What is "YERBA"?
Yerba mate (Ilex Paraguariensis), a member of the holly family, is a plant which grows wild in sub-tropical areas of South America. For optimum flavour and benefits the herb is milled in traditional proportions of 80% leaves, 10% twigs and 10% powder.
What are the benefits of Yerba?
Traditionally this herb was used as a whole body tonic and believed to energize and rejuvenate; enhance endurance, support mental clarity and promote well-being. Since it helps break down fat (lypolytic action), dieters find yerba very helpful. This treasure trove of health benefits includes vitamins A, C, E and the B complex. It is also known to be high in antioxidants and contains amino acids and enzymes, plus significant amounts of magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, zinc, niacin, sulfur, and chlorophyll.
Does Yerba Mate contain caffeine?
No. Yerba mate does contain mateine, 25 - 150 mg. per serving. According to most recent information, chemically speaking, Yerma Mate contains caffeine. Due to three other components of yerba mate, this caffeine reacts more gentle with your body compared with coffee.
What Does it taste like?
Yerba has a bold earthy flavour, slightly reminiscent of green tea. You can get Yerba Mate as a flavoured tea as well. Very popular varieties in our store are Mango Mate and Mate Chai.
How do I prepare the Yerba?
Use one teaspoon of loose yerba per cup. Add hot (never boiled) water to the top of the gourd. Sip and enjoy. Reuse yerba 6-10 times, the last serving has the least mateine. Modern users are adding new flavours to the traditional plain yerba. Some add milk, soy milk, sugar,and honey. Other additions include spices like ginger, cinnamon, or a sprig of mint or lemon grass. You can also mix it with a variety of fruit juices.
Why Can't I use boiled Water?
The temperature of boiled water destroys the vital nutrients in the yerba and changes the taste, making it more bitter.
Is Steeping Necessary?
No, you can enjoy your invigorating drink as soon as the hot water is added. Actually, letting it steep tends to make it too strong and too bitter. Which would be the reason why people like to add sugar, honey or sweeteners to Yerba Mate.
Curing the gourd for Yerba Mate
Every natural gourd should be cured before the first use. The curing helps with the removal of loose tissue and prepares the gourd for its use with Yerba Mate.
For pure yerba mate (with no additives like sugar), fill the gourd with fresh yerba mate and add boiling water. Let stand for a day. Rinse the gourd and remove loose tissue with a spoon. Please do not remove the stem in the center of the gourd. Doing so will cause the gourd to leak. Repeat for two or three days.
For "sweet" mate, wet the gourd with boiling water, add two or three teaspoons of sugar and a small piece of burning coal. Cover the gourd mouth and shake vigorously to burn (caramelize) the sugar on the sides of the gourd. Empty the gourd and proceed as instructed above.
Cleaning the Gourd:
The gourd should be hand washed only using hot or boiling water and no soap or detergent. Do not put the gourd in the dishwasher. Keep the gourd dry between uses, placing a paper towel or napkin in the gourd after use will help absorb excess moisture.