If 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 matÃ©. He bought a sack of dried yerba matÃ© 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 matÃ© syrup rather than actual leaves.
Here’s the recipe he created:
(Makes about 1 liter)
50mL (3-1/2 Tbsp or 20g) yerba matÃ© 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 matÃ© 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:
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.