I this article we are going to explain what is yerba mate tea. We are going to tell you about the history of yerba mate tea and cultivation of yerba mate plant. Also, we are going to explain briefly how to prepare and drink yerba mate tea and how it affects your health.
Yerba mate tea is an amazing and all natural drink that gives you more energy and vigor. We want to share the knowledge related to this tasty and refreshing drink. If you want know more about it, you have come to the right place!
History of Yerba Mate
The indigenous Guarani people first discovered and started drinking yerba mate tea. Guarani people live in Paraguay, South America. Guarani people used yerba mate leaves to brew yerba mate tea. They also used the leaves as a currency. In the 16th and 17th centuries the habit of consuming yerba mate tea spread to Chile, Peru, Argentina and Bolivia.
In the 17th century Paraguay and Argentina were the main producers of mate. Currently yerba mate tea is consumed all over the world. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Brazil produces the largest amount of yerba mate, followed by Argentina and Paraguay.
Cultivation of the Plant
Yerba mate tea is brewed from the leaves of Ilex paraguariensis. There are three known caffeinated holly trees. Another interesting one is guayusa (Ilex guayusa) from which guayusa tea is made from.
Yerba mate plant starts of as a bush and then grows into a large tree. It can grow as tall as 15 meters (49 ft). The evergreen leaves of yerba mate contain caffeine, vitamins and minerals.
Growing of a new plant starts from a seed which is usually kept in a greenhouse until its about 7 centimeters (3 inches) tall. Seedlings stay in nurseries for about one year and are then transferred to field. The trees are ready to be harvested when they are about 4 years old.
Usually the harvested leaves are dried by a wood fire. After drying, the leaves are milled and then stored in bags to age the product. The drying and aging processes, as well as the blending, will define the quality and flavor of the product.
Preparing and Drinking Yerba Mate Tea
There are many ways to prepare yerba mate tea. The traditional way is to put the ground leaves in a container (gourd) and pouring hot water to brew the mate. Bombilla (a metal straw) is then used to drink the mate tea. Alternatively, milk can be used instead of water when brewing the tea. The traditional way of enjoying yerba mate can also be a social event where the gourd is refilled with hot water and passed among family members and friends.
Hot yerba mate tea can also be brewed using french press or other suitable equipment. An easy way of preparing hot mate tea is to buy yerba mate tea bags and make a cup of hot tea the same way as with a regular tea bag. When using a tea bag, the yerba mate tea tends to be milder compared to the traditional method of brewing mate.
One very popular way of enjoying yerba mate is to make ice tea. This is done by first brewing hot yerba mate tea and then letting it cool down to room temperature. After this it can be chilled by using ice cubes or by placing it in a refrigerator. By adding lemon and mint you can give the ice tea some extra fresh flavor. What could be more refreshing drink during a hot day, then ice-cold yerba mate tea with a dash of fresh lemon juice and some mint!
See our article: How to Brew Yerba Mate Tea, to find out more.
Yerba Mate and Health
Yerba mate contains several healthy components such as polyphenols and minerals like zinc, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. It also contains B vitamins and vitamin C. Yerba mate tea has a relatively high amount of caffeine. Caffeine content of dry leaves is usually between 1% to 1,5% compared to about 3% for ground coffee.
Yerba mate has several positive effects to your health! Yerba mate tea improves mood, provides better mental energy and focus and promotes deeper sleep. It may also improve allergy symptoms and help in weight loss by suppressing appetite. In addition, yerba mate contains powerful antioxidants that can help in reducing inflammation in our body.
Read our article: Yerba Mate Tea Health Benefits, if you want to know more.
What is Yerba Mate Tea – Amazing, Refreshing and Healthy Choice
Yerba mate is an amazing plant and the tea brewed from its leaves has been consumed by humans for centuries. In addition to its good taste and refreshing quality, yerba mate tea also has several health benefits and enjoying it can be a nice social event.
After reading this article you now know what is yerba mate tea. However, there are much more interesting things to learn about this powerful and healthy drink. If you want to read more about yerba mate, just follow the links in this article or go check out the other articles on this site. If you are wondering where to buy yerba mate or which brand to choose, read this article: Yerba Mate Tea Reviews – 5 Popular Brands.
Check out this short video about yerba mate:
I hope you have enjoyed reading this article. If you have any questions or comments please post them in the comments section below.