Yerba mate is a species of holly (Aquifoliaceae) with the scientific name Ilex paraguariensis A. Its tea is made from the dried leaves of the yerba mate plant, which grows as an evergreen shrub or tree.
The plant was first cultivated by Jesuit missionaries, despite the fact that mate is an old Guaran beverage. Only a few places in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil cultivate the plant commercially since it requires particular soil and climate conditions.
Yerba mate, which is not a genuine tea in the botanical sense, is made from dried and shredded leaves and young twigs that are traditionally matured for one year in cedar vessels before being offered as yerba mate loose-leaf tea, tea bags, or as a bottled drink.
The tea has a greenish tint and an earthy, herbal fragrance when brewed. The flavor of brewed mate is mild, resembling an infusion of herbs and grass similar to some green tea blends. It has the same amount of caffeine and tannins as black tea but is less astringent.
Drinking yerba mate tea can help lower cholesterol levels by naturally improving blood lipid levels. It can also help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing bad cholesterol. In addition, it has been shown to enhance fat oxidation and energy expenditure during exercise, and in combination with its saponins, it can also help with weight loss.
1-3 teaspoons of loose tea (or 3g up to 3 times) daily. If more than one herbal mixture is consumed at the same period of time, reduce the amount of tea accordingly.
When herbs are used for a long period of time, it is suggested to consume a herbal remedy with a ratio of 3 to 1. For example, if you choose to take it for 3 weeks, have a one-week pause, if it is taken for a 30-day period, have a 10-day pause, etc. That does not apply to herbs and fruits that have a laxative effect.
◉ Herbs and botanicals should be stored in airtight glass containers -in a cool, dark, and dry area- to preserve their flavor and properties.
◉ Before adding a new herbal remedy or supplement to your daily routine, you should consult with a medical doctor or holistic health practitioner.
◉ Because yerba mate tea includes caffeine, it's recommended not to drink too much of it or too close to bedtime.
Mate Tea Brewing Instructions
Mate tea, when prepared the right way, is earthy, flavor-packed, and wonderful, instead of bitter and grassy.
- Hot Brew
- Heat the water to just under boiling temperature (75° - 80° C). If you don't have a thermometer, bring the water to a boil, then let it cool for 3-5 minutes.
- Add 1 teaspoon of loose tea to a tea infuser or tea bag, for every 180ml - 240ml of water. If you prefer a stronger cup, include more tea instead of a longer steep time to prevent the likelihood of a more bitter flavor.
- Pour the heated water over the tea, cover your cup, and steep for 3-5 minutes or more. Small leaves infuse more quickly than large leaves. The amount of time you steep your tea depends on your taste preferences; a longer period equals a stronger tea. At the one-minute mark, taste the tea, and then every 30 seconds after that until you find the flavor that you like most.
- Mate tea can often be steeped 2 or 3 times, producing new flavors with each cup. Slightly increase the water temperature and steeping time for each brew.
- Add honey or stevia for sweetness, if desired.
Follow these additional steps to make the perfect cup of tea!