Often referred to as “the drink of the gods”, yerba mate is the most popular social beverage in South America. Mate is known to offer identical energy boost that drinking coffee offers along with additional benefits for instance improved focus and a strong sense of overall health. Yerba Mate tea is mostly found in the form of loose tea made up of ground leaves and stems. You may prefer purchasing mate in tea bags as it is easier to prepare; although the loose leaf version can be brewed in a coffee pot much like you brew coffee. The traditional drinking of yerba mate is in a gourd with a silver straw called a bombilla. The cup or gourd is passed around and shared among close friends and family with everyone using the same gourd and bombilla to drink from. Being asked to join someone in sharing their cup of yerba mate is considered an honor and a sign of friendship. Traditionally the host drinks the very first cup and after adding more water to the gourd, passes it to the next person in line to drink from the gourd.
The taste of yerba mate tea is rather different and can take getting used to. While some might say that having to acquire a taste for something makes it less appealing, the touted benefits of yerba mate are said to make the process worthwhile. It is said that drinking this tea can be a method of meditation which allows stimulation of the mind while infusing the body with positive energy and immune boosting properties. In addition to caffeine, yerba mate is chock full of quality vitamins and minerals, necessary amino acids, and a abundance of antioxidant properties. Yerba mate is a lot like green tea on steroids. The antioxidants it provides are a good deal more powerful than green tea’s and claims have been made that they will actually strengthen the body’s defenses and could possibly have a cancer preventative effect. Though some claim that drinking an infusion of mate can potentially reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke, it can also assist with issues such as: insomnia, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, depression, digestive issues, allergies, and even work as an efficient diet aid.
The people who drink yerba mate regularly have suggested that the addition of this tea has given them more energy and helped them focus better. Studies were performed on people who typically suffered from bad reactions to caffeine that showed strong results in favor of yerba mate. Those previously unable to comfortable consume caffeine were able to enjoy mate infusions and its energy benefit without side effects. It was even suggested that drinking yerba mate can lessen the growth of bacteria in the mouth that normally cause bad breath. In South American countries the locals have long been using mate as a digestive aid to reduce the severity or eliminate some gastrointestinal disorders.
The most devout yerba mate worshippers still insist on brewing their tea in the traditional gourd but using a modern coffee pot does not minimize the health benefits. Mate can be enjoyed in the morning in place of coffee or served over ice like regular iced tea. A seasoned mate drinker needs no additional flavoring in their cup and may think less of those who do but if you like your tea to be sweet simply add in a bit of honey or sugar to taste. Yerba Mate, Yerba Mate Tea