What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate has been around for hundreds of years, stretching back to pre-Columbian Paraguay. It is a brewed, tea-like beverage from South America which has recently gained popularity with North American consumers. Yerba Mate is made from the naturally caffeinated leaves of the South American rain forest holly tree, native to Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. And just like fine coffee, there are certain methods for growing premium mate where you can find the most medicinal and nutritive properties. Celebrated by many indigenous groups, Mate is referred to as “The Drink of the Gods,” and for many great reasons.
Health Benefits That Pack A Punch
Cup for cup, Yerba Mate has about the same strength as regular coffee. It contains caffeine, theophylline and theobromine; well-known stimulants also found in tea, coffee and chocolate. But these amazing leaves also contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and are abundant in antioxidants, naturally. In fact, The Pasteur Institute and the Paris Scientific Society in 1964 concluded “it is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to mate in nutritional value” and that Yerba Mate contains “practically all of the vitamins necessary to sustain life.” Imagine that!
The Mate And The Gourd
Drinking Yerba Mate has long been a symbol of hospitality. There is actually a ceremony built around sharing this beverage during social gatherings. Members will pass a gourd prepared with steeped Mate and sip from a bombilla (filtered straw), refill, pass and repeat. Did you know that Yerba Mate is the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil where it is consumed 6 to 1 over coffee? In Argentina, over 90% of the people drink Yerba Mate with a gourd and bombilla.
The Possibilities Are Endless
Although a treat to experience, you don’t need a gourd and a bombilla to enjoy Yerba Mate on your own. There are many ways to savor this healthful beverage. Loose Yerba Mate can be brewed in tea bags. And because it is a brewed beverage, you can enjoy it either hot or cold. The possibilities are endless when you incorporate other infusions, like adding fresh herbs and fruit juices. Sweeten with organic sugar or honey. Yum!
*Tip: It is recommended to brew your Mate in hot water that doesn’t exceed 150 degrees F to preserve the integrity of the nutrients.
Please Pass The Mate!
Whether you decide to enjoy this celebrated beverage from a traditional gourd and bombilla or opt for more traditional methods, you can’t go wrong. Raise your glass (or gourd) to your health!