photo by: Lisa Birkigt
Yerba Mate (ma-teh) is a South American beverage produced with the leaves from the I. paraguariensis tree. It is consumed by many generations across South America, and nowadays across the globe, which is why it's considered as a beverage in the top 10 most consumed!
It outstands the tea and coffee because of the way of preparation & the way it's drunk! There are several types of Yerba Mate blends, depending on the production process, on its origins, etc.
Yerba Mate is drunk from its special gourd & bombilla. There are few types of these utensils, but the traditional one is the Calabash Yerba Mate gourd. First used by the Indigenous South Americans, this type of gourd was considered as a gift from gods, since it's made from the squash Calabash gourd plant.
This beverage is considered as a social drink because it gathers friends and families and helps in creating many new friendships by sharing one mate.
It has a very unique taste that you won't get the chance to taste it while drinking another beverage! Yerba Mate taste differs, depending on the blending type or preparation. Usually, after the first sip, you're going have the feeling that you just connected with nature. But literally. It has an earthy and grassy taste, bitter (especially if it's not combined with any sweetener), and soft or strong depending on the stems quantity. Fewer stems, more Yerba Mate leaves, stronger taste.
It has a natural caffeine element in its leaves (85mg per cup), which makes this beverage a natural energy booster that will keep you awake during the working hours, but save you from the jittery effect that coffee usually causes.
To sum up, there are many reasons why this beverage outstands, among others, it's taste, way of production and preparation, and of course its own history.