Green Yerba Mate

Today we’re talking about Green Yerba Mate.

You may have heard of Green Yerba Mate, or Mate in general before, but if not, here is some information about this elusive yet awesome beverage.

First off, you noticed I said beverage, not tea. If you want to split hairs, Green Yerba Mate is not a ‘tea’ per se, since it does not come from the Camelia Sinensis plant. It comes from a different plant in South America; an evergreen holly called ‘Ilex paraguariensis’.

This plant is quite special, and has provided the region with an amazing beverage for hundreds of years. In Argentina, it is the national beverage, with 500 million dollars worth of it consumed every year. The locals describe it as having the “strength of coffee, health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate“. That’s quite the resume! Let’s explore further.

Green Yerba Mate typically comes in dried loose leaf form, steeped like any other tea but traditionally inside a ‘gourd‘, sipped through a metal straw called a ‘bombilla‘. It can also be steeped using a normal infuser, and some people have actually used french presses to make the brew.

In terms of health benefits, you’ll find this tea heavily compared to Japanese Matcha (powdered green tea), mainly because of the common properties found between the two. Firstly, they are both shade grown, which makes both Green Yerba and Matcha loaded with vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants, which are great if you’re trying to keep your diet balanced and your body clean.

If caffeine is your thing, you’ll find the Mate has a similar kick to coffee, containing a caffeine like compound Mateine. Similarly to Matcha, the energizing effect lasts longer than coffee and does not come with the undesirable jitters or sleep problems that most coffee drinkers struggle with.

You’ll also find Green Yerba Mate being used for weight control, as apart from being very low in calories itself, it can significantly boost metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories.

Perhaps the only inconvenient aspect of Green Yerba Mate is the form it comes in –  dried loose leaves, as this makes it hard to use it for anything other than tea drinking. There are other options however. Although more expensive, you can find it in powdered (or matcha) form, where the leaves are ground into a powder resulting in a substance that is much more versatile and can be used in desserts, smoothies, even cereal breakfasts.