South American Yerba Mate Tea is experiencing a huge boom in popularity.
When you learn more about its features and benefits, it’s easy to understand why.
Let’s start by describing what mate tea is and isn’t.
Yerba Mate Isn’t Tea
Yes, people call it tea, but it isn’t tea. It’s a tea-like beverage, but in order to be “tea”, it must come from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Yerba Mate is therefore an infusion because it comes from the Yerba Mate tree, a native South American plant. Learn more about herbal “teas” and infusions here.
Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay are well-known for their yerba mate, and some producers even offer organic Yerba Mate “tea”.
Benefits of Drinking Yerba Mate
The leaves from this plant contain many minerals and vitamins, including the following:
- Vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E and more
- And many more
Of course, drinking yerba mate alone won’t take care of 100% of your needs for these vitamins, but this drink certainly beats chemical-laden soda pop and other processed drinks.
A study completed by the Pasteur Institute in 1964 concluded that Yerba Mate’s antioxidant was more potent that Vitamin C. Since antioxidants defend your body against free radicals due to exposure to environmental toxins, drinking mate can help reduce the likelihood of cancer, diabetes, etc.
However, the main benefit that appeals to many Mate drinkers is the added energy they get. The drink contains mateine, a distant cousin of caffeine, which increases your energy levels, but more slowly and evenly. Many people find that the added energy lasts longer, yet doesn’t prevent them from falling asleep.
Yerba Mate in a Coffee Machine
Yes! You can use your coffee machine to make a Yerba Mate infusion!
- 1. For each 250 ml (1 cup) of water, use 5 ml (1 teaspoon) of Yerba Mate “tea”.
- 2. Place the appropriate amount in your coffee filter, then moisten it with cold running water.
- 3. Run your coffee machine as per usual.
- 4. Drink and enjoy while warm.
Obviously, you can also use a French Press to make Yerba Mate. A steeping time of 5 minutes is recommended, but you should adjust to taste.
Other Ways to Enjoy Yerba Mate Leaves
Yerba Mate is traditionally enjoyed in a gourd and metal straw that friends share. The practice varies from country to country, but the gourd is certainly one of the most popular ways to drink Mate.
If you prefer cold drinks, you can also steep Yerba Mate “Tea” in the fridge. Obviously, the flavor will get stronger the longer you will it to steep. Many people like to sweeten cold-steeped tea with Stevia, regular sugar or even honey.
Like other infusion and tea beverages, you can add dairy milk, soy milk or even a little bit of fruit juice!
Yerba Mate comes roasted or not roasted and can also be flavored with fruit and other infusion ingredients. Unsure about which type of mate “tea” to order? Try this Yerba Mate Sampler.