Yerba mate is a popular alternative to coffee that’s getting more and more popular every year. This herbal tea has a range of unique features that include stimulation and healing too. Whether you’re new to yerba mate tea or you’re already a fan of the drink, keep on reading to explore this beverage’s history and properties.
What is Yerba Mate?
Yerba Mate is an infusion traditionally made from herbs, stems, and leaves of the Paraguayan Holly plant. This plant is often called a shrub, however, it’s an evergreen tree. The yerba mate tea is currently most popular in Paraguay and other regions of South America, but this isn’t a surprise as this is the continent it’s originally from!
If you’re still wondering how we get yerba mate from a plant, we’ll quickly break it down for you. The twigs and leaves are removed from the tree and they’re then crushed, sorted, and aged. This tea can also be made from dried leaves that are steeped in hot water after. After a variety of processes, they’re mixed with various other herbs and flavored too. Once they’ve been through all the steps you’re left with yerba mate tea! This team is usually consumed from a Yerba Mate gourd container.
Benefits of Yerba Mate
The yerba mate tea benefits are extensive and a reason many fans keep coming back to the drink. There are a lot of yerba mate nutrition facts on the internet, but we’ll only focus on the science-backed ones today.
Nutrients and Antioxidants
A lot of people ask “Is Yerba Mate healthy?” and the answer to that is yes! This tea has a variety of different plant-based nutrients and antioxidants too. Some even state that yerba mate tea has higher antioxidants than green tea.
- Saponins - These can lower cholesterol and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Xanthines - The xanthines act like stimulants. These include theobromine and caffeine, which are also seen in coffee, tea, and even chocolate! Yerba mate caffeine is a great source of energy during the day.
- Caffeoyl derivatives - The main antioxidants in the drink.
- Polyphenols - Another variety of antioxidants that reportedly reduce disease risks.
Energy Boosting Tea
Yerba mate is also very popular as it contains approximately 85 mg of caffeine per cup. This places the drink under coffee, but higher than standard tea in terms of caffeine levels. Yerba mate caffeine levels can to boost your energy, but don’t give you jittery side effects like coffee does - a win-win for all drinkers!Protection Against Infections
Some sources state that yerba mate tea in high doses can protect you from bacteria, parasites, and even fungi too. Studies have been conducted that show promising results against E. coli, Malassezia furfur, and intestinal parasites, however, these have only been practiced on isolated cells and not humans.
Weight Loss Help
It’s also reported that organic yerba mate and yerba mate tea bags can help boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite too. This can help with weight loss and reduction of fat cells, perfect for anyone looking for a new diet trick! It must be noted that this should be paired with a balanced diet and fitness routine too.
Origins And Regions of Growing
Yerba mate tea is native to South America and residents of the region have been consuming this tea for centuries. This unique tea dates back to before Europeans colonized the Americas too. The tea comes from two regions of Paraguay (Alto Parana and Amambay), but it became popular across the continent after the Jesuits commercialized it to other regions. The tea is still consumed in Paraguay, but also in Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Southern Chile, and Gran Chaco of Bolivia. Yerba mate loose leaf tea is also popular in Lebanon and Syria too as immigrants brought their traditions with them when they moved.
Types of Yerba Mate
Like many teas, there is more than one type of yerba mate. The yerba mate flavors and tastes change depending on the region it’s from. This is great news for any tea fans as there are a lot of different varieties to try! Here are some of the most popular.
Paraguayan Yerba Mate
It’s common for yerba mate tea from the Paraguay region to have exciting tastes. With floral notes and cherry, vanilla, and sometimes smoky notes, these teas are popular worldwide. You’ll like this type of tea if you like rich wines like Malbecs and merlots.
Argentine Yerba Mate
Often grown in the northern regions of Argentina, these teas give earthy flavors. They’re also often described as herbaceous and crisp, perfect for first-time drinkers. This is the most similar flavor to green tea.
Gaucho Yerba Mate
The Gaucho teas are the bolder types of yerba mate. These teas are usually grown in the south of Brazil, but they’re also from Uruguay too. This type of tea has bold, malty, and strong flavors. If you like full-body beers this type of tea will be for you.
What To Look for In a Yerba Mate
When looking for the perfect yerba mate tea for you, there’s a range of different features to consider. Here are the most important features to look for when choosing yerba mate tea bags.
Yerba mate caffeine levels can vary from brand to brand. Some tea companies make it with more caffeine, which is great if you want an energy boost while drinking. However, if you prefer low-caffeine or decaf drinks you’ll need to find a variety with low caffeine content. Always check the mg before buying!
The yerba mate flavors also differ too! Getting the right flavor is important, as a flavor that’s too weak or strong for your palette will ruin your drinking experience. If you’re new to the tea, try ordering a few different varieties to find one that suits your taste. The best yerba mate flavor is just a sip away!
You can also find organic yerba mate teas. Some drinkers state this taste better, but this is down to personal preference. However, you should consider this when buying tea bags!
Best Yerba Mate for You
Finding the best yerba mate tea is a fun experiment. From full-bodied teas to light and fruity flavors, this is a versatile tea style that has been popular for centuries. Whether you use yerba mate tea bags or invest in a traditional yerba mate gourd, you’ll be feeling healthier and more energized with every sip of this South American drink.
Overall, there are a lot of different yerba mate styles to try. We hope we’ve given you some tea inspiration in this article! Yerba mate tea benefits are great and there’s also a yerba mate flavor for every palette. It’s time to get sipping! Do you like this tea? Let us know your opinions in the comments!
Want to learn more? Here are some of the most common questions about yerba mate!
How much caffeine is in yerba mate?
There is approximately 85mg in every cup of yerba mate tea, however, this can differ from brand to brand. There are also different amounts in yerba mate loose leaf tea and yerba mate tea bags, so always check before buying.
Is yerba mate good for you?
There are a whole host of different health benefits from consuming yerba mate tea. However, some studies show that high intakes of the tea may leave drinkers more at risk from certain types of cancer.
Is yerba mate an energy drink?
One of the most popular reasons people drink the tea is for its energy-boosting properties. This comes from its high caffeine levels. Yerba mate caffeine can improve your concentration, alertness, and it can reduce fatigue.
Is yerba mate a drug?
Since yerba mate has stimulant properties, many wonder if it’s a drug. The drink contains ephedrine and caffeine which are technically both stimulant drugs, but they aren’t illegal drugs.
Why does yerba mate make me happy?
Many drinkers report that yerba mate tea improves their mood and this has actually been proven by scientific studies. Some of the chemicals found in the tea (theophylline and theobromine) can boost your emotional state and make you feel happier.
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