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24-26 South Nansemond Street
Richmond, VA, 23221
United States

(804) 358-8327

Carytown Teas, from the tea garden to the tea cup, over 100 organic teas from around the world.

Yerba Mate

Photo by Hemera Technologies/Photos.com / Getty Images
Photo by Hemera Technologies/Photos.com / Getty Images

Yerba mate (pronounced Yare-Ba Mah-Tay) sometimes called simply "mate", is a plant in the holly family, native to South America.It is , contrary to popular belief, not from the Camellia Sinensis (tea plant). Like other teas, it is dried, chopped, and/or ground . Unlike other teas, mate is traditionally sipped from a hollow gourd, through a filtered metal straw (traditionally silver) called a bombilla (bom-BEE-ya). "Bombilla" means, literally, "little pump" or "straw" in Spanish. The plant is indigenous to South America, more specifically in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and South Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul).

Mate is traditionally drunk in a particular social setting. One individual assumes the task of server. This person typically fills the gourd and drinks its contents completely. The server subsequently refills the gourd and passes it to the next drinker who likewise drinks it all. The ritual proceeds around the circle in this fashion until the mate is exhausted, typically after the gourd has been filled about ten times. Nowadays, mate is also toasted and prepared in a similar manner to black tea. In america Yerba Mate is commonly drunk as any other tea would be, with the two main differences being that of rinsing the leaf quickly with room temperature or cool water ( mate leaf is sensitive to hot temperatures ) so it wont burn or become to astringent and also yerba is kept steeping while it is being enjoyed.

Mate contains xanthines, which are alkaloids in the same family as caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, well-known stimulants also found in coffee and chocolate. Yerba Mate contains matteine which is technically caffeine but unlike traditional caffeine the matteine in Yerba Mate doesnt attack your bodies nervous system or make you jittery ,nauseous or cause your body to crash. It is generally established that yerba mate's caffeine content is minimal - researchers from the Free Hygienic Institute of Hamburg, Germany, concluded in their studies of yerba mate that its caffeine content is so meager that it would require 100 tea bags worth of mate brewed in a 6-ounce cup of water to equal the amount of caffeine in a 6-ounce serving of conventional coffee.

The physiological effects are similar to yet distinct from coffee or tea. Users report a mental state of wakefulness, focus and alertness reminiscent of most stimulants, but often remark on mate's unique lack of the the negative effects typically created by other such compounds, such as anxiety, diarrhea, "jitteriness," and heart palpitations. Reasons for mate's unique physiological attributes are beginning to emerge in scientific research. Studies of mate, though very limited, have shown prelimary evidence that the substance is different from other caffeinated beverages most significantly in its effects on muscle tissue, as opposed to those on the central nervous system, which are similar to those of other natural stimulants. Mate has been shown to have a relaxing effect on smooth muscle tissue, and a stimulating effect on myocardial (heart) tissue, additionally, many users report that drinking yerba mate does not prevent them from being able to fall asleep, as is often the case with some more common stimulating beverages, while still enhancing their energy and ability to remain awake at will. Mate is very high in Potassium, Magnesium and Manganese and is a great way to stay energized.

Take a look at all of the Yerba Mate we have available in our store.


Yerba Mate & Weight Loss

Yerba Mate is believed to aid in weight loss and has growing interest in those studying obesity control. Studies cite Yerba Mate to potentially interfere with cholesterol metabolism and delay intestinal absorption of dietary fat.

Obese men and women consuming Mate tea have shown a decrease in respiratory quotient (RQ), indicating an increase in fat oxidation.

A study done in 1998 at the Foundation University of Rio Grande, Brazil, showed that Mate is capable of vaso relaxation of arterial beds, which that the it may be able to lower the risk for heart disease in the same way that red wine is believed to do.

The thermogenic effect of Yerba Mate has been the source of interest to both researchers and those desiring to lose weight.


Why our Yerba Mate is the Best

In order to preserve the nutritional value of the herb as well as its fresh green flavor, the farm that we receive our Yerba Mate from does not age it, unlike others which age their's for one to two years, according to various regional traditions. By not aging the Mate the natural potency and vibrancy is preserved. Fresh Yerba Mate makes all the difference.

Low Heat, No Smoky Flavor

Our Yerba Mate is dried using a techique that keeps the vital nutrients from reaching high temperatures, thus preserving them. Our Mate is also produced in a smoke-free process, preserving the delicious natural flavor, unlike most others which have a smoky flavor.