Ilex paraguariensis produces a light green beverage, with a refreshingly bold flavor. Yerba maté is the dried leaves and stems of a South American rainforest holly and is the national beverage of Paraguay. The term mate is a Guarani Indian word for gourd, referring to the hollowed out gourds once used to hold the tea.
produces a light green beverage, with a refreshingly bold flavor. Yerba maté is the dried leaves and stems of a South American rainforest holly and is the national beverage of Paraguay. The term mate is a Guarani Indian word for gourd, referring to the hollowed out gourds once used to hold the tea.
In traditional use of yerba maté, the tea cup is often shared among close friends and family, all of whom use the same straw, or bombilla. Sharing the same straw is considered a sign of total acceptance and friendship. Yerba maté is one of the world’s most effective beverages with over 196 active compounds which shadows the active compounds found in Green tea (Camellia sinensis) which has about 144. This tea is untreated and contains no filler or flavoring agents, just pure organic yerba maté leaves.
Aroma and Flavor An aroma of freshly cut grass with powerful green depth. The flavor is full-bodied, green, and satisfying.
The first rule of brewing traditional maté is to never pour boiling or very hot water over dry leaves, this will cause the tannins to extract too quickly resulting in a bitter tasting tea. The ideal temperature of the water should be 160-180 degrees Fahrenheit. Maté brews more slowly than conventional tea or coffee which extends its flavor, the same tea leaves can be used many times and with each addition of water the taste will be slightly different.
In South America yerba maté is brewed with a maté (cup) and a bombilla (filtered straw), the leaves are placed in the bottom and a small amount of cold water is added to stimulate the leaves, this helps preserve the integrity of the tea. Then warm water is added to brew the first cup, this will be the strongest cup of the day and contain the most caffeine. For all succeeding cups warm or cold water can be used as the flavor lightens and sweetens.
Fill 1 tablespoon of tea in a cloth tea bag or mesh basket and place in your favorite mug. Pour 8 ounces of boiling water over the tea and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes or until desired strength is reached.
A convenient way to brew a larger amount in quick time, perfect for those weekend mornings. The recommended ratio is about 1 tablespoon yerba maté to 12 ounces water, dampen the leaves with cool or lukewarm water and allow to sit for a few minutes. Then top off with warm water and wait for the leaves to float to the top, do not stir. Stirring causes the dust of the yerba to clog the French press. These leaves can be used multiple times to achieve similar flavor variations.