Yerba mate is a famous brewed drink originating in South America. Currently enjoyed around the world, yerba mate has an earthy flavor packed with antioxidants, caffeine and other energy-boosting molecules. For those who may not love natural tea flavors, you can add flavor to your yerba mate by adding ingredients or purchasing a pre-flavored mate package.

Preparing Your Yerba Mate

To enjoy a true mate beverage, you’ll need to prepare your yerba mate the right way.

First, fill your original mate cup (typically made of gourd) two-thirds of the way with yerba. Tilt the gourd so that the yerba covers one side. Pour lukewarm water halfway into the cup and wait a minute until it’s absorbed by the yerba.

Repeat this step with hot water between 140-176 degrees Fahrenheit or 60-80 degrees Celsius.

Put the filtered end of the bombilla, or straw, into the tea at an angle. Pour more hot water into the yerba mate and enjoy.

Adding Flavor to Yerba Mate

Some individuals may want to add more flavor to the earthy taste of yerba mate. For those who prefer sweeter or more familiar flavors, there are plenty of ways to add this to your yerba mate while still enjoying its many healthy properties.


As with any tea, coffee, or caffeinated beverage, sugar can be added to yerba mate to add a bit of sweetness. This addition is common in northern Argentina and parts of central Chile.

You can add a teaspoon or two to your gourd and cover it with the yerba, or you can add less to the top to start and add more sugar as needed while drinking.

If you’re sharing with others who don’t want sugar in their mate, you can also pop a sugar cube into your mouth every so often while sipping the mate.


Mate with honey is also called mate misqui, a term that comes from a native language in the north of Argentina.

You can add some honey to the hot water before pouring it into the gourd or enjoy a teaspoon in your mouth in between sips.


Molasses is a thick liquid that’s produced as a byproduct of turning sugarcane into sugar. It can add a warm, sweet, and smoky flavor to your mate when added to the hot water before pouring.


Add some ground cinnamon to your yerba mix or toss a cinnamon stick into the hot water. Cinnamon has been used for centuries as a remedy for various ailments, including as a treatment for viral infections.


A sprig of mint will add a refreshing taste to your yerba mate’s water. Mint promotes a healthy digestive tract and has been used to treat nausea.


Dicing some ginger and adding it to your mate’s water packs a punch of flavor. This peppery, sweet taste helps fight off chronic diseases and promotes healthy aging.

Citrus Peel

If you have an orange, lemon, or grapefruit around, you can add some citrus zest to your mate between each pour.

Another method is peeling a large spiral of the fruit’s skin and drying it out. You can then add pieces of the dried peel to the yerba during future use.


Grate fresh coconut or purchase shredded coconut and add a teaspoon of it to the mate before drinking. You can add another teaspoon after every liter of water used.

Buying Flavored Yerba Mate

You may also purchase pre-flavored yerba mate. These mates are usually blended with other herbs, spices, or fruit to provide a unique taste.

This type of mate comes in the following flavors, among others:

  • Mint
  • Lemon
  • Roasted mate
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Spearmint
  • Orange
  • Passion fruit
  • Mint with lemon
  • Guarana