Yerba Mate, llex paraguariensis, is an herb native to South America. It is the national drink of Southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina. In fact, yerba mate is currently consumed more than coffee in these countries at a six to one ratio! There's a reason why...there are many reasons why we're proud to introduce Yerba Mate to the Firepot Lineup of sustainably grown and organic teas.
Yerba Mate is part of the exclusive club of plants that produce caffeine. You can consume about as much caffeine from a cup of yerba mate tea as you do by drinking a cup of coffee. The compound is technically called matteine, when coming from Yerba Mate, but for all intents and purposes, it is caffeine to us!
Traditional Yerba Mate Preparation
In most traditional uses, yerba mate is prepared using a hollowed out, dried gourd or mate. The yerba leaves are placed in the bottom of the gourd. After this, cold water is poured over the leaves. The cold water is followed by hot water, which is never boiling to keep the brew from becoming too bitter. Then, the infusion commences!
Yerba mate leaves are left in the mate and are not strained. Consuming the tea involves using a metal straw known as a bombilla. The bombilla has a sieve of small holes at the bottom, which is used to syphon the tea from the leaf fragments.
In daily use, people sip on their mate gourds throughout the day, adding more water and yerba mate leaf as the gourd is emptied of the brew. In a ritual mate ceremony, the gourd is passed from person-to-person, each taking a sip. This is an act of both hospitality and friendship with rich cultural tradition. You can find these accessories to enjoy at home in our Yerba Mate Collection!
A Powerhouse of Health Benefits in Yerba Mate
As mentioned above, yerba mate contains matteine. Technically matteine is caffeine but with an important distinction - the matteine in yerba mate doesn't produce the side-effects that caffeine does. Matteine won't make you jittery or nauseous, and it doesn't cause a caffeine crash. Yerba mate also contains theobromine and is rich in antioxidants. This serves as an effective and natural anti-inflammatory and subsequently reduces the risk of many diseases. In fact, the antioxidant power found in yerba mate is even higher than in green tea. It also contains several vitamins, minerals and amino acids, which provide even more health benefits.
Additional Benefits of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate has a rich history of health benefits that merit an even deeper look at its many attributes. The following are a couple more health advantages of this traditional tea:
- Improves mental focus and mood: Several studies have proven that Yerba Mate can improve short-term recall, mental alertness and more. Many drinkers enjoy the alertness it gives and note that it does so without the jittery effects of coffee.
- Can help reduce belly fat and aid in weight loss: Yerba Mate is also believed to boost metabolism and reduce appetite which can lead to weight loss and a decrease in belly fat.
Yerba Mate's taste profile is refreshing, green and slightly astringent - a little like eucalyptus with a faint smokiness characteristic of South America. What's more, our all natural handmade mate gourd is a traditional Yerba Mate steeping cup from South America. Just place 1 Tablespoon of Yerba Mate or Firepot Yerba Mate Chai in the gourd and top with hot water. Sip with the bamboo straw as the mate steeps. Refill with more hot water as necessary. And if you like Yerba Mate...you'll love our Yerba Mate Chai. It's everything you love about Firepot chai, now with the brightness and benefit of Yerba Mate.