How To Brew Yerba Mate In A Coffee Maker

Did you know you can make yerba mate at home in a coffee maker? If you love yerba mate and want to be able to get your fix at home, you’re in luck! Brewing yerba mate in a coffee maker is fairly straightforward and before you know it you’ll be enjoying a fresh cup.


How to brew yerba mate in a coffee maker: Add one tablespoon of yerba mate per cup of water into a coffee filter and brew as you would a normal pot of coffee. Be careful not to overfill the filter, as yerba mate expands when wet and can overflow.


Yerba mate is a caffeinated drink that originates in South America, and those who love it may know that it is traditionally brewed in a gourd and with a special straw called a bombilla. While many households may not have a gourd or bombilla readily available, most will have some form of coffee maker. Yerba mate can be easily prepared in a traditional coffee maker, so you’re in luck if you aren’t able to get your hands on the traditional brewing equipment.


While it is perfectly possible to brew yerba mate in a coffee maker, however, it may not be the best option. If you or someone else in your household likes to regularly brew coffee in the same device, the strong flavor of coffee is hard to fully rinse out of the appliance, and so your yerba mate might have a fairly notable hint of coffee taste.


If you want to be able to make yerba mate at home in your coffee maker, read on below to find some helpful tips to achieve the best results. Don’t forget that there are many different ways to prepare yerba mate, so even if you don’t decide to use a coffee maker there are plenty of options available to you. Read on to find out more.

Tips For Making Yerba Mate In A Percolator Coffee Maker

Purculator Coffee Maker for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate On white background
Purculator Coffee Maker for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate

As mentioned before, you can easily brew yerba mate in a coffee maker as long as it is a filter drip coffee maker and not a coffee pod-based brewer such as a Keurig. If you want to brew the best tasting yerba mate possible with this method, however, there’s some helpful advice to keep in mind.


First of all, the type of yerba mate you use can make a difference. Since the yerba mate will be sitting in a filter, either a paper filter or a reusable metal filter, it is best to look for a yerba mate that doesn’t have a lot of dust. The dust will be able to pass through the filter and get into the tea, which isn’t ideal. Look for yerba mate blends that are mostly leaves and without stems (labeled as sin palo or despalada.)


If you have the option, try to only use the coffee maker for brewing yerba mate. Coffee has a very strong flavor that will overpower the taste of the yerba mate if any remnants of grounds are left in the machine. If you don’t have the ability to dedicate the coffee maker to only brewing yerba mate, consider running plain water through several brew cycles to flush out any potential coffee grounds.


To brew the yerba mate, use a general ratio of one tablespoon yerba mate for every cup (8 ounces) of water. If you prefer a stronger or weaker brew, feel free to adjust the ratio to suit your personal preferences. To help keep the yerba mate from being scalded by hot water, pour room temperature water over the leaves, wetting the filter and soaking the leaves before brewing.


After the yerba mate has soaked for a minute or two, run the coffee maker through a normal brew cycle. Brewing yerba mate in a coffee maker is convenient and fast, and it is a great way to quickly brew a large batch of yerba mate. However, drinking yerba mate made by the traditional method gives a more complex and nuanced flavor profile than yerba mate brewed in a coffee maker. For the full experience, it’s worth trying the traditional brewing method.

How To Make Yerba Mate In A Pour-Over Coffee Maker

Pour Over Coffee Maker on white background
Pour Over Coffee Maker for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate lends itself well to pour-over coffee makers. Measure out a tablespoon of yerba mate for every cup of water and place it into the filter. When making pour-over coffee, it is common practice to wet the grounds with a bit of hot water to get a better, more balanced extraction before adding all the hot water. With yerba mate, you will similarly wet the herbs before adding any hot water, but use cold water for this step instead.


Once the herbs have soaked for a minute with the cold water, begin to gently pour over hot water in a circular motion to evenly wet the herbs. Once the water has reached within a half-inch of the top of the filter, stop pouring and let the water filter through. Continue to periodically add hot water until you have achieved your final desired brew volume.


It may take several minutes for the water to fully filter through, so patience is key. For this method, it is best to look for low-dust yerba mate blends, as the more finely ground herbs might pass through the filter and significantly slow down steeping the process.

Can You Make Yerba Mate In a Keurig?

Keurig Machine on white background
Keurig Machine for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate

If the only coffee maker you have access to is a pod-based brewing system like a Keurig, you can still brew yerba mate, but it doesn’t yield a very tasty brew and it would probably be better to invest in a different method if you plan to continually brew yerba mate at home.


You can buy reusable K-cups and brew yerba mate similar to how you would brew a pot of coffee using a reusable K-cup. Keep in mind that yerba mate expands when wet, so don’t overfill the K-cup.


Many who have tried brewing yerba mate in this method, however, don’t recommend it. The resulting brew is lacking in many of the flavors that make yerba mate appealing and gives a lackluster final product.

How To Make Yerba Mate In A French Press

French Press On white background
French Press Machine for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate

A french press is an ideal way to make yerba mate. Since a french press relies upon steeping the ingredients, it is a great way to ensure you get a full-bodied infusion from your yerba mate. The metal filter of the french press acts in a similar fashion to the filter on the end of a bombilla straw, so you still get a good amount of infusion using this method.


The french press is convenient and fast, and it allows you to brew a large quantity of yerba mate efficiently. To start, fill your french press with three tablespoons of yerba mate, but feel free to adjust the quantity of yerba mate to suit your tastes. Fill the french press with enough cold water to cover the herbs and completely saturate them.


The cold water essentially protects the herbs from being scalded by the hot water (which would remove nutrients and affect the flavor of the yerba mate) and also starts the infusion process. After a minute or so, add three cups of hot water, preferably at a temperature around 150-degrees Fahrenheit. You want the water hot and just below simmering, but not boiling. Let the yerba mate steep for two to three minutes.


After two to three minutes, depress the plunger on the french press and serve the yerba mate by pouring it into a drinking vessel of your choice. Enjoy!

How To Make Yerba Mate In A Teapot Using Loose Leaf Yerba Mate

Metal Teapot on stove steaming
Teapot for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate

If you don’t have a coffee maker, you can make yerba mate in a teapot using the same tools you would use to make a regular pot of tea. If your teapot has a built-in infuser, measure out one tablespoon yerba mate for every cup of water you intend to brew and add it to the infusor. If you prefer your yerba mate to be stronger, feel free to add more. Or, make the process easier by buying premade yerba mate tea bags.


Start heating filtered water to a boil, just as you would to make a traditional pot of tea. While the water is heating, pour a small amount of cold filtered water over the loose yerba mate, enough to saturate the herbs. This cool water will help protect the nutrients present in the herbs by preventing the herbs from being scalded when the hot water is added. Let the herbs soak for at least a minute before adding any hot water.


Once the water is heated to an appropriate temperature, usually about 150-degrees Fahrenheit, add the water to the teapot. Let the herbs steep for two to three minutes, and then serve.


If you don’t have a teapot with a built-in infuser, you can still brew yerba mate by using a tea ball strainer like this one. For this method, simply fill the tea ball with the quantity of yerba mate required for your brew. However, keep in mind that yerba mate expands when wet, so don’t pack your tea ball chock full of the herbs. You may need to limit your brew size depending on how much yerba mate can comfortably fit in the tea ball.


Once your yerba mate is in the tea ball, place it in your teapot (or a large mug, if you are making an individual serving) and add the heated water. Let it steep for two to three minutes, then enjoy. You can choose to remove the tea ball as you would for a traditional tea, or leave it in the vessel. Traditionally, yerba mate is left in the vessel while you drink it, so it is not necessary to remove the tea ball before consuming the yerba mate.

How To Make Yerba Mate In An Espresso Machine

Red Espresso Machine with two white yerba mate cups
Espresso Machine for Making and Brewing Yerba Mate

Yerba mate can be brewed in an espresso machine, but this is granted a little unorthodox and will yield to a different tasting brew. However, there are some unique recipes that can lend themselves well to the espresso machine preparation if that is the chosen brew method.


Start by filling the handle with yerba mate, then sprinkle with a bit of cold water. Then, simply pull the shot as you would for a normal espresso shot. Just be careful not to pack the puck too tightly with yerba mate, filling only about ¾ full at the maximum, as it will expand much more when wet than espresso and it can cause a bit of a dangerous mess if you aren’t cautious.


One recipe from Yerba Montana recommends adding ginger, orange peel, and mint leaves to the yerba mate blend in order to get a more flavorful shot. Feel free to experiment with flavor additions in the brewing process.


If you are looking to brew yerba mate in an espresso machine, it is best to buy a yerba mate ground to a fine grain and meant to be used in an espresso machine, such as this blend from Aviva.

Is Yerba Mate Better For You Than Coffee?


According to some, yerba mate is the best of the all commonly used natural stimulants at providing a balance of energy and nutrition, making it more appealing than coffee, tea, and cocoa. If you’ve been looking for a new source of caffeine, yerba mate may be a great substitute. While both yerba mate and coffee on average contain between 75-90 mg of caffeine per cup, the caffeine appears to have a different effect.


Yerba mate is considered to have adaptogenic properties, meaning it is an herb that helps restore the overall balance of the body and it can have a beneficial influence on your health. While drinking several cups of coffee can cause you to become jittery and affect your sleep pattern, yerba mate does not seem to have this same negative effect. The caffeine of yerba mate provides a smooth, balanced energy boost.


Both yerba mate and coffee have antioxidants, which help protect tissues in the body from being damaged by harmful free radicals. The Pasteur Institute even claimed that the yerba mate plant “contains practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.


Bestselling author and entrepreneur Tim Ferriss praises yerba mate as his daily morning drink. He points out that yerba mate gives him a sustained, balanced energy boost for several hours, rather than the momentary spike of energy and subsequent crash of coffee. He also notes that you don’t have the same caffeine-withdrawal symptoms if you decide to stop drinking yerba mate that you often experience if you cut coffee out of your diet.


Finally, yerba mate is gentler on your digestive tract than coffee. Coffee is highly acidic and can aggravate and cause a number of health issues, including acid reflux, Crohn’s disease, ulcers, and gastritis. Yerba mate, however, doesn’t have this high acidity and so it is a much better option for anyone who has trouble tolerating the acidity of coffee.

What Are The Health Benefits And Potential Risks Of Yerba Mate?


Yerba mate has a number of notable health benefits that helped it earn its reputation among indigenous people that is was an herb “from the gods.” First of all, it’s packed with antioxidants and nutrients, containing even more than green tea. These antioxidants and nutrients promote good health and help reduce the risk of developing a number of diseases.


The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

In one study, yerba mate was shown to help burn more fat during exercise. Study participants were given a 1-gram capsule of yerba mate just before participating in moderate-intensity exercise. Those who were given the yerba mate burned more fat, meaning that stores of carbohydrates were reserved for moments of high-intensity exercise, such as a sprint up a hill. Because of this, it is thought that yerba mate could give better sports performance.


In addition, another study demonstrated that yerba mate has the ability to discourage fat formation and reduce obesity. When fed a high-calorie diet, mice that were given a supplement of yerba mate gained significantly less weight and had lower blood glucose levels. Those supplemented with yerba mate also showed lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels.


In humans, yerba mate supplementation showed decreased body fat and an average loss of 1.5 pounds, as well as reduced belly fat. Yerba mate has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce the incidence of disease and promote better overall health. The antioxidants present in yerba mate have also been shownto have a beneficial effect on the immune system.


Yerba mate is also believed to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Yerba mate has demonstrated a cardioprotective effect by decreasing the amount of oxidative damage to the heart as well as reading the progression of atherosclerosis. Another study demonstrated that regular consumption of yerba mate helped reduce harmful cholesterol levels and improve serum lipid parameters.

Are There Any Risks To Drinking Yerba Mate?

Yerba mate is a popular beverage around the world, but it has occasionally received some negative press stating that it can be harmful to your health. Most of these claims state that yerba mate increases your risk of developing cancer. However, there aren’t any solid studies to prove these associations between yerba mate and cancer are directly correlated, and future studies are required.


The concern mostly comes from the fact that yerba mate contains a substance called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon(PAH), which is a known carcinogen. With chronic exposure, PAHs can have a toxic effect on systems of the body and have been linked with increased rates of skin, lung, bladder, and gastrointestinal cancers, but these are mainly in studies of those exposed to PAH repeatedly in a work environment, not from yerba mate.


In addition, more investigations showed that PAHs aren’t actually present in the yerba mate plant, but probably result from when yerba mate is dried via a smoking process. PAHs are also found in tobacco smoke and grilled or charred meats, so if yerba mate is not dried through this smoking process it is thought that the PAH concentration may be significantly lower, and thus pose much less of a health risk.


There have been some studies that have analyzed a possible correlation between yerba mate consumption and cancers of the throat and mouth. While the results were generally quite varied, it was shown that drinking very hot yerba mate (as well as hot tea and coffee) carried an increased risk of esophageal cancer. This has led some to speculate the increased risk of throat and mouth cancer is more related to the temperature of what is consumed, not the beverage.


In conclusion, according to the Mayo Clinic, yerba mate is not likely to pose a significant health risk to healthy adults who drink it from time to time, especially if they don’t drink it at temperatures of 149-degrees Fahrenheit or above. You can feel comfortable enjoying yerba mate in moderation, but if you have any concerns you could always drink cold yerba mate but you should consult with your primary care physician before trying it.

And for a complete guide to all things yerba mate, visit Your Ultimate Guide to Yerba Mate.

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