YERBA MATÉ TEA – THE GREEN GOLD OF THE INDIANS
According to Guayaki,a company producing organic and fair-trade yerba mate,
Yerba Maté has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate all in one beverage.
Maté tea also known as cimarrón is a national beverage in large parts of South America, particularly in Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brazil, where it is consumed 6 to 1 over coffee. The mate tea is prepared from steeping dried leaves of yerba maté in hot water. Also, it can be consumed in a variety of ways: cold, served with milk and honey, iced with lemon and mint or in combination with alcohol. Of the six commonly used stimulants in the world: coffee, tea, yerba maté, kola nut, cocoa and guarana – yerba mate triumphs as the most balanced, delivering both energy and nutrition.
The Yerba Maté tea was first consumed by Guaraní Indians living in remote parts of South America long before any of the Spanish settlers came. With the european colonization in the 16th century, the consumption of yerba mate became widespread in the spanish colonies in Chile, Peru and Paraguay. Today, Argentina is the largest producer of Maté with 57 %, followed by Brazil with 37 % and Paraguay with 5%.
Drinking Maté is a common social practice in South American countries. It is considered to be good for body and soul and can be also a form of meditation or reflection.
The Maté drink claims many health benefits such as
- Energizing the body,
- Stimulating mental awareness,
- Supports in weight loss,
- Cleanses and detoxes,
- Strengthens the immune system
- Accelerates the healing process,
- Relieves stress, and much more.
Yerba Maté has been used as a base for herbal medicines in South America for centuries. Bracesco N and his collegues found out that the chemical components of mate are similar to those found in green tea, however yerba maté is more nutrious. The plants benefits and therapeutic properties have recently been verified by a number of scientific studies.
Suddenly a new beverage named „Club-Mate“ has appeared not that long ago.
Club-Mate is a caffeinated carbonated maté-extract beverage made by the german Loscher Brewery. In the 90’s, it became very well known in Berlin’s club scene as an alternative to unhealthy energy drinks. The beverage is favoured amongst people involved in science and cutural projects and very appreciated by artistic environments.
Everyday it gets more popular and more recognizable. There is no doubt that Club-Mate has an aquired taste but most people are a little shocked on their first sip, the savour of Club-Mate is somehow different, probably due to ist low sugar content. Maybe that is the reason for the drink’s motto called “One gets used to it!”
Yerba Maté is the latest drink to reach the European and American market, even though it is been around for centuries. The popularity of Maté tea has risen and will rise because of its unique flavour and natural ingredients.