What is Yerba Mate?
Technically, yerba mate are the leaves taken from a plant called Ilex paraguariensis. Those are mainly used to make mate, the most popular infusion in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and some parts of Chile and Brazil.
But let me tell you, mate is much more than that...
Originally, the drink mate was a source of stamina and it was also considered a medicine. Nowadays, apart from all the health benefits it has, it's more a tradition and a really important aspect of some countries. People drink mate while studying, working, travelling or they get together with friends just to drink mate and have a chat.
The plant grows mainly in the north of Argentina, and some parts of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Those countries are also the main consumers, but this product is exported to several countries around the globe.
It contains caffeine, but it's not to be drunk as coffee or tea. To make it simple: you introduce the yerba mate into a pot called "mate", which can be made normally of pumpkin, wood or glass, pour hot water and then suck only the water trough a metal or wooden straw. Once finished, pour water again, and again, and again... People would have one or two litres of water every time they make mate.
You can have yerba with or without stems, you can have a bitter or a softer one, they can have different flavours. There's a whole range of variations, but the main idea is that you have your yerba so you can make your mate and enjoy it anywhere at anytime, on your own or with company.
Which one is your favourite one? Get a few kilos and have plenty at home to enjoy mate anytime!