What's Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate is one of the few plants on earth that produces caffeine. Tea, coffee, cacao and guarana being others. Mate is a very balanced brew, acting as a stimulant while delivering nutritional value - vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, and more. Although we call this tea, it's a herbal infusion made from the leaves of the yerba mate plant that grows in South America. In some South American countries, yerba mate is consumed 6 times as much as coffee. The exact caffeine level per cup, will depend on the quality of the leaves and the tea preparation. Know that typically there is less caffeine than a cup of coffee, but more than green or black tea.
Yerba Mate is traditionally part of a social and cultural experience. Prepared in a gourd (hollowed out squash plant), mate is shared amongst a circle of people. As the gourd makes its way around the circle, people are connecting. Each person drinks the entire contents of the gourd and its refilled with hot water for the next person. Today mate is still drunk in a gourd, but you can enjoy it steeped like a regular tea.
Yerba Mate is earthy and herbaceous, with a slight bitterness. This stuff grows in rain forests remember! Although earthy and bitter may not sound too appealing, Mate is actually very smooth, refreshing and delicious and many develop quite a love for this tea! You don't have to drink it straight from the get-go. To offset the earthiness, which may be a bit too much for the first time mate drinker, try 'Morning Zen'. In Paraguay, locals frequently use mate as a base for their herbal infusions. Our featured tea, Morning Zen, plays on this cultural preparation. Morning Zen is a smooth blend of mate, green rooibos, jasmine blossoms and peppermint. In Paraguay, they also drink these mate infusions as a cold tea and certainly, Morning Zen, makes an amazing cold brew tea.
Featured Tea: Morning Zen
In this blend, the high caffeine and bold flavour is cut with green rooibos, which is light and fresh flavoured. There’s an earthiness to mate that underpins the smooth rooibos, soothing jasmine and refreshing mint. This is a perfect morning tea to get you focused and in the zone. Steeping instructions come with this tea when you order. You can order this tea in sample size or full sizes here.
How Mate helps your mind and body
In a mental fog? Feeling sluggish? Mate is your brew! Yerba mate has more active compounds than green tea, so more antioxidants and polyphenols. To rattle off a few benefits, mate helps strengthen the immune system, fight fatigue, break down fat, increases energy, endurance and focus. The caffeine hits your body differently than coffee. It's similar to matcha green tea - no jitters, upset stomachs, headaches or crashes. We hear a lot that mate provides the energy of coffee, the flavour of tea and the feel-good factor of chocolate.
Preparing Yerba Mate is simple. Use less than boiling water, about 160-180 degrees (similar to green tea). Play with the amount of tea, but use 1-2 tablespoons per 12 oz cup and steep for 3-10 minutes. For the Morning Zen, follow the steeping guidelines that come with the tea.