What is Yerba Mate?

What is Yerba Mate?

If you’ve ever been to South America - specifically Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil - you may have seen locals and tourists alike drinking a tea looking drink out of an ornate looking gourd or cup. Ever wondered what this is? Well, it’s Yerba Mate!

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Yerba Mate (pronounced mah-tay) is a caffeinated tea drink made from the dried out leaves of a Yerba mate plant, grown and harvested in South America. Though Yerba Mate has found its way over to the U.S., it has a deep history and long tradition as a drink in South America. Used as a social & cultural tradition, Yerba Mate has been bringing people together in South America for centuries. It’s even the national drink of Argentina!

Yerba Mate was originally consumed by indigenous populations of Brazil. As Spanish colonization came through, the tea spread to Paraguay before making its way to Argentina by the late 1600s. All three countries began producing Yerba Mate on a large scale, with plantations all across their lands, and to this day, Brazil & Argentina are the largest Yerba Mate producers in the world.

Traditionally, dried Yerba Mate leaves are soaked in hot water in cups made of wood or glass or in a hollowed out gourd or bull’s horn. The drink is sipped through a bombilla, which is a special metal straw that filters out the loose leaf tea from the liquid - to make sure you don’t get any leaves with your sip. If you pick up some loose Yerba Mate, follow this recipe for the perfect cup:

  1. Add the Yerba Mate to your container until half full
  2. Lightly swirl the leaves around so that they coat the sides of your container
  3. Tilt your container on an angle so that most of the leaves are gathered on one side
  4. Add a little bit of cold water and soak leaves for a minute. This will help the flavor to develop
  5. Fill your container to the top with hot water - never boiling!The ideal temperature is between 160-175 F or 70-80 degrees C
  6. Drink from your bombilla and enjoy!

And if you don’t want to take those steps, pick up a Guru Yerba Mate, for all the same benefits in a convenient can!

Speaking of benefits, Yerba Mate is filled with them. With about 85mg of caffeine per cup, Yerba Mate will have you feeling energized and focused, without the coffee crash. It’s also packed with health-promoting antioxidants for a good immune-system boost, and is a great choice for improved digestion.

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