Tea is one of the most popular items in the food industry. There are many amazing health benefits to the many varieties of tea available and most, if not all, taste fantastic. While most of us are well aware of the green and black teas of the world, it is important to consider tea that is a little less well known.
According to Health Ambition, mate comes from the Ilex Paraguariensis, a plant native to Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. In these South American countries, the beverage is very popular. In Argentina, nearly “92% of households drink mate tea”. The drink is much less popular in Europe and the United States but is gaining more traction because of the tea’s health benefits.
Much like Green Tea, yerba mate includes numerous antioxidants as well as many advantageous health benefits. Mate’s health benefits include an energy kick, better mental function, weight loss, better digestion, stronger bones, better cardiovascular circulation, and anti-inflammation. The tea includes Flavenoids, Caffeoyl Derivatives, Xanthines, and Saponins. Flavenoids are great as antioxidants, and immune system reinforcement, Caffeoyl Derivatives offer painkilling, antibiotic, and antibacterial effects, Xanthines are stimulants that include caffeine, and Saponins are associated with anti-inflammation.
Yerba mate is traditionally prepared by pouring hot water over loose leaf mate. The tea is served within a gourd. To keep from ingesting the loose leaf tea, a special straw called a bombilla is used. Bombillas have filters near the bottom of the straw and stop any loose leaf from getting in. In Argentina, the drink is shared with friends using one gourd and one bombilla. The gourd is passed counter clockwise amongst friends and is refilled with hot water after each turn. The gourd can be filled up with water up to 20 times until the mate has lost its flavor. In addition to the traditional method, mate can be brewed in a coffee machine. In place of the coffee grounds, you can place the loose leaf mate in the machine’s coffee filter. Many stores sell mate bags, so it can be brewed in a more convenient and well known way.
Like tea, there are several things you can do to prepare mate the way you like it. If you are preparing the mate like you would coffee, you can add herbs, fruit spices, or/and honey. There is really no right way, as long as the beverage that you have made is to your liking. You can also prepare it cold. After the brewing process, you can pour it over ice and add lemonade or fruit juice. Another method is to make a latte!
There are nearly limitless ways to prepare mate and the health benefits are absolutely worth it. So if you want something that’s just as healthy as tea but with the energy benefits of coffee, you can’t go wrong with Mate!