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La Cumbrecita Yerba Mate Review

La Cumbrecita Yerba Mate ReviewOrigin: San Francisco, Córdoba, Argentina
Producer: La Cumbrecita S.R.L
Cut: Blend, Mountain Herbs
Body: Light
Cycle: Short
Aged: Conventional
Grown: Conventional

The term hierbas serranas, used by both Cachamate and CBSé, the two most notable flavored mates in Argentina, essentially means mountain herbs. It’s a particular combination of zesty herbs: peppermint, spearmint, and pennyroyal (poleo), usually with an extra kick of artificial flavoring known as sabor de hierbas serranas (mountain herb flavoring).

I’ve never been a big fan of these sort of Argentine blended mates. They lack clarity and identity, with muddled taste profiles and strange natural flavoring aftertastes lingering on the palate.

Most flavored mates come from drying factories that expose the mate to smoke before aging through a process known as “accelerated drying” which cuts the drying time down to 30 days from the traditional 9–12 months. This is okay for many blended mates, as the addition of minty herbs helps to balance out the smokiness and partially compensate for the lack of depth, which naturally occurs with well aged mate.

La Cumbrecita Yerba Mate

Out of CBSé and Cachamate, both using natural flavoring, I find La Cumbrecita the superior yerba. On their packaging, there is no mention of natural flavoring, only the typical mountain herbs of peppermint, spearmint, pennyroyal, and an unidentified Inca Yuyo herb. The term yuyos usually refers to herbs found in the Northern Argentina / Paraguayan region, which could be one or more of dozens of herbs.

La Cumbrecita is noticeably softer and more harmonious, with less bite and astringency, giving it a friendlier and more appealing taste profile. With a floral minty nose and a zesty-forward body with subtle minerality and lightly toasted notes, this little brand has panache.

©Circle of Drink Inc. 2016 La Cumbrecita Yerba Mate

©Circle of Drink Inc. 2016 La Cumbrecita Yerba Mate in Gourd

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