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Paraguayan Tereré Recipe (Iced Herbal Tea)

Paraguayan Tereré Recipe (Iced Herbal Tea)

Tereré, commonly known as ‘iced herbal tea’ is the national drink of Paraguay, South America. This refreshing drink is prepared from dried leaves and twigs of the ilex paraguariensis tree.

These leaves, simply called yerba mate, are then used to make the hot yerba mate tea as well as the terere. The only difference between terere and hot yerba mate tea is that ice cold water is used for terere. 

This energizing beverage has a very nice earthy flavour. Its flavour can be enhanced by adding various other ingredients to it like fruit juices and fresh mint leaves. Orange, pineapple and lemon juices are commonly used.

History & Cultural Significance

Yerba mate is thought to have originated from Paraguay centuries ago. The Guarani people of Paraguay, Uruguay, Northeast Argentina and Southern Brazil, drank yerba mate and believed that it is the natural cleanser of spirit.

Today, it is still drunk by millions of Guarani people all over South America. It is considered as a symbol of friendship and acceptance, and is drunk with a group of close friends or relatives who are gathered in a circle.

A person who prepares Tereré is called the cebador. In such a gathering, the cebador has to drink the first infusion as it is bitter always and it cannot be served to the guests.

After drinking, the cebador refills the cup with water and passes it on to the next person in the circle. Similarly the next person also drinks it up and refills again before passing it to the next guest.

This is continued until the last person on the table gets to drink the amazing cup of terere.

Preparing Tereré

Making terere is undoubtedly a piece of cake. All you need is the yerba mate and your drink is almost ready. Besides 2 special pieces of equipment that are required for this recipe – a guampa and a bombilla.

Guampa is a traditional cup and bombilla is a traditional straw.


Paraguayan Tereré Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Tereré can be made in a variety of ways but here we bring you a quick, standard recipe of Tereré.


  • Yerba mate – 6 tbsp
  • Cold water
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon juice
  • Any fruit juice of your choice (pineapple, orange)
  • Mint leaves


  1. Take a guampa (a specialized glass for Tereré) and add the yerba mate in it. 
  2. Turn the guampa sideways by covering it with your palm so that the yerba mate moves to one side of the glass.
  3. Now take the bombilla. We are using the spoon bombilla as it prevents the particles from entering your mouth while sipping.
  4. Place the bombilla in the empty space at the side of your guampa. Add ice cubes in it.
  5. Make a mixture of cold water, orange juice and mint.
  6. Pour this mixture in and wait for a moment in order to enhance the amount of flavour to your drink.
  7. Your amazing and refreshing cup of terere is ready for drinking.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 34Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 0g

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