What is Yerba Mate Tea – A Healthy and Natural Drink

What is Yerba Mate Tea – A Healthy and Natural Drink

I this article I am going to explain what is yerba mate tea. I will tell you about the history of yerba mate and cultivation of yerba mate plant. Also, I will 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. I started this site because I want to share the knowledge related to this tasty and refreshing drink. If you want to 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. They 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 mate tea spread to Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Bolivia.

In the 17th century, Paraguay and Argentina were the main producers of yerba 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, which is one of the three known caffeinated holly trees. Another interesting one is guayusa (Ilex guayusa) from which guayusa tea is made from.

Yerba mate plant starts off like 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.

What is Yerba Mate Tea: Cultivation of yerba mate plant

The 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 the 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 a 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!

Read my article about how to brew yerba mate tea to find out more.

What is Yerba Mate Tea: Yerba mate gourd and bombilla

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. The caffeine content of dry leaves is usually between 1% to 1,5% compared to about 3% for ground coffee. Read more about yerba mate nutrition facts here.

Yerba mate has several positive effects on your health! Yerba mate tea:

  • improves cholesterol levels
  • provides better physical and mental energy and focus
  • stimulates immune system
  • helps with weight loss and burning fat
  • improves digestion and gastrointestinal health
  • improves mood

It may also improve allergy symptoms and promote deeper sleep. In addition, yerba mate contains powerful antioxidants that can help in reducing inflammation in our body.

Read my article about the health benefits of yerba mate, 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. Drinking yerba mate is also an excellent way of getting more energy to do your physical exercise or to be able to make it through a long workday.

After reading this article you now know what is yerba mate tea. However, there are many 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 and check out the other articles on this site. If you are wondering where to buy yerba mate or which brand to choose, go ahead and read the review articles on this site to find out what are the best yerba mate products!

Also, I recommend that you watch 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.

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6 thoughts on “What is Yerba Mate Tea – A Healthy and Natural Drink”

  1. Well, well, well.

    I had never heard of Yerba Mate until now and I think I need to check this out further.

    This might help my afternoon slump at work.
    Great post and sharing.

    Thanks again

    • Hi Matt!

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I recommend that you try Yerba Mate Tea. It will for sure help you to stay more energetic and focused at work. I think it is a better and more healthy option compared to drinking coffee.

      If you have time, I recommend you also read the other articles on this site. Especially “Yerba Mate Caffeine Content” and “Yerba Mate Tea Health Benefits” might interest you. Soon I will also post some Yerba Mate Tea product recommendations/reviews.

      I hope you will try Yerba Mate Tea and that you will enjoy it! The taste might be a little weird at first but you will learn to like it. You can also try making the ice-cold Yerba Mate with lemon and honey, that is something that I have offered to many people and everyone seems to like it!


  2. Dear Joonas. Tks for this article about our infusión Mate. In Argentina, we drink it every day. I’d like to clarify Yerba Mate is not a tea and we do not drink it with milk.
    And we do not say “salud” drinking mate. Hope these comment can help. Tks. Krgds

    • Hi Veronica,

      Thank you for your comment. I know that yerba mate is not a tea, as a tea brewed from tea leaves, it is a herbal tea or herbal infusion, as explained in the article. Some people in South America do drink it with milk, although it is not very common.


  3. Thank you so much for your reply Joonas. Very interesting reading you. I love tea and mate so all info is very useful for learning about these tópics and improve my English vocabulary

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