Yerba Mate Chai Latte

Name: Elizabeth Taeed
Class Year: 2009
Country of Residence: Portugal

Why is this recipe great? What’s its backstory? 

My husband and I run a small loose-leaf tea shop, stocked with our favourite teas discovered during our four years of travel. Yerba mate is one of them! It is a herbal tea with caffeine levels on par with coffee, but without any bitterness and with a rich, smooth taste. We also fell in love with masala chai during our year in India, so combining the two is an obvious combination.

This is a simple recipe we’ve created ourselves for our tea shop, and although it takes a little time (30 minutes), it’s worth every minute of steeping. While you can change the chai ingredients listed as much as you like (including type and amount), I strongly recommend including turmeric pieces as they turn the milk a gorgeous gold and give that distinctly Indian taste! Lastly, if you can’t find yerba mate, you can of course replace it with a black loose leaf tea.

Yerba Mate Chai Latte

Serves 2. Takes 30 minutes

4-5 Tbsp Yerba Mate loose leaf (I like using the Zing in Your Step Lemon Yerba Mate from, which is green mate + lemongrass + lemon rind)
½ cup water
2 ½ cup Milk or Milk substitute such as almond, hazelnut or soy milk, or lactose-free milk
Any or all of the following (you are after all the master of your chai):
Chopped cinnamon (1-2 sticks equiv.)
5-6 whole cloves
3 stars of star anise
1 mace flower
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 of a whole nutmeg
2 tsp of turmeric pieces, or 1 tsp turmeric powder
5 peppercorns (I like pink peppercorns)
2-3 Tbsp Honey or maple syrup if desired, or 2 Tbsp sugar
Nutmeg, turmeric and 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 foams, 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 - Tea and Milk Yerba Mate Latte - Steeping Spices


Yerba Mate Latte - Heating Milk Yerba Mate Latte - Sieving Chai

Yerba Mate Chai Latte -
The final drink!


My teashop’s recipe blog:

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