opit has been writing her thesis these days, and what goes better together with academic deathmarches than procrastination and stimulants?

There’s Club Mate which we know and love and which has inspired many art projects and derivative drinks. It is abundant here in Berlin, where one can go out and get a bottle at the nearest Spätkauf. However, opit knew it would not be trivial to find Mate back in Lithuania. Besides, she’s just bought a used water carbonation device (likely made in the West Bank).

Several people and hackerspace collectives have attempted their own mate soda versions, sharing the results and procedures. So, we forked one recipe, called Matedor, which did not require advanced carbonating equipment and seemed reasonable.

opit decided to substitute part of the sugar with agave syrup, probably because South America. She also added guarana powder to the mix instead of messing with pure caffeine or skipping this part altogether. The ingredients and a test specimen:

There was also a lemon but she forgot to take a picture of it. Visualise a lemon. You all know how it looks like. opit brewed the tea according to the recipe – by simmering the mate leaves in water for 10 minutes. Then she added a spoon of guarana powder (all quantities in the recipe were scaled down 4 times):

Also ¾ cup of agave syrup and ¼ cup of sugar:

Also, the juice of ¼ lemon. The concoction looked unapealing at the time:

However, after straining it carefully, the resulting syrup became clear and honey-coloured:

We added approximately 1/3 cup of the syrup to 1 liter bottle of carbonated water. The drink was quite different from the original – ours was more sweet and with more ‘matey’ taste. Adding more lemon juice balanced the taste but that’s still far from Club Mate. Mostly, ours is too sweet in comparison, while Club Mate is much more heavily carbonated.

Nevertheless, it is still a tasty summer soda with a kick. We’ll keep trying. Here’s the final recipe, duplicated at Github:


Yields 1 cup of syrup
– 1 cup water
– 50g Yerba Mate leaves
–· ¼ cup raw sugar
– ¾ cup agave syrup
–· 3 tsp lemon juice
–· 1 tbsp guarana powder (optional, and you might want to cut it down a bit)


Simmer the tea without boiling for 10 minutes. Stir in the sugar, agave syrup, guarana powder, lemon juice. Mix until sugar has completely dissolved. Strain into a container (thick paper tissue in a colander works fine). Carbonate water, add roughly 1/3 cup of the syrup into 1l of water.