To answer this let’s break down what these 2 teas are so that you can understand the difference between the two. This difference is the best way to understand the difference between them and will answer the question for you.
This drink is a tea-based drink made from either a green or a black tea to which a white sugar that has been run through a fermentation process for several weeks. The fermentation includes forms of acidic vinegar and yeast, with the result known in the industry as SCOBY. This mixture is then added to either a green or a black tea depending on which tea leaves are used.
The process of incorporating SCOBY is essential and depending on where itis in the fermentation live span process could start with a relatively fruity flavor that becomes more acidic or vinegary as time goes by. Similar to other fermented goods such as beer, cheese or wine, the fermentation process extends the shelf life on the end product, meaning that the Fermented tea will last longer.
This drink is made from an offshoot of the holly plant that is grown and harvested in countries such as Bolivia, Uruguay and Argentina, and where it has been developed and cultivated for recent centuries. The bushes or shrubs from which the leaf comes from is very unlike that from which tea is grown. The plants can stand up to 45 foot high when the leaves are harvested, dried and sold in either bulk or tea bags so that they can be steeped similarly as to how tea is steeped before drinking. You can get it on Amazon.
Yerba, like its very distant cousins, the tea bush contains caffeine as well, although the leaf contains far more caffeine than either coffee or especially tea. So please keep in mind that whatever you do with the steeped fluid, it will carry far more caffeine than any mixture that is made with traditional values and methods.
The real answer of whether you can make Kombucha from Mate is yes. It is in its very original form is a blend of tea leaves, whether black or green leaves depending on your personal preference and mixed with the SCOBY or the elements of the white sugar fermented result. This extract is then combined with the tea base to give the final output in a drink form now known as Kombucha.
Through its first growth and low caffeine yield, fermented is synonymous with having a flat rate of caffeine which is one of the features that keep enthusiasts drinking it. On the other hand, Yerba-Mate has a very high level of caffeine which if one tried to mix it as it would still carry the caffeine volume through to the final drink which would move it out of the normal realms of what this tea is known for.
That said, if you are not a purist, and you like to mix and spice things up in your life, then it is more than possible that you can add the SCOBY or the fermented white sugar case that has been fermented for several weeks and add it to the steeped output. I suggest that you try to test the output sometimes during the SCOBY fermentation process to see precisely where in the process works best when mixed with Yerba Mate. As we are now not talking about a standard Kombucha drink, there would be no reason why not to experiment some more and see what other flavors can be added to the fermentation process before fermenting.