What is Yerba Mate and what is it primarily known for?
What is Yerba Mate? Yerba Mate is considered a super tea that naturally contain 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids and an abundance of antioxidants. Yerba Mate is known to have 11 polyphenols that act as powerful antioxidants. These antioxidants have been studied and shown anti-cancer effects by strengthening an organism’s immune system and protecting it against cell death and destruction. These polyphenol Mate tea differ significantly from green tea because Yerba Mate tea contains a high concentration of chlorogenic acid and no catechins. What does this mean? It means yerba mate plays well with other teas such as green and black tea.
Yerba mate is a plant that starts as a shrub and then matures to a tree that can grow up to 15 metres (49 ft) tall.
Yerba Mate is a form of tea that is harvested across the world but most prominently in South America. It is a plant that is grown in sub-tropical shade. It is a loose-leaf tea that is available for purchase both as loose leaf or in tea bags. Don’t be surprised if you get your share of criticism when purchasing the tea bags. Yerba Mate is considered a communal drink amongst family and friends that even has its own ritual for preparation and consumption. Yerba mate is the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil. In these countries it is 6 times more popular than coffee. In Argentina, over 90% of yerba mate is traditionally served into a Yerba Mate Gourd.
What is Yerba Mate and why is it so popular?
Beyond Yerba Mate’s amazing health benefits it is known to aid in weight loss. Yerba Mate contains an ingredient called mateine that speeds up your metabolism while acting as an appetite suppressant making you feel fuller longer. Yerba Mate is also known to provide better quality sustainable energy throughout the day enabling you to do more on a daily basis. Yerba Mate also aids inflammation which plays a known role in obesity.
What type of Yerba Mate should I buy?
We recommend air-dried yerba mate tea leaves. Although not definitive, there have been links to smoked-dried mate leaves having a carcinogenic effect. There are many popular brands that offer an air-dried options.
We recommend the following brands of tea:
- Loose leaf tea: Guayaki Loose Leaf Tea
- If you prefer tea bags over loose-leaf tea: Guayaki Tea Bags
- Gourd + Yerba Mate Starter Kit: Guayaki Gourd Pack w/ 6 oz Loose Yerba Mate
The Mate Ceremony
“When people gather to drink mate (mah-tay) something magical happens. It is a simple, daily custom and yet it has all the characteristics of a ceremony. Like any ceremony it has rites which are carefully performed in the same way, day after day. It is a moment of leisure with friends and family. In the country, the gauchos sit together around the fogón (the campfire), sipping their mate after a long day’s work. Tiredness breeds silence and silently the mate gourd circles from hand to hand. And then, slowly, conversation starts, people come closer together, confidences are exchanged. The mate ceremony resembles the American rite of the calumet, the pipe of peace.
There too, the pipe goes from hand to hand, completing the circle, offering hospitality and goodwill. Mate is drunk by everybody: it is a drunk by the trucker and his companion in the loneliness of the long, never-ending routes (they use a vessel with a wide mouth into which it is easy to pour the hot water in spite of the jolts along the track); by students, when studying; by workers during their midday rest; at home for breakfast or on any other occasion, rain or shine, in summer or in winter.” source: Guayaki
Sharing the Mate Gourd
Tomando mate (drinking mate) is a symbol of hospitality. As the mate gourd is passed around, a sense of connection emerges. The first step of the ceremony is the preparation of the gourd. Typically, the cebador/a – mate server – prepares mate for a friend or a group of friends. The cebador/a drinks the first one or two gourd-fulls, testing the waters to ensure that only a smooth running mate is shared. Then the gourd is refilled with water and passed counter-clockwise with the bombilla (straw-filter) facing the recipient. Each person drinks the entire gourd: “you share the vessel, not the liquid.” The recipient of the gourd has as much time as needed to finish the gourd-full. After the last few sips of the mate are gone, the gourd is returned with the bombilla facing the cebador/a. The gourd is refilled with hot water and follows around the circle, continuing in this fashion until the mate is lavado (flat). If someone has had enough mate, they simply say gracias (thank you) to indicate that they are finished. source: Guayaki
Hopefully now you can answer the question, what is Yerba Mate? Do you like Yerba Mate? We’d love to hear about!
Note: we here at Tea Compendium are not doctors. Please consult your doctor before adding anything new to your diet.