Iced Yerba Mate Chai - Matcha Alternatives

Yerba Mate Latte - MA Recipes

Posted by Stephany Morgan

Today I’m going to give you three customizable recipes for making Yerba Mate Lattes. If you love fancy lattes and a caffeine hit, but coffee isn’t for you or you’re trying to cut down, definitely try Mate Lattes. These give you the strong flavor of café beverages, and all the wonderful health benefits of Yerba Mate and its host of antioxidants (more than matcha tea), such as improved focus, energy, and alertness - all without jitters or a caffeine crash.

How does the caffeine differ to that in coffee? Answers in my blog all about Caffeine in Coffee and Tea & if Yerba Mate in general is new to you, why not check out our blog Yerba Mate Tea: What is it and why is everyone talking about it?

1) Basic Yerba Mate Latte Recipe
2) Sweeteners & Fancier Yerba Mate Lattes
3) Chai Yerba Mate Latte Recipe


This recipe also won the Drinks category in a pan-European recipe competition last year, and has since been published in a The Uncommon Kitchens cookbook! Read on to try this award-winning latte. :-)


Frothy Mate Chai - Matcha Alternatives


Basic Yerba Mate Latte Recipe

A traditional latte is a shot of espresso topped with steamed milk, while a café au lait is half coffee, half steamed milk. When we make Mate Lattes, they are kind of a mashup between the latte and au lait, sans coffee. Of course you can experiment with your own ratio of Mate to milk until you find your favorite.

Serves 1 person, takes approx. 5 minutes





    1. Brew your Yerba Mate in a mug, to stronger than your usual preferred strength (hence the 3Tbs which is more than normal), usually 2-3 minutes. It’s best to use not-quite-boiling water, so either grab the kettle or pan just as it starts to simmer or, wait a few minutes after your kettle boil. It’s best to not burn the leaves. Full instructions on how to brew mate here.
    2. While the mate is brewing, in a saucepan, heat the milk until it *just* begins to foam or simmer (you don’t want to boil milk). Of course heat more milk the milkier you want, but remember to make the mate stronger to compensate too.
    3. Add your sweetener to your cup of brewed mate, allowing it to dissolve, then pour the hot milk over top.
    4. Voilà! You have a Yerba latte!


    Alternative Brewing, the ‘Té Americano’ approach

    1) When brewing your loose leaf mate, fill your mug only halfway with hot water, just covering your loose leaf in its infuser/tea ball.

    2) Top up the rest of your mug with hot milk (steamed milk if possible). Leave for 3-5 minutes or longer as the mate is slower to brew in milk. The tea will infuse into the milk, and make a creamier, richer drink. 

    3) Remove your infuser, add your sweetener and flavorings and enjoy!


    Christmas Yerba Chai with Peppermint Extract - Matcha Alternatives.jpg


    Sweeteners, Extracts & Fancier Yerba Mate Lattes

    In terms of sweeteners…

    You can dress it up however you’d like! I prefer to avoid refined sugar as it’s not great for us and it can decrease the health benefits of the Mate. I prefer honey, pure maple syrup or maple sugar. Honey teams well with cinnamon and nutmeg while maple adds a subtle flavor to the drink, and I like to add a dash of cinnamon to compliment it.

    If you’d prefer a sugarless option, try:

    • Golden monk sweetener (this tastes similar to maple, and doesn’t have that cold “mouth feel” that white monk sugar and powdered stevia have).
    • “Sweet Drops”, which are flavored liquid stevia extract.
    • “Vanilla Creme” flavor that is to die for! Be careful, it’s powerfully sweet, and for an large mug you only need about 3 drops.

    What else can you do with your Yerba Latte? Here is a load of options to enhance your yerba mate and make it awfully fancy. Move over Starbucks...


    To make your latte fancy...

    Try adding a dash of:

    • Vanilla extract - this is a classic and tastes like warmth and comfort
    • Almond extract - also delicious, the nutty flavor and aroma compliment the Yerba phenomenally! (Pro-tip: choose almond or cashew milk for an even better flavor trip!)
    • Maple extract (One of my favorites)
    • Hazelnut extract
    • Add some cinnamon to your tea ball while it steeps, then garlish with some cinnamon powder on top
    • Get edgy by adding some orange extract and a touch of vanilla => Yerba Creamsicle!
    • Add cocoa powder to the milk as it steams, and use a little vanilla and cinnamon for a chocolate-y dessert beverage
    • Add cocoa powder, and crushed peppermint candy for a Christmas twist
    • Mix cocoa powder into a couple tablespoons of maple syrup. Add a drop of orange extract and top with orange zest and a dash of clove. Yum.

    For cocoa powder, we suggest you add it to the brew so you can mix it up / dissolve it into a paste before adding the foamed milk. (It’s how baristas do it)


    Yerba Mate Chai Latte - MatchaAlternatives


    Chai Yerba Mate Latte

    Option 1) Quick and easy (but still nothing artificial)

    Follow the Yerba Latte recipe above except replace the Yerba Mate from the basic recipe with our Matcha Alternatives Roasted Ginger Chai Yerba Mate. Garnish with some cinnamon, done!!! A yerba chai mate in a few quick minutes.


    Option 2) From scratch for extra intense flavors

    If you want to turn your straight-forward latte into a chai masterpiece, follow this recipe. The spices are suggestions, but you can use whichever ones you happen to have in your cupboard!


    Chai Yerba Mate Latte from Scratch (pictured above!)

    Serves 1 person, takes approx. 30 minutes (extending steeping!)

    • 1 ¼  cup milk or milk alternative
    • ¼ cup water
    • 3 Tbsp Matcha Alternatives ‘The Purist’ Green Yerba Mate or Roasty Toasty Yerba Mate (for a roasted flavor) or Zing in Your Step Lemon Yerba Mate (to add that lovely lemongrass taste)
    • Chopped cinnamon (1-2 sticks equiv.)
    • 5-6 whole cloves
    • 2 tsp of turmeric pieces, or 1 tsp turmeric powder
    • 1 mace flower
    • 3 stars of star anise
    • ½ Tbsp chopped, dried ginger (or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger)
    • 2 opened cardamom pods (crush them with the side of a chopping knife like you would garlic)
    • ½ tsp vanilla extract
    • 5 peppercorns (I like pink peppercorns)
    • 1-2 Tbsp sugar, honey or maple syrup if desired
    • Nutmeg, turmeric and/or cinnamon powder for garnish.



    1. Put the water into a saucepan with all the dry ingredients (except the yerba mate and garnishes), and bring to a boil.
    2. Reduce heat to low, cover and steep 10 minutes. Some of the water may evaporate – that’s okay!
    3. Next, add the milk and bring to a simmer, uncovered.
    4. Stir in sugar, honey or maple syrup at this point if you like a sweet chai.
    5. Once the milk *just* begins to foam, remove from heat and add the Mate tea. Steep covered for 10 minutes. Note: If you add the mate at the beginning with the other dry ingredients, the leaves will burn, creating a bitter flavor. Wait to add it at this step!
    6. Using a sieve, pour your latte into a mug or glass, and garnish as you see fit such as with nutmeg, turmeric and/or cinnamon.
    7. Sit down, relax, and breathe with your mate latte.


    Yerba Mate Latte - Steeping Spices - Matcha Alternatives.jpg Yerba Mate Latte - Tea and Milk - Matcha Alternatives.jpg Yerba Mate Latte - Heating Milk - Matcha Alternatives.jpg

    Yerba Mate Latte - Sieving Chai - Matcha Alternatives.jpg


    A Note From The Herbalist...

    So there you have it, around two dozen Yerba Mate Lattes depending on how you count them! With all the possible extracts I mention (check the label to ensure they are not artificially flavored), and all the rest I haven’t, there is an unlimited number of options. You can even mix and match extracts for a flavor unique to you. Actually I just thought of another: lemon zest! 

    For the Alternative Brewing method of the basic yerba latte, I’ve described steeping in milk rather than water (or a milkier-mix). The founders of spent two (amazing) years in Madrid, Spain and various other Spanish cities. Apparently, in cafés there, the baristas and waiters called a tea-in-hot-milk brewing (instead of water) a “Té Americano”. Curious! (We’re not sure where this came from...any ideas? Comment below or on our IG)

    I had a fantastic time creating these recipes as you can imagine, and would love it if you would share your own versions with me too! Just tag us @MatchaAlternatives on Instagram or Facebook. :-)

    Now pick your Yerba Mate and enjoy!!!


    'The Purist' Green Yerba Mate - Matcha Alternatives  

    'The Purist' Green Yerba Yerba Mate - More antioxidants than matcha, with the caffeine hit of coffee, and a rich herbaceous flavor

    How is this an alternative to matcha? Its ORAC is ~1700 vs matcha's 1384, meaning you'd need to spend ~4x more on Matcha for the same antioxidant hit! It also has a third more caffeine than matcha, and the theoflavins of black tea.

    Ingredients: Green Yerba Mate and nothing else

    Roasted Ginger Chai Mate - Matcha Alternatives

    Roasted Ginger Chai Yerba Mate - More antioxidants than matcha, with the caffeine hit of coffee, black tea blended in, and plenty of spices.

    How is this an alternative to matcha? Its ORAC is ~1700 vs matcha's 1384, meaning you'd need to spend ~4x more on Matcha for the same antioxidant hit! It also has a third more caffeine than matcha, and the theoflavins of black tea.

    Ingredients: Roasted mate, Black tea, Chopped and powdered ginger, Cardamom, Coriander, Cinnamon, Cloves, Black pepper, All natural flavors

    Zing in Your Step Lemon Yerba Mate - Matcha Alternatives

    Zing in Your Step Lemon Yerba Mate - More antioxidants than matcha, with lemony brightness from the fresh blending of lemongrass and lemon peel. 

    How is this an alternative to matcha? Its ORAC is ~1700 vs matcha's 1384, meaning you'd need to spend ~4x more on Matcha for the same antioxidant hit! It also has a third more caffeine than matcha, and the theoflavins of black tea.

    Ingredients: Green Yerba Mate, Lemon Grass, Lemon Peel

    Roasty Toasty Mate - Matcha Alternatives

    Roasty Toasty Yerba Mate - More antioxidants than matcha, with a rich roasted flavor and smell that I just love. 

    How is this an alternative to matcha? Its ORAC is ~1700 vs matcha's 1384, meaning you'd need to spend ~4x more on Matcha for the same antioxidant hit! It also has a third more caffeine than matcha, and the theoflavins of black tea.

    Ingredients: Roasted Yerba Mate



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    All of the information regarding the herbs, botanicals, minerals, vitamins, etc., is information drawn from traditional use data or academic research and should be regarded as such. If you, the reader, has a health or medical concern, please consult your healthcare professional. The information found here is not meant to diagnose, treat, prescribe or cure and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is for educational purposes only.


    Yerba Mate References and Further Reading

    Yerba Maté (Ilex paraguariensis) Metabolic, Satiety, and Mood State Effects at Rest and during Prolonged Exercise, Nutrients. 2017 Aug; 9(8): 882.

    Caffeine in Coffee and Tea, The MA Blog,

    What is Yerba Mate? The MA Blog,

    The Ultimate Guide to Brewing Teas and Tisanes: How to Brew Mate, The MA Blog,


    More about each type of mate sold at

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    • It took me three tries and two trips to the co-op, but I finally made a chai latte from scratch! It was delicious and made the house smell AWESOME!

      Lauren Elizabeth Hirth

    • @Talisker Horton – We’ve been making a lot of these – definitely a fun and tasty way to make lockdown more varied! And helps ration your coffee supplies :-P

      Elizabeth Taeed, CoFounder

    • Given how lockdown has me on about 3 coffees before noon, this sounds like an excellent way to start weaning me off the caffiene rush! Looks lush!

      Talisker Horton

    • @Alison Harada – So happy to hear this! That sounds like a delicious combo – which mate did you use?

      Elizabeth Taeed, CoFounder

    • I tried this with almond milk and stevia and it was delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

      Alison Harada

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