Yerba Mate Tea is an important herbal tea from South America.
It plays a large part in the social culture of certain South American countries. This is most seen in Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and the southern states of Brazil. It is a drink that is prepared with great ritual. It then lasts for hours, being refilled over and over and being passed and shared between friends, family and strangers alike. It is almost impossible to NOT see mate being enjoyed in these countries, from offices to public spaces, in homes and out and about.
In Uruguay, mate is best enjoy hot, with a strong, bitter brew with no additions or deviations from the pure yerba. In Argentina they also enjoy hot mate, but it is more common to have additions such as the stems of the yerba plant, other flavours such as orange and lemon, and sometimes sweetened with sugar or honey.
In Paraguay yerba is enjoyed in the form of tereré – a cold brew filled with fruit, herbs and ice. Instead of hot water, tereré is prepared with juice.
In Brazil the yerba is produced differently after harvesting. Instead of a thick cut, dried mix, the yerba is air dried and barely aged. This results in a bright green and very powdery blend. It is then mixed with much larger stems than the yerba of the other countries. This brew results in a different type of infusion altogether.
Yerba Mate is drunk by many due to the perceived health benefits. Principally yerba contains significant quantities of vitamins, antioxidants and minerals. But also, people swear by yerba mate for weight loss, reducing high blood pressure, and improving metabolism and energy levels. For information, read our articles on the health benefits of yerba mate.
For help selecting a yerba that is good for you, see our guide for selecting yerba mate
For instructions on how to brew the perfect yerba mate, see our guide how to prepare yerba mate.
For more information you can see Yerba Mate article at Wikipedia