June 24, 2008

Iced Yerba Mate

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Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it's hot as blazes.  And while I like nothing better than a nice hot yerba mate as an afternoon pick me up when there's a chill in the air, in the summertime heat, I want something cool and refreshing.

Last summer Guillermo had to attend a 6 week long training session for his job in Houston, TX.  We packed up a couple of suitcases and our then 4-month-old son and went to Texas to live in a Residence Inn for July and part of August.  Whew, y'all!  The heat was like nothing I had ever experienced.  (Really.  Nothing.)

My list of complaints (mostly about the way the company handled the experience) could fill a little volume–I won't bore you with the details; but the upside of being in Houston was that we got to discover all the Argentinean (and other) restaurants in a completely new city!  Enter the Original Marini's Empanada House, which, as it turned out, was about a block from our hotel and within walking distance, even in the infernal heat.

So we would trudge over for empanadas, homemade alfajores, and…iced tea?  Yes, Marini's is where I got the idea for this post–it's in Texas, of course, so they serve Iced Yerba Mate Tea!  Everyone probably knows that Iced Tea is to Texas what water is for the rest of us…I loved this clever Argentinean twist on a Texas standard.   

The owners of Marini's became my little Argentinean family while we were there-of course it helped that they cooed and doted over our son as if he were one of their own!  Like so many Argentineans, Marcello and Pelusa are friendly, chatty and hospitable.

So I was able to take something back wonderful from that trip and share it with you–a great new summertime tradition–Iced Yerba Mate tea. 

What are your favorite summertime traditions?

Iced Yerba Mate Tea

Yerba Mate con Heilo

Yerba Mate (tea-loose or in a bag)

Boiling water

Fresh Mint or lemon slices (optional)

Fill a tea ball used for steeping loose tea with yerba, or use a tea bag, add boiling water in a tea cup and steep 4-5 minutes, until desired strength.  Fill a glass with ice and pour the cup of tea over ice.  Add mint or lemon as desired!

5 Responses to “Iced Yerba Mate”

  1. What a great idea! I have to say that southern iced tea is always, always too sweet for me. Up here in New England, as often as not we have iced tea with no sweeteners at all. But I have lots of mint in the garden, and markets close by that sell yerba mate, so I’ll give this a try.

  2. Great idea! Did you know that the Starbucks here has “mate latte”? I have not tried it. (I’m boycotting the franchise here.)
    Do you and Guillermo ever share loose mate in the US or do you buy mate in bags?

  3. Looks very refreshing, as soon as it gets warm enough here (57 F now) I’ll have to try it as an afternoon coffee replacement.

  4. I’ll have to look for the tea bags.
    Paz

  5. Thanks for this iced tea idea. We’re getting lots of hot weather in Los Angeles, and I just happen to have some yerba mate teabags on hand.

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