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Cachamate Clásica Yerba Mate Review

Cachamate Clásica Yerba Mate - ©Circle of Drink 2018
Origin: Santa Fe, Misiones, Argentina
Producer: Cachay S.A.
Type: Classical Argentine
Cut: Traditional > Heavy on stems
Body: Light
Cycle: Short/medium
Aged: Accelerated
Grown: Conventional

Neatly folded layers of crisply-starch herbaceous kale-broccoli-spinach flavors, Clásica exemplifies an accelerated-aged Classical Argentine yerba mate. What normally took 9 months, now reduced to 30 days in a specialized drying chamber. What results is a product that’s ready for market in the blink of an eye, but lacks those deep, rich flavors only developed with time. Notwithstanding the accelerated aging, the flavor profile is interesting enough to keep me sipping.

There’s a give and take going on here. The lack of aging allows for sharper, sagey and citrusy tones to rise atop the palate, keeping the earthier, doughy, toasted characters in the backseat, presenting a polarizing effect between sharp and soft tones. We’ve seen this trait within the sub-category of mates known as “mates de campo” or country mates. A few examples: La Merced de Campo, Roapipó, Amanda Campo (though these mates may not all be accelerated).

Cachamate Clásica Yerba Mate - ©Circle of Drink 2018

I took the liberty of personally defining this category myself after noticing distinct similarities within this classification – usually having a quirky green bite with a softer, more subdued earthy undertone, lacking a more refined, polished approach that comes with single-origin mates such as Anna Park, Mission, and Kraus (though the term “mate de campo” is used in Argentina, it’s not quite thought of as a proper category yet — more like a marketing distinction amongst a few producers; I’ve taken it a step further as use it as a category in its own right.

Dry, textured mouthfeel further indicates prolonged smoke exposure, mostly likely from hardwoods (however, smoke exposure doesn’t mean that the mate was “traditionally smoked” which isn’t the case here; traditional smoking usually takes place in a smoke chamber where the mate is exposed to smoke for up to 24 hours or more). For a plain and simple mate with a green kick, this brand is a viable option.

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