Yerba Mate Information
Yerba Mate Questions & Answers
Amigofoods.com is your number one online shopping source for buying yerba mate products like traditional yerba mate, mate cocido, flavored yerba mate, yerba mate gourds, and yerba mate bombillas. Because of this we've added this yerba mate informational section to help answer all our new and repeat yerba mate customers questions.
However, if there is a yerba mate question we haven't answered below, we are just an email [email protected] away.
ABOUT YERBA MATE-What is yerba mate?
-What are other names of yerba mate?
-What is a yerba mate bombilla?
-What is a yerba mate mate?
HOW TO DRINK YERBA MATE-How to prepare a traditional yerba mate infusion?
-Are there other ways to drink yerba mate?
HOW TO CURE A YERBA MATE GOURD-How do I get my yerba mate gourd ready to be used?
-How do I clean my yerba mate gourd?
YERBA MATE ETIQUETTE-What is a cebador or cebadora?
-What is the traditional way to share yerba mate with friends?
YERBA MATE HEALTH BENEFITS-What are the reported health benefits of drinking yerba mate?
YERBA MATE IN THE NEWS-Read About Yerba Mate
ABOUT YERBA MATEWhat is yerba mate?
Yerba Mate is a traditional South American tea like beverage consumed primarily in Argentina, Southern Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Yerba Mate is made from leaves of the llex paraguariensis plant. The leaves are dried and crushed and then added to hot (not boiling) water to create the yerba mate infusion.
What are other names of yerba mate?
Yerba Mate is also known as yerba mate and mate. In Portuguese, yerba mate can also be referred to as Erva Mate, Chimarrao or Cimarron.
What is a yerba mate bombilla?
A yerba mate bombilla, or bomba in Portuguese, is a traditional South American straw and filter used for drinking the yerba mate infusion. The bombilla can be made from many different metals like bronze, nickel, stainless steel, alpaca (nickel) silver, silver and gold plated. The bombilla usually has decorative engravings on it.
The "mate" or yerba mate gourd is a traditional cup used to drink the yerba mate infusion in. The yerba mate gourd can made from wood, metal, ceramics but is traditionally made from Calabash. The gourd is a drinking utensil but also serves two more purposes. It compresses the yerba mate to create suction which helps the bombilla from being clogged. The yerba mate gourd can also help enhance the enjoyment of the mate by adding additional flavor from previous usage. It's said that the gourd has a memory, or soul, which improves over time.
HOW TO DRINK YERBA MATE
How to prepare a traditional yerba mate infusion?
Preparing a yerba mate infusion correctly will add to the overall enjoyment of your mate experience. Make sure your yerba mate gourd has been cured and is ready to be used (see "How To Cure A Yerba Mate Gourd" below). Fill your gourd with yerba mate about 3/4 of the way. Put your hand on top of the gourd, turn the the gourd over and shake it a few times to get the more powdery leaves to the top. Then turn the gourd onto its side and insert your bombilla into the gourd. Slowly roll the gourd upright until the yerba mate levels out. Add cold water to the gourd and let your yerba mate rest for a few minutes while the yerba mate moistens. Once the cold water is absorbed, pour hot water, between 140 to 150 F into the gourd. Do not use boiling water. Boiling water will destroy the nutrients and antioxidants found in the yerba mate. It will also affect the desired flavor and aroma of the mate. The less water added the more potent the infusion. Typically, hot water is filled to the top of the yerba mate gourd. Some of the yerba mate leaves will float to the top and remain dry. No worries, the leaves will become wet in future infusions. You are now ready to drink yerba mate! You will continue to add hot water several times while drinking your mate.
Are there other ways to drink yerba mate?
Absolutely. Yerba mate preparation varies from country to country, region to region. The yerba mate method described above is the most widely method used. Some yerba mate enthusiasts will add sugar or herbs like mint to their infusion. Others will replace the hot water with hot milk. Using hot milk is particularly popular amongst children.
Yerba Mate can also be enjoyed in tea bag form otherwise known as mate cocido. It has an inverted method of preparation versus the traditional yerba mate infusion method. As already explained in the traditional method water is added to the yerba mate. In the mate cocido form, the yerba mate tea bag is added to the hot water. Mate cocido is simpler and more convenient than the traditional method and does not require a yerba mate bombilla or yerba mate gourd for consumption. However, it is widely agreed that mate cocido is not as nutrient rich as the traditional method since it does not use the bombilla's sucking motion for deep nutrient extraction from the yerba mate leaves.
HOW TO CURE A YERBA MATE GOURD
How do I get my yerba mate gourd ready to be used?
A properly cured gourd is essential to fully enjoy your yerba mate infusion. Fill your new gourd with yerba mate and add hot water to thoroughly soak the mate. Allow the gourd to rest for two days. Then clean out the gourd by scraping out the yerba mate and any loose or soft wood from the gourds interior. Repeat the entire process at least two more times before enjoying your gourd's maiden voyage. You are now ready!
How do I clean my yerba mate gourd?
Simply, rinse your yerba mate gourd out when you are done using it and allow it to dry out completely on a windowsill. Do not use soap or a dishwasher to clean your gourd.
YERBA MATE ETIQUETTE
What is a cebador or cebadora?
A cebador, or cebadora, is the individual responsible for preparing and serving the yerba mate infusion.
What is the traditional way to share yerba mate with friends?
The sharing and drinking of yerba mate with others is an intimate experience. Traditionally, people only share with close friends and family.
This mate sharing ritual begins with the cebador. He or she, prepares the yerba mate infusion and drinks the first cup to ensure that the yerba mate is ready to be enjoyed by all. The cebador will finish the entire cup of mate until a slurping sound is heard by all. The cebador will then fill the yerba mate gourd with hot water for the next person to enjoy. Once the drinker has finsihed all the water, he will hand the cup back to the cebador for another filling of hot water. This process will continue until all have had their turn.
YERBA MATE HEALTH BENEFITS
What are the reported health benefits of drinking yerba mate?
Yerba Mate is on the United States Food and Drug Administration's (USFDA) Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) list and considered safe. There are many reported health benefits of drinking yerba mate. Yerba mate enthusiasts drink yerba mate for numerous reasons. Yerba mate is widely regarded as a mental and physical stimulant much like coffee but without the jittery, anxious and upset stomach side effects. Yerba mate is also used by many as a dietary and digestive aid. And is full of vitamins and minerals.
YERBA MATE IN THE NEWS