If a yerba mate gourd had a best friend, it would undoubtedly be the tried and true yerba mate thermos. Used to keep the mate water hot at the perfect temperature of around 175ºF, any serious mate drinker knows never to leave the thermos behind.
Whether you’re preparing mate in a french press or teapot or embarking in the traditional method of drinking mate with a gourd and bombilla, a good thermos is indispensable.
Available in different sizes, colors, and materials, selecting a good thermos shouldn’t be a hair-pulling experience. On the lower end of the spectrum, a simple stainless steel thermos can be found atop the shelves of any major store: Kmart, Target, and Lowe’s. Most are decent, some are downright flimsy.
On the high-end side, there are only several brands of high quality, Stanley and Zojirushi being two of them (which we’ll discuss today).
Excellent first choice for someone new to yerba mate. They come in various sizes, but the standard is around 1 liter, acceptable for a few hours of drinking mate. They’re easy to handle and pour water from the circumference of the brim after pressing the center button.
These thermoses are inexpensive and can be purchased from stores such as Target and Sporting Goods outlets. Expect to pay around $15 dollars.
Some disadvantages: They only hold heat for around 2-3 hours. (Some of the higher quality ones may keep the heat for a bit longer.) And you don’t always get precise control of the pour, as the stream of water tends to be broad and unpredictable at times; practice is needed to master the pour.
Purchase a stainless steel thermos here.
This is a reputable brand that’s been around for 100 years. Popular among campers, labor workers, and outdoorsmen, the Stanley thermos has deep roots in American history and is regarded as one of the best thermoses for yerba mate on the market. They cost around $50 dollars.
I’ve been faithfully using the 1.9 liter stainless steel thermos for close to two-years now. Using double wall vacuum technology, this thermos is perfect for either keeping your pre-made yerba mate hot or holding a good amount of mate water at the correct temperature of around 175ºF (remember never to use boiled water for your mate).
Expect your water to remain hot for a solid 24 hours with this thermos.
I’ve had a few minor problems with the Stanley thermos over the years, but were easily resolved by the excellent customer service Stanley provides, backed by a lifetime warranty.
One problem occurred when I dropped the thermos and the plastic cap split. Another was when the thermos mysteriously stopped keeping the water hot longer than three hours. In both instances, I promptly received replacements free of charge.
This is a good thermos if you’re like me and drink at least a liter or two of mate per day (that’s just over 8 cups). It’s also great for hosting small circles (where mate drinkers gather to share a traditional yerba mate gourd over good conversation and sometimes even snacks).
One disadvantage to the Stanley thermos is that is tends to be a bit bulky and heavy if you’re not used to the size. This can be solved by opting to get a smaller version or simply becoming accustomed to the thermos.
I highly recommend Stanley for the experienced mate drinker.
Purchase a Stanley thermos here.
Technically, this large thermos is what you would call an Air Pot. Designed to keep large amounts of hot beverages, such as coffee and tea. Think 7 Eleven and cafes, where these ubiquitous thermoses tower above the counters, ready to serve patrons their breakfast tea and coffee (yes, we wish they were filled with mate!).
Zojirushi, a Japanese company, is one the best brands of Air Pots and smaller traditional thermoses. I’ve been using the 3.8 liter version of the Air Pot to provide plenty of hot water for those long mate circles that last several hours.
Expect to pay around $75 dollars.
I commonly carry one along with my Stanley thermos when I know I’ll be hosting an event. It’s a perfect water re-supply tank or can be used directly as a thermos if you don’t mind the size.
Using a simple open / close switch, the top pump pops up allowing you to easily squeeze out the water. The accuracy of the flow is surprisingly precise for such a large product.
Backed with a 5 year warranty, no need to worry about replacements or product malfunctions.
This thermos will hold the core heat for around 10 hours, then drop about 20 degrees for another 14 hours of heat, with approximately 24 hours of heat retention. This is on par with the Stanley thermos.
This large thermos may not be ideal for a casual mate drinker, but provides an elegant solution for someone who evolves into a serious mate drinker and begins regularly sharing mate with friends and family (it’s also perfect for holidays). I have yet to try a traditional thermos from Zojirushi, but I’d presume it’s as good as the Air Pot.
Purchase a Zojirushi thermos here.
It’s been a pleasure sharing this information with you. If you’re unfamiliar with yerba mate, it’s a holly plant from South America that provides immense health benefits and natural energy, all without any side effects associated with coffee and energy drinks. On this page, learn about the wonderful health benefits of yerba mate tea.