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Cachamate Orange Yerba Mate Review

Cachamate Orange Yerba Mate – ©Circle of Drink 2018Origin: Santa Fe, Misiones, Argentina
Producer: Cachay S.A.
Cut: Classical Argentine Blend
Type: Blend > Orange
Body: Light
Cycle: Short
Aged: Accelerated
Grown: Conventional
Ingredients: yerba mate, pennyroyal, orange peel, natural orange flavoring.

As you discerned by now, I’ve have a love-hate, ambivalent relationship with most Argentine blended mates. On one hand, I appreciate their snappy, direct, quirky flavor profiles. Excellent for a quick change-up, sharing mate on the road with friends, and for matching festive gatherings with equally playful flavors. But even the slightest addition of “flavoring” lowers my love towards these popular blended mates.

Call me crazy, but for an orange mate blend I expect the orange flavors to come from real oranges, without the addition of natural flavoring. Indeed, the flavor hungry zeitgeist of the times dictate artificial this and chemical engineered that, but why? Why can’t we rely on the pure, whole fruits and herbs to provide the bounty of luscious, mouth-watering flavors so inherently graced within.

Notwithstanding my disdain for natural flavoring, Cachamate Orange is an interesting blend with sharp bursts of Hi-C orange flavors. Think about orange candies, orange jolly ranchers, orange popsicles, citrusy orange wedges, stabilized with an earthy, slightly spicy-chai and doughy medium body.

On the label we see “smooth” and it’s true, we experience a mostly smooth and stable experience, albeit punctuated with bursts of occasional intensity; hence, the interesting factor of the mate’s character.

Cachamate Orange Yerba Mate – ©Circle of Drink 2018

On the nose we experience cough syrup, pine, cherry coalescing into a pleasant light citrusy bouquet. Some sweet bread and bubble gum around the corner.

Intensify the flavors with high temperatures of 175ºF / 80ºC. As with most citrus-based blends, use this mate for cold iced tea, either with a gourd by adding iced water or for cold brews served from a pitcher.

Rustic and bucolic cut composition with generous monster palos, broad-cut leaves, sinuous auburn stems, and dapples of orange peels — a primal, unpolished vibe that piques my visual senses.

Though far from the apogee of yerba mate blends, within its own enclave of Argentine yerba mate blends specifically designed for the local population, this mate is worth experimenting with, particularly for Matero’s outside the Southern Cone who want a firmer hand on Argentina’s approach to blending.

It’s certainly not gourmet, but after a few cycles, you realize that it’s not too bad, either.

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