Thursday, May 27, 2010

Yerba Mate

I love tea.
But we cannot forget the other beverages made from brewing leaves in water. They have special meaning in the cultures of other countries and have their own practices, tastes and customs.
One such brew is Yerba Mate.

Yerba Mate is an infusion made from the leaves of the Yerba Mate plant, native to Argentina.
There; Mate is to Argentina, as Coffee is to America.

It is the drink of hospitality and friendship. Connections are made over Mate, which is prepared in a hollowed out vegetable gourd. A straw (bombilla) with a strainer in it is then used to drink the infusion.
Usually it is made with water about as hot as you would make for a light green tea (170 f).

Mate is my morning drink of choice.
The caffeine is enough to get me going, but not enough to crash later.
This is because the specific caffeine found in Mate affects the muscles instead of the nervous system.

I make my Mate in a drip coffee brewer, which is easier and faster. When I am feeling traditional I will use the gourd.

I will be doing write ups of different Mates once in a while to spice up the blog, because Mate is just like another tea in my view.

Does anyone else drink Mate?



  1. I used to drink Mate quite often during last summer, but I don't know why, but it doesn't have any "pick-me-up" effect on me... Some people are afraid to drink it just after lunch because they won't sleep all night, but I can drink a huge amount of Mate just before going to sleep and I won't have any problems with sleeping. I guess I'm a weird exception from the rule that Mate is even stronger energy drink than coffee. :D
    Still, I like the flavor and I find it quite refreshing, so I think I will drink a lot of Mate this summer, too.


  2. Michal,

    Strange you say it doesn't affect you. Mate is about the only beverage that affects me in terms of caffeine. Everybody is different I suppose!
    Yes summer is a nice time to drink mate because it fits the mood perfectly. I like to ice it with mint as well. Makes for a nice chiller =]
    Thank you for you input =]

  3. Yea I drink Mate a lot. I started when I was in Argentina for two weeks last year and since then I have been drinking it, not as much as tea though. If its ever too bitter or poor quality I was told to add sugar and it tastes a lot better.
    I am glad I am not the only tea drinker who has had mate too!

  4. Caffeine doesn't affect me at all, I find.

    I've seen the Mate at Teaopia, as well as the gourds and the bombillas. I'm not sure if I'll get some. Maybe sometime in the future. I'm in no rush right now, seeing as I have way too much tea in my cupboard at the moment (I've been ordering and purchasing like a madman, but you know that of course).

    By the way, now that I received my cake, I will be preparing to send your samples to you. I will be including these:
    -2009 Nan Jian Qiao Mu pu'erh (the cake)
    -the rest of my Teaopia Tarry Lapsang Souchong
    -the rest of my 1970s Liao Fu San Cha
    -2003 Meng Hai Grade 3 pu'erh
    -2010 Red Tea Dan Cong [I know you are eager to try it too >=) ]


  5. Ian,

    Yeah I have run across some bad mate as well. I drink it anyways. I figure it is good for my health! My favorite mate so far has to be Guayaki's San Mateo blend!


    Mate will come later =] It is just a nice way for some extra variety!
    And thank you for the samples!
    You do not want the Nan Jian cake?! That is a rather large sample!
    I shall put it to good use though!
    Thank you very much! It is appreciated!

  6. Dude, not the entire pu'erh cake! You misread my words. When I said 'the cake', I only said that in reference to which one it was. I'm only sending some of it. If I meant to give you all of it I would have said 'the rest of...'


  7. Fox,

    Thats what I was thinking at first. Thank you for clarifying haha.

  8. I found Yerba Mate gave me a headache the first few times I tried it but since then I've gotten adjusted to it. I also started liking the flavor much more--I disliked it at first, but now I like it both green and roasted.

    I do notice it doesn't really perk me up the way coffee or tea does...but it does have some sort of boosting effect...hard to describe. It feels much smoother and more mellow...but doesn't necessarily make me any more focused at working. It's not the kind of thing I'd drink before sitting down at the computer...or before going out. But it is the sort of thing I'd drink if I'm going to be awake, but on a day off or something.

  9. Alex,

    Strange because Mate perks me up more than even the heartiest breakfast tea. I suppose substances affect people differently!
    But I do agree with the "smoother and mellower" part of your description. It does not kick on. It eases on.
    Thank you for your words =]