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club mate1 How To: Homebrew Club Mate (from MAKE Volume 23)

current_Volume_bug3.jpgIf you aren’t savvy to the phenomenon that is Club-Mate, it’s a caffeinated tea beverage brewed in Germany that’s been adopted by the hacker scene in that country as their official staying-up-late-and-coding beverage. It’s become so popular that it’s been imported to the U.S. where it fetches prices as high as $10 a bottle.

Minneapolis maker Dave Toews (pronounced TAVES) bought a case of the stuff, but decided he wanted to create a more economical alternative using Club-Mate’s signature ingredient, yerba maté. He bought a sack of dried yerba maté tea and began mixing and experimenting. The result, which he calls Dave-Mate, is a close match for the German soda, with the main difference being more of a “tea-ey” taste, which Dave chalks up to Club-Mate being brewed with maté syrup rather than actual leaves.

Here’s the recipe he created:

Dave-Mate Recipe

(Makes about 1 liter)

1L water
50mL (3-1/2 Tbsp or 20g) yerba maté tea leaves
15mL agave syrup
15mL simple syrup
1.25g (1/4 tsp.) molasses
1.25g (1/4 tsp.) guarana
0.6125g (1/8 tsp.) citric acid
Drop of orange bitters.


Heat water to 75C/167F, then steep the yerba maté in the water for 5 minutes.

Strain the resulting tea into another container. You may need to filter multiple times to remove all the sediment.

Add the sweeteners, citric acid, bitters, and guarana. (Simple syrup is 1 part sugar dissolved in 1 part hot water.) The guarana simply serves as concentrated caffeine — it doesn’t add any flavor, but it may affect the overall flavor of the beverage.

Stir until blended, then carbonate. Toews used a 1L soda bottle with a carbonator cap, then added CO2 from a cartridge using a method called forced carbonation. This equipment and instructions on the process may be found in any home brewing store.

From the pages of MAKE Volume 23:

23 How To: Homebrew Club Mate (from MAKE Volume 23)
MAKE Volume 23, Gadgets
This special issue is devoted to machines that do delightful and surprising things. In it, we show you how to make a miniature electronic Whac-a-Mole arcade game, a tiny but mighty see-through audio amp, a magic mirror that contains an animated soothsayer, a self-balancing one-wheeled Gyrocar, and the Most Useless Machine (as seen on The Colbert Report!). In the issue, John Baichtal also has a Maker profile on David Toews and his homebrewed Dave-Mate.

John Baichtal

My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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