What is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is a stimulating and nutritious herbal tea from South America. It is brewed from the leaves of a small tree native to Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil. In many parts of South America, yerba mate is much more popular than coffee. People from all walks of life share yerba mate with friends and family on a daily basis.
Yerba mate tea is loaded with B-vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For instance, a single serving of yerba mate provides 30% of your daily needs for niacin. You can read more about the nutrition and other health benefits of yerba mate here.
Yerba mate naturally contains caffeine as well as theobromine, the “caffeine” that is found in chocolate, and theophylline, the “caffeine” that is found in green tea. This medley of “caffeines” working in concert with yerba mate’s abundant nutrition may account for the more balanced, enduring boost that many people experience with yerba mate. Learn more about yerba mate and caffeine here.
Yerba mate is easy to brew into a variety of hot and cold beverages. It has a satisfying richness that many people find lacking in green tea, but it is less acidic and oily than coffee, so it is easier on the teeth, breath, and belly. You can brew yerba mate in a coffee maker, French press, espresso maker, or with tea bags. It goes great with sweeteners, milks, and herbal flavorings. Read more about how to make yerba mate here.
In North America, yerba mate has a niche as a cutting edge energy herb, but in South America, yerba mate is everywhere! You see grandmothers sipping mate at bus stops. Teenagers sipping mate outside of night clubs. Families sipping mate at the beach. The grocery stores have a yerba mate aisle with about thirty different brands. There is a special ritual of hospitality and friendship that surrounds the daily act of sharing yerba mate in a circle.
Yerba mate comes from a small tree in the holly family (Ilex paraguariensis). It is native to a region of northern Argentina, southern Brazil, and eastern Paraguay called the Matto Grosso, or Interior Atlantic Forest. While Argentina’s share of this forest is only about the size of the US state of Connecticut, it contains over 80% of the country’s biodiversity. This land is home to the toucan, the jaguar, and a dazzling array of flora. Please choose an organic yerba mate brand that is grown in harmony with this magical land.