According to Prof. Valdugo, Autor of several books on Erva Mate: ” While Coffee gets its taste by roasting, green mate gets its taste by the rapid burning ” Sapeco “.
And this is the main difference between the different kinds of Artisanal Meta Mates, what should not be compared to advertised artisanal or traditional yerba mate:
1) Dreyer Family – This mate is hand sapeco with long branches on yerba mate wood. Most probably because of the wood used combined with its wild sources makes it for us the best taste resulting from a sapeco. The hand work here is incredibly skilled. More can be seen here.
2) Tolotti Family – The elder Tolotti does not allow anyone else to do the hand work with short branches. This allows the “estomatos” to explode in a way that we never seen in an industrial mate. Tolotti uses a machine to “Canchear” the mate while the Dreyer it is done by hand.as well this affects the cut of the sticks in the erva mate.
3) Prado Gehm Family – Here the Sapeco is done in a cylinder turned by hand, while the Grandfather Gehm feeds the fire, the wife of Vilson turns the machine handle and Vilson put the erva inside. The time syncronization must be perfect to allow the particles in the leaves to explode but not burn when turned too slowly. The results stays between the Tolotti and industrial mate, have some leaves fully exploded others less. The wood used Native but not Ilex paraguatinesis.
Having visited more than 30 Industrial partners we c0nclude that that their quality of Sapeco cannot come close to the one done by hand. According to Dr. Ari, Autor of “Who is the Gaucho” and a technical book on erva mate, this perfect explosion of the “Estomatos is what makes the artisanal mate better for the stomach than industrial mate and also helps it to conserve properly for up to one year.
Photo Credit – Yerba Mate South Africa