Known as the “Drink of the Gods” the consumption of yerba mate has its origins in South America where it is traditionally sipped from a gourd with a special sieve-like straw called “bombilla”. This “Maté” is unique as it is continuously brewed, rather than strained like a conventional tea. The action of drinking this Maté is known as “matear” and has been declared the national infusion of Argentina in 2013. Due to its caffeine content, it can serve as a healthier alternative to coffee while providing a similar boost of energy.
This mysterious herb has been gaining popularity worldwide due to its wide range of health benefits. High contents of antioxidants help to protect the body from free radicals, aiding to prevent and restore cell damage and help strengthen the immune defense. It contains a variety of minerals, including iron, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium and lots of vitamins, especially of the B group. These are essential for red blood cell and energy production. The gentle brewing of this tea makes its caffeine content less concentrated and thus provides a more gentle, refreshing boost of energy without the side-effects of regular coffee. Yerba mate is known as a non-addictive drink. As such, it aids sleep and helps to restore mental and physical fatigue.
Research explored its anti-obesity effects and found promising results. It appears that yerba mate can help to reduce high cholesterol and reduce blood lipid levels. This may also explain its acclaimed cardiovascular benefits.
If you do not have a gourd to traditionally sip on this South American beauty, here are two other ways to prepare and enjoy yerba mate:
Method 1: Strainer
Add 2-3 teaspoons of yerba mate into a cup. Pour some cold water over and let sit for a couple of minutes. Now add the hot water and let steep for 5-10minutes. Pour the infusion through a strainer into your favourite cup.
Method 2: Yerba Latte
Prepare 1 tsp of brewed yerba mate with ¾ cup water (first ¼ cup cold water, let sit for 2 minutes, then ½ cup hot water. Let brew for 5-10minutes). Add ¼ cup of milk (cow, soy, almond). Add 1 tsp of honey if you like it a little sweeter.