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

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:

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.

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

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