Drink of the Summer: What is Tereré and How to Make it?
If you are familiar with yerba maté, you must have heard of its cold and refreshing cousin – tereré. But what is it exactly and what makes it different from traditional maté? In this article you will find everything you need to know about tereré, including its preparation method, history and some tips on where to start with this cool and increasingly popular summer drink.
Tereré – what is it?
Simply put, tereré is a type of maté that is brewed and drank cold – either with water, ice or juice.
The brewing process is exactly the same as with regular maté: you need to fill your gourd 2/3 of the way with yerba, shake it upside down, form a slope, insert your bombilla, and fill it with water. The only difference is the temperature of the water, which has to be as cold as possible for tereré. We also recommend to use a stainless-steel gourd, since it allows the drink to stay chilled longer.
In all other aspects this drink is very much akin to maté: it has the same energizing effect and health benefits, as well as a similar flavor, just milder and more delicate. However, the yerba you use can make a big difference, and here’s why.
Best yerba for tereré
As you know from tea and other infusions, the taste of herbs develops best in hot water. In order for the flavor to remain strong even when brewed cold, yerba for tereré undergoes a special treatment process.
With interest in cold maté on the rise, more companies are beginning to sell variations of their maté made specifically for tereré. All Paraguayan yerba brands, for instance, are meant to be brewed cold: Pajarito, Ruvicha or Selecta are just a few good examples.
Different kinds of flavored yerba, infused with herbs, berries, fruit or simply sweetened, would also be great choice for tereré. When it comes to flavored yerba maté, Argentinean CBSé or Brazilian Rei Verde and Baraohave no equals. However, even the most traditional brands like Rosamonte or Piporé are introducing delicious tereré versions into their yerba selection.
National drink of Paraguay
In the subtropical regions of South America this drink is not just a tasty treat but a necessary habit. In Paraguay, one of the hottest countries on the continent, cold, icy tereré is the traditional beverage. Drinking iced maté is a significant social ritual, based on mutual trust and fostering inclusion and equality. Families and friends gather together throughout the day to enjoy a guampa of tereré, as well as share opinions, ideas and good conversations.
Cold maté is such a big part of the Paraguayan cultural identity that in 2020 UNESCO recognized tereré as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It was a big achievement for Paraguay, that gave this cultural tradition protection and worldwide recognition.
With tereré the potential for experiments is endless, since you can mix it with juices, lemonades, tonics or liquors to create your own custom-made cocktails. Find some inspiration online, or simply let your imagination guide you in finding the right flavors!
Now that you know what makes tereré beloved all over the world, it’s time to try it for yourself. Browse our selection of cold-brew yerba here and stay fresh and cool all throughout these months of summer heat.