What is yerba mate? Let’s begin for their different names can have: yerba maté, yerba matte, erva mate…the reasons are variants on the pronunciation in English language of Spanish/Portuguese names and/or incorrect misspelling of the words “yerba mate”.
The yerba mate are dry leaves/twigs chopped and ground to a powdery form, the “yerba”, of a plant called Ilex Paraguariensis that grow up in South America.
The mate gourd and the correspondent infusion yerba mate more hot water, is the national drink-beverage in my country Uruguay.
The mate is also extremely popular in Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil (especially in the south).
In Uruguay you can find mate at breakfast with bizcochos (croissants, sweets pastries) or galletas (cookies) and at the afternoon “tea time” called merienda in Spanish.
There’s no place where you can find someone with a mate, even in a bus and when you drive a car (not good idea, forbidden, but done anyway).
If I say Uruguay, you say dulce de leche, mate and a “sandwich” chivito, worthy representatives of my country.
There’re more than 20 brands and variants in yerba mate here and increasing….
The mate can be called a “green tea” brother but really, as they come from different plants, only resemble that is a liquid green and it flavor, perhaps, is similar depending a lot of the yerba mate used.
Certain acidity is often perceived hence, in conjunction with other herbs, the savors are multiple, as you will see later according to your choice.
Yerba Mate Health Benefits
Yerba Mate has many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, tannins and comparable properties like the caffeine. So it can be compared for its properties to the coffee, tea and the temping chocolate! I’m wondering when it’d come a mix with some of them.
The yerba mate is used to combat fatigue, digestive problems, stimulating effects on physical and mental activity and as an aid in weight loss.
As you’re constantly sipping water, is excellent for hydration and as diuretic.
Yerba Mate Preparation and Supplements
Yerba mate gourd: Typically the mate is drunk in a mate gourd (a dried plant hollowed out). The exterior could be simple, worked leather or can be carved with different things, even the more sophisticated with applications of silver and gold – positively the last option is of collectors.
Yerba mate bombilla: As the drink isn’t strained, you’ll need a metal straw (bombilla) to filter or sieve the infusion. The bombilla can has multiple decorations like the mate.
A flask (termo) to have the hot water in hand. In order to remain the yerba mate flavor it’s important to use hot water but not boiling water!
Types of Mate
* Mate amargo (bitter mate) or without any type of sweetener.
* Mate dulce (sweet mate) with sugar, honey or artificial sweetener (a diet yerba mate?), very accepted in my country in conjunct with the bitter one.
* Yerba mate with herbal teas, very popular because is added other herbs to the yerba, giving different tastes and for medicinal purposes like sedation, digestive properties, etc.
* Mate de leche (milk mate or latte mate) change the water for milk and add sugar too.
* Mate cocido (cooked mate) the yerba mate in tea bags and you prepare the mate in the same way as a tea.
* Tereré a typical drink of Paraguay, where you use a mate but with cold water instaed of hot, a refreshing beverage. It can have remedial herbs and zests.
The traditions, history and names are endless around this social beverage, like the marshmallow in a picnic is the mate near a fire too!
If you want to know in detail all the process of the mate preparation, cure of the mate gourd, extra information in mate accessories, visit some of these sites in English language guayaki, nativayerbamate, mymateworld, yerbamate and yerba-mate.
Of course depending of the country you live, the different yerba supplies you can have, but it’s frequently found in several parts of the world including obviously South America; USA, Canada and Europe.
Do you have anecdotes about this marvelous natural drink? Have you tasted it? Like it with sugar, plain or not at all?