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Like other drinks, such as wine, Yerba Mate needs time to acquire the characteristics  we appreciate when we drink some mate: intense or smooth flavor, color and distinctive aromas.

Loose Yerba Mate in Bag

Storage is part of the production process, which begins with the harvest of the green leaves that are transported to the dryer, where they are dried and then coarsely crushed and packed in bags for storage.

Natural Storage vs Artificial

Yerba Mate storage can be natural or artificial, the first lasts a minimum of 9 months and extends up to 24 months. In a few cases, it can even reach 36 months.

The artificial storage lasts only 3 – 4 months. This last system was first introduced in Argentina in the 1980s due to a lack of raw material.

Yerba Mate Bags in Bulk

The final quality of the Yerba Mate is directly related to how and how long is stored. The longer the better. Natural storage provides the most important qualities of a high quality Yerba Mate: good flavor, aroma, a marked reduction in the natural bitterness of the Yerba and a subtle, light “sweet” taste.

On the contrary, Yerbas stored for a short period of time in artificial chambers that simulate the natural storage process, have a more aggressive flavor and most important, they produce acidity.

As a general rule, Yerbas that are labelled “Selección Especial” or just “Selección” and those produced by small farmers or cooperatives are those that have a long natural storage. Needless to say any organic brand. They are more expensive but of higher quality.

Great, but how should I store my Yerba Mate at home?

The best way is to keep your Yerba Mate in its original package, taking care that no moisture enters it. It is also advisable to keep it in a cool dry place.

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