07 January, 2008

yerba mate

I have been drawn into the mate society. There is not really an official one, so maybe that is not really accurate...but when someone begins to drink mate they will carry their little gourd around with them wherever they go and thus belonging to something...but I am not sure what.

Yerba Mate is a type of tea, some compare it in taste to something between green tea and coffee. The traditional way to drink it (with the gourd and straw or "bombilla") is said to be the best way for the nutrients to be released and absorbed. I mainly do it this way because it is so fun. I love the little gourd containers and different bombillas that you can use, some are insanely elaborate.

According to Mate for life : "Yerba mate is a tea-like beverage consumed widely throughout South America. Is is made from the dried leaves of the "IlexParaguariensis" – an indigenous holly plant.

The native people of Paraguay, the Guarani Indians, refer to it as "the drink of the gods." Since pre-Colombian times, the Guarani have gathered the leaves to use them in their folk remedies and as a stimulant and restorative tonic.

It was first introduced to European settlers when the Jesuits brought Christianity to Paraguay in the 17th Century. They quickly adopted the local custom and yerba mate became known as "Jesuit Tea."

All my live I have not been able to take the effects of caffeine. It is hard on my stomach, but the main reason is that the stimulants are to harsh on my mental state. hahah! Yes, drinking a caffeine loaded late or mocha have not really been an option for me, so I always have to make sure (multiple times) that the coffee Batista knows that I did order decaf.

This yerba is amazing! I can drink it throughout the day, even right before bed and it does keep me alert and gets my mind activate but I dose off immediately once I get to bed. This is because, "mate contains xanthines, which are alkaloids in the same family as caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in coffee and chocolate. Mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium and manganese." (according to Wikipedia).

As for evidence:
"Researchers at the Free Hygienic Institute of Homburg, Germany, concluded that even if there were caffeine in mate', the amount would be so tiny that it would take 100 tea bags of mate' in a six ounce cup of water to equal the caffeine in a six ounce serving of regular coffee". (Quoted from the FAQ at my mate world)

There is a good article called, Confessions of a Reluctant Yerba Mate Drinker

What do you think of Einstein and his yerba gourd?


MamaP said...

very interesting! I can't believe you walk around the house with a gourd. Great! I have heard it's good and I've heard it's nasty, so I have yet to try it when deciding between it and coffee. Maybe because of you I will. Maybe.

mej said...

yeah, I've heard that REAL mate is nasty but the others (like at dutch brothers) can be good... go gourds!

bethany canfield said...

well, then nasty it is. i think coffee is nasty.

bethany canfield said...

i think the problem is that some people don't know that you need to brew it with hot but NEVER boiling temp water. It is true because I did it once and then it is NASTY very bitter and hard to swallow....you need to brew it in 170 degree water and it is very good. I cannot handle the acidity of coffee and i always have to put tons of sugar in stuff...but I love this mate!

YerbaYerba said...

go to yerbayerba.com

crimson warrior said...

so in high school, there was this one family that had four brothers and they all drank this stuff. Of course, they had lived in Paraguay for a time and were very tuned in to the South American cultures. Anyway, I remember trying it years ago and thinking they were crazy. That was years ago and I wonder if I would like it now. hmmm.

tricia said...

i tried it once at dutch bros not knowing what it was. yuck! but i am so willing to try it again on the chance that they just screwed it up. in order to do that i'd need to have someone more experienced than myself let me know that the stuff in my cup was indeed, good yerba.

EricBikeCO said...

DO NOT write off mate until you try products from Pixie Mate (www.pixiemate.com). They have many excellent products in "tea bags", boxed chai, and my favorite 3 types in bottles.

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a significant amount of evidence to suggest that drinking mate, hot or cold, greatly increases the risk of oral, liver, bladder, as well as head and neck cancers.