It’s been said to offer the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate”. Many South Americans called it “the drink of the gods”. That already tells you this drink must be worth investigating. But there’s even more to Yerba Mate, something very special. In South American countries such as Argentina and Uruguay Mate has a deeper cultural significance that is about bonding and friendship.

It’s different from your usual tea ceremony or hanging out having a coffee, where you each get your own cuppa. In a social setting Mate is drunk from a communal gourd with a straw. There is a special etiquette when sharing a Mate and you will often find a Mate gourd being passed around at social events. It’s a beautiful tradition that is spontaneous and natural and it’s taking on popularity further afield now, not only because of its appealing, heartwarming tradition but because it’s really good for you.

What is Yerba Mate?

Yerba Mate is a traditional drink made from the dried leaves of an evergreen holly, Ilex paraguariensis, a plant native to South America. It’s cultivated in the same way tea would be, although it is found in the wild too. It has a grassy taste similar to green tea and some pretty potent feel good effect that benefit your health too.

Yerba Mate (“yer-bah mah-tay”) can be brewed in a French-press or tea pot, but the traditional way to drink it is as a strong loose-leaf tea brewed, in a Mate gourd and sipped using a special tea straw, called a bombilla (pronounced “bom – bee – ya”) that has a filter at the bottom to filter out solid pieces. The person who prepares it is called the cebador and they are responsible for passing the drink around.

What Does it Do?

Provides Smooth Energy: mate provides a smooth energy increase that outdoes most other stimulants in its calmness and balance. It does contain caffeine, less than coffee though, and doesn’t have that caffeine kick that can leave you feeling anxious. This makes it useful if you have chronic fatigue.

Gives a Mental Edge: it enhances memory, mood, and alertness and stimulates production of the neurotransmitter dopamine, making you feel more motivated.

Relaxes: the theobromine in Mate is found in chocolate too and contributes to that feel good factor that is calming and relaxing

Nourishes: Yerba mate is so nutritious it contains practically everything you need. Vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients such as tannins, chlorophyll, flavonols, polyphenols and 15 amino acids with a potent antioxidant punch that outdoes all other teas.

Natural Medicine: it’s been traditionally used for millennia as a medicine that is an overall tonic for pain, fatigue and depression. Yerba mate is a very powerful adatopgen which means it’s not addictive, and has an overall benefit to balancing your body and helping it cope with stress and function better. It has been also been used to benefit allergies, sinusitis and bladder infections.

Weight loss: Yerba Mate can reduce your appetite and give you that extra energy to get moving and is also thought to improve insulin sensitivity and help you burn stored fat.

Digestive tonic: it’s been traditionally used for constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion and acts as an antibacterial against tummy bugs and parasites

Strong bones: it has been found that Yerba Mate can help increase bone density

Heart Health: it benefits your heart by helping to lower blood pressure and protecting your blood vessels with its anti-inflammatory properties. The Theobromine content also relaxes blood vessels for better blood flow.


Yerba Maté SA – Pajarito Organica 250g, R95
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This Pajarito Organic Yerba Maté has been certified by the IMO as an industry benchmark. Grown in plantations that are rich in diversity and indigenous ecosystems, the leaves are dark, wholesome and juicy, containing higher than average antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The flavour of the tea is mild and woody with citrus notes, making it perfect for first-time maté drinkers.
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For a 500g option follow this link.


Yerba Mate SA – Pajarito Soluble 75g, R199

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Use this Instant yerba maté powder to prepare a cup of maté when you’re short on time. Preservative and additive free, Instantly Soluble Yerba Maté is made by lightly roasting pure yerba maté and then grinding it extra finely until it becomes instantly soluble in hot or cold water.

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 Mate Etiquette

• Don’t Touch the Bombilla (the straw)
• Don’t ever stir the Mate
• Don’t Pass the Mate to the Person Next to You but back to the server who will pass it to the next person
• Never Complain: if it’sa little too hot, bitter or sweet, just enjoy the good vibes, there no need to comment
• Keep the circle flowing – don’t take forever to finish your Mate
• Only touch the bombilla with your lips, not your tongue and don’t wet the straw
• If you’re sick, rather politely pass it up
• Slurping it right up to the last drop isn’t rude – slurp away!
• Saying “Thank You” is a respectful way of saying you have had enough Mate
• Saying “unos mates?”, or “want to drink a mate?” If someone ways this to you it is a sign of respect
• If you are asked if you like your mate bitter or sweet, it’s polite to say “however you take it”.


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This year why not bring in the New Year by sharing love and respect over a Bombilla straw, sipping on the drink of the gods?


(Sources: http://circleofdrink.com/what-is-yerba-mate, http://bebrainfit.com/yerba-mate-benefits/, http://guayaki.com/mate/130/Yerba-Mate.html)