What is Mate?

What is Mate?

organic roasted mate loose tea herbal tea

5 Blog Key Takeaways:

1. **Introduction to Yerba Mate**: Yerba Mate is a caffeinated drink from South America that is not coffee or tea, but a unique plant. It's popular in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay and traditionally consumed from a gourd using a straw called a bombilla.

2. **Brewing Yerba Mate**: While traditionally steeped in a gourd, Yerba Mate can also be brewed like tea using any mug and infuser. Unlike true tea, it cannot be oversteeped or burned by using hot water.

3. **Caffeine Content and Acidity**: Yerba Mate contains caffeine levels comparable to coffee but is much less acidic. This makes it a suitable alternative for those who experience "coffee-stomach" due to the acidity of coffee.

4. **Health Benefits**: Yerba Mate is rich in antioxidants, more so than green tea, helping to fight free radicals and reduce cancer risk. It also provides a similar energizing effect as coffee without the associated acidity.

5. **Blending Recommendations**: Although Yerba Mate lacks L-theanine, which promotes focus, it can be blended with black or green teas like Blue Sapphire or Osprey Gunpowder to achieve a similar effect. This combination can enhance the health benefits and improve the overall drinking experience.

Caffeine Without the Drop.

Are you a coffee drinker looking to switch over to tea, but who still needs coffee-quantities of caffeine in your life?  Mate  (or Yerba Mate) may be the drink for you.  It’s a caffeinated drink from South America, but it isn’t coffee.  It’s brewed like tea, but it isn’t tea.  It’s a totally separate plant, with a totally separate story.  

Order your Organic Roasted Yerba Mate here

Mate (pronounced mah-tay, not like the British slang for friend) is the national infusion of Argentina.  It’s a major part of Argentinean and Paraguayan culture, and also popular in Bolivia, Brazil, and Uruguay.  It’s traditionally consumed out of a gourd, which the leaves are steeped directly in.  A straw called a bombilla sifts out the leaves, and careful arrangement of them reduces the amount of fine silt that passes through the straw.  The mate is traditionally passed around a group of people, who all drink from the same gourd.

mate loose herbal organic tea caffeineHowever, if you aren’t in South America, you can enjoy your mate just like tea.  Because it is an herbal, and not true tea, you cannot burn the leaves by using too hot of water, and cannot oversteep it.  You can brew it in your favorite mug, if you don’t have a traditional gourd, and can brew it in any of our infusers.  In northern Brazil, it’s frequently enjoyed with sugar, honey, or lemon, very much like tea.lemongrass loose herbal tisane tea

Mate has about as much caffeine as coffee, but is much less acidic.  Therefore, if you’re someone with the sort of stressful lifestyle that tends to come with that constant coffee-stomach (you know who you are), and refuse to consider the option of mellowing out some (please relax and try the rooibos), mate is a good idea.  I also recommend blending it with ginger, which is good for a sour stomach, and lemongrass, which is full of vitamin C.  

mate is full of antioxidantsUnlike your morning cup of coffee, mate also has even more antioxidants than green tea.  If you’re unfamiliar with antioxidants, I discuss them a little in this blog post, but they’re what make blueberries, wine, and chocolate all “healthy”.  Antioxidants fight free radicals, which is to say, they reduce your risk of cancer.  

While mate is full of caffeine, it is not a true tea, which means that it doesn’t have L-theanine, an amino acid which promotes focus, and which we talk about a little in this blog post.  If you’re still looking for that boost, I recommend blending it with a black tea (Blue Sapphire especially), or a hardier green, such as Osprey Gunpowder.  I recommend this green tea in particular because mate is an herbal, and should therefore be brewed at a temperature close to boiling, and Gunpowder does a better job of standing up to heat than most greens, which should in general be brewed at 160-180 degrees.  

Learn more about Mate on Wikipedia

Try our Mate below!


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  • Oh Yeah. We do.

    robert obrien on
  • So interesting. I’m assuming you stock it? Will stop in for a try.

    Diana on

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