We love a good, strong black tea for breakfast or lunch, and flavored teas for treats, like coconut tea with shortbread. But there are times when you want something stronger, punchier. Yerba Mate with Cocoa is the perfect thing.
What is Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate (pronounced mah-tay) is a beverage made from the leaves of a holly tree from South American rainforests. It’s said to have the
Strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, and the delight of chocolate.
Wow! Sounds good to us! Yerba mate’s claim to fame is the gentle lift it gives without the hard crash that can come from coffee. For more on the goodness of this green herb, see this article 8 benefiets of yerba mate.
Our Version of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate in its green state can be astringent and an acquired taste for many palates. When we decided several years ago to cut back on coffee, we tried several alternatives and our favorite has been the version of yerba mate we created in our kitchen.
Using a French press to make our brew and adding organic cocoa powder created the perfect substitute for that cup of joe that we had enjoyed for such a long time. To serve, simply add honey and half and half to taste. Yum!
(A side note: We cut back on coffee because of the high acid content that can cause health issues, though we do still drink coffee in limited amounts.)
How to Make Truly Blissful Yerba Mate
If you don’t own a French press, you should!! We recommend stainless steel or stoneware as the glass versions break so easily. Trust us. Just pay the extra few bucks for the better French press. It will save money in the long run.
Ingredients for an 8 cup French press:
- 3-4 tablespoons organic yerba mate
- 1-2 tablespoons organic cocoa
- Boiling water
- Half and half or fresh, unpasteurized cream
- Honey (our fave) though you can used sugar (coconut or unrefined sugar is rich and delish)
- Place yerba mate in the French press first and then the cocoa.
- Pour boiling water over the mate and cocoa, making sure that the cocoa has been saturated.
- Let steep for 7-8 minutes.
- Either give the brew a stir with a spoon or “stir” it by gently pressing down the press and raising it again.
- Press down and serve.
- Add honey and half and half or cream to taste.
- Adjust cocoa to taste. If the press sits for a bit, the cocoa will settle, so just give it a pump on the press.
- Serve with salty items like macadamia nuts and pistachios.
- Mate is great for a first-thing-in-the-morning beverage or an afternoon pick-me-up!