Yerba Mate is commonly found in many South American cultures and is the official drink of Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
New to Yerba Mate? Try our Yerba Mate Sampler
Originating in South America, the holly plant is grown and brewed with the intention of being the pinnacle of celebration. It is served very hot, and resembles a combination of green tea and coffee flavor with a taste of oak. Mate has slightly less caffeine than coffee, so the drink is often interchangeable; mate is often lighter on the stomach.
The wide use and consumption of Yerba Mate in South America much resembles that of coffee in North American and Europe. However, while North Americans and European treat coffee as a vice, South Americans see Mate as a healing herb having multiple uses. It is believed that Mate has the ability to purify your blood, restore color to hair, control appetite, minimize stress and mend insomnia. Despite its believed healing nature, many drink Mate more for personal enjoyment and experience.
Yerba Mate has been made popular by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay, and like other regional teas and brews, has a mythological background. Although details when it was first brewed are unsure, it is evident that mate certainly has made an impact of the people of South America. There are several differing accounts of how Yerba Mate came to be brewed. Ultimately, the Guarani Indians believe that God (known as Pa' i Shume) came to visit earth and entrusted Yerba Mate tree to the natives. After giving the plant to them, Pa’i Shume taught the Guarani Indians how infuse the mate in a drink to experience the healing powers. Now, Yerba Mate is a staple of South American culture and has growing recognition for its detoxification around the world.
Brewing Instruction – For traditional experiences, there are two items that you will need: a bomba(bombilla) and a traditional gourd. The traditional gourd is where the Mate is brewed and contained while you drink, and the bomba is a silver type straw which is used to drink the Mate. In order to prepare the mate, a serving of Yerba Mate is place in the gourd. The gourd is then filled with hot (not boiling) water, covered, and gently shaken to procure proper brewing. Adding boiling water can cause a sharp and bitter taste. Traditionally, each person drinks the entire contents in the gourd before adding more water and passing to the next person. The gourd with the yerba mate mix is passed around until the mix goes “flat” or can no longer be brewed.Like other teas, there are many variations to the traditional mate which you may enjoy. Anything from spicy to sweet is can be found, so try it out for yourself, and find out what your favorite is.