Cold Brew Yerba Mate

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A great alternative to tea or coffee, yerba mate is a perfect way to get a caffeine boost morning or afternoon. Get my simple and delicious cold brew yerba mate recipe!

Cold brew yerba mate with lime slices

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What Is Yerba Mate?

Argentine yerba mate is a drink made from the leaves of the yerba mate tree. It’s the national drink of Argentina and the traditional way to drink yerba mate is from a gourd using a special straw that filters out the bigger leaves.

No gourd or yerba mate straw? Not a problem! Yerba mate can be prepared the same way as you would make tea. 

What Does Yerba Mate Taste Like?

Yerba mate brewed with water is astringent and bitter. It tastes earthy and is really an acquired taste. I didn’t love it since it was too strong. So, to get the taste I wanted, I sweetened it just a bit and added a couple of lime slices. WHOA, HUGE difference — it was refreshing and delicious!

The lime brought out a brightness in flavor and the sugar mellowed out the slight bitter taste from the cold brewed yerba mate.

Cold Brew Yerba Mate

So why cold brew yerba mate? You know how I mentioned it tastes astringent and bitter? That comes from the tannin from the yerba mate leaves. 

If you release fewer tannins in the brewing process, the less bitter it’ll taste. Using boiling hot water and brewing for too long will also make tea bitter and it’s the same with yerba mate. 

To solve the bitterness problem, I cold brew it. (It’s also why I cold brew tea to make the best iced tea.) To cold brew yerba mate, you don’t need to refrigerate it for up to 8 hours like you would with tea.

I prepare it the same way I make cold brew matcha, which is to shake it with cold water in a cocktail shaker for a few seconds. Easy!

Is There Caffeine in Yerba Mate?

Yup! The reason yerba mate makes a great alternative to tea or even coffee is that there is caffeine in the drink. 

There is 78 mg of caffeine in yerba mate. There is about 70 mg of caffeine in matcha and coffee has about 85 mg so it’s snugly in the middle of the two. 

I’ve noticed that when I drink yerba mate, my energy level is nice and steady without any caffeine crashes. It’s pretty great.

RELATED: 30 Refreshing Iced Tea Recipes

5 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

  1. Rich source of antioxidants, just like matcha.
  2. Contains vitamin B and C, zinc, and potassium.
  3. Boosts energy from the caffeine.
  4. Protects the liver cells.
  5. Aids in digestion.

What You’ll need

Cold Brew Yerba Mate Ingredients
  • Argentine yerba mate
  • Sugar
  • Lime
  • Cold water
  • Ice 
  • Muddler
  • Thick-bottomed cups
  • Strainer
  • Cocktail shaker

How to Make Cold Brew Yerba Mate

STEP 1: Muddle lime slices and sugar.

The quickest way to get the sugar and lime to infuse with the yerba mate is to muddle it. Add 2-3 lime slices with sugar in a thick-bottomed cup and mash them together with a muddler.

It only takes a few seconds to get the lime to get a little pulpy and the sugar mostly dissolved.

STEP 2: Combine cold water and yerba mate in a cocktail shaker and shake.

Shake, shake, shake for about 20-30 seconds.

STEP 3: Strain yerba mate.

Fill the cup with ice and use a tea strainer to filter the yerba mate. Stir the drink before serving.

In collaboration with The National Institute of Yerba Mate. All words, photos, and opinions are mine, as always.

4.62 from 21 votes

Cold Brew Yerba Mate

By: Jee Choe
A delicious and refreshing way to prepare yerba mate with lime.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Yield: 2 servings


  • 1 tablespoon yerba mate
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Muddle lime slices and sugar.
    In two cups, add 2-3 lime slices and 1/2 teaspoon sugar into each and mash together with a muddler. This should take just a few seconds.
  • Combine cold water and yerba mate in a cocktail shaker and shake.
    Shake, shake, shake for about 20-30 seconds.
  • Strain yerba mate.
    Fill cups with ice and use a tea strainer to filter the yerba mate. Stir before serving.


Calories: 18Carbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 11mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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  1. 5 stars
    Finally a non bitter iced Mate! So refreshing with the lime and the sugar adds the perfect amount of sweetness. May try with honey or another sugar alternative, but will definitely be making this more often.

    I will have to experiment with different types of Mate as well to see which I like better.

  2. As a well versed paraguayan, I can’t “get started” without a good sip (or two) of mate, every morning!
    Paraguayan Yerba mate, IMHO, it’s way tastier than Argentinian or Brazilian yerba mate, because Paraguayan producers don’t rush the drying process! So the dried leaves keep all of their unique properties, like its aromatic flavor (let alone the nutrients!)
    I’m so glad I stumbled along with this web site! Now I’ll try my beloved yerba mate with this recipe! THANK YOU!

  3. I love yerba mate, the first time I had some was when my daughter-in-law brought me some from Asuncion Paraguay. She even bought me a special straw for it. So cool!!

    1. Dahn, that was a great yerba mate story! I’m new to yerba mate, as I just bought my loose leafs for the first time! Just curious if you’re still drinking it today nearly 1 year later with the same gusto and cheer, for good health?!? Any inputs as to your personally modified recipe?