested in French press yerba mate preparation, simply follow these instructions.

For more about what yerba mate is, see the information after the directions below.

What You'll Need

  • 2 tablespoons yerba mate
  • 16 ounces water at about 150 F (just simmering)

How to Make It

  1. Place your yerba mate into the filter of the French press.
  2. Slowly pour water over the yerba mate, allowing it to soak in and pass through the filter as you go.
  3. Brew for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on desired strength.
  4. Depress the plunger into the filter pot. Serve.

Note: Alternatively, you can use a larger French press and a ratio of 1 tablespoon yerba mate per 8 ounces water.

All About Yerba Mate

Yerba mate (yer-bah mah-tay) leaves are from a species of the holly tree cultivated for centuries in South America.

It is touted to have the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage. 

Of the six commonly used stimulants in the world—coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa, guarana, and yerba mate—it is considered to be the most balanced, delivering both energy and nutrition. The rainforest people, in particular, the Aché Guayaki tribe, sip yerba mate from a traditional mate gourd for its rejuvenating effects. In fact, it can be found in various energy drinks on the market today.

The flavor of brewed mate resembles an infusion of vegetables, herbs, and grass and is reminiscent of some varieties of green tea.