Mate tea or Yerba Mate is ever popular in Europe with people drinking more of it daily, just like in South America - Mate tea in rough cut from the calabash with Bombilla. Even in South America there are a few different ways to prepare mate and mate tea.
The best way to find out what makes Mate so unique is of course tasting it. The next best option is to discover the secrets behind this wonderful plant.
This article does just that. You will find answers to questions such as:
Many therapeutic properties are attributed to mate such as nerves, muscles and metabolism stimulation. First and foremost, mate is appreciated for its awakening and mood enhancing - happy - effects. Matein, a caffein- like compound, is responsible for this effect.
Compared to coffee and caffeine, mate has the upper hand as it doesn’t make you feel nervous or tingly. The typical caffeine breakdown is also avoided. This is due to mate’s theobromine content, which produces a longer and more stable stimulating and relaxing effect.
In addition there is the unique combination of Matein with a special Xanthin. It stimulates the central nervous system the same way other xanthines (coffee), but - in contrast to caffeine - does not make you dependent. Furthermore, unlike caffeine, it helps promote a calm sleep and lowers blood pressure by relaxing the Mate has a stimulating and relaxing effect!
In addition there is the unique combination of Matein with a special Xanthin. It stimulates the central nervous system like other xanthines (in coffee), but - in contrast to caffeine - does not make you dependent. It also supports, unlike caffeine, calm sleep and lowers blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels.
Mate contains all the vitamins a person needs. Pasteur Institute, Paris 1964
Mate offers the vitamins A, B1, B2, E and C which are very important for humans. It also contains trace elements of magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. Other ingredients stimulate the formation of saliva and gastric juice and promote digestion.
In addition it contains catechins, flavonoids and carotenoids, which are rich in antioxidant properties and act as free radical scavengers in the body protecting cells. Thus, Mate inhibits in body inflammations in a natural way and can work preventively against illnesses such as Arteriosklerose, rheumatism, Alzheimer's, Parkinson etc.
Mate tea boosts the metabolism. The increased turnover naturally increases the burning of fat in the body. To discover more about weight reduction with mate check the section : Mate for weight loss.
Mate is said to consist of more than 250 components. About 200 are clearly identified. Among other vitamins it contains carotenoids with provitamin A activity. In other words, the human body can easily these components into vitamin A.
Carotenoids are often said to be beneficial and health. Most of them function as antioxidants and radical scavengers (see above). In addition, they should also protect and nourish the skin. therefore helping the skin to remain wrinkle-free for longer and sustain a healthy and radiant complexion.
The French Pasteur Institute analyzed that mate contains virtually all vitamins that
that man needs to live. In Germany, mate is approved as a “drug” and is sold both in pharmacies and in tea shops.
The first Europeans to discover mate were the Spanish conquerors in South America. The Guarani Indians introduced the stimulating drink to the Jesuits. Soon after tasting it, Jesuits started to cultivate mate themselves.
The ever entrepreneurial Jesuits were responsible for the growth and expansion of mate and rapidly built a trade monopoly. The yerba was transported from its place of origin throughout South America territory under Spanish rule. They consumed mate - boiled mate not from a gourd as most die - in Jesuit settlement across Paraguay . They also discovered that the mate plant germinates only in certain regions of South America, a secret that was confirmed half a century later by the French naturalist Aimé Bonpland.
In contrast, to Jesuits, church leaders were outraged by the pagan custom of mate drinking. In 1610, The tribunal of the Inquisition based in Lima, denounced the 'devilish superstition'. Religious leaders were from the opinion that Europeans were supposed to convert the Guarani Indians- and not the other way round. After this spell, mate consumption was somewhat forgotten in Europe.
It was not until the beginning of the 20th century that mate landed in the hands of some connoisseurs again in Europe. The first Mate lemonades were produced, which, remarkably enough, were produced with the addition of sparkling wine.
Mate connects people and continents.
Transregionally, the lemonades with mate aroma only become known in Europe in the mid-1990s.
The early adopters were the computer nerds. They used mate to strengthen their drinks of choice in order to work more efficiently, become alert or late night shifts.The party crowd followed and adopted mate as a drink in clubs as fuel to dance the night away. Very often they chose beverages containing mate extract or adding fresh brewed mate.
Instant mate is also a popular option and is often used for mate-containing ready to drink beverages. The aroma components are distilled with steam and extracted with ether, proivding a strong concentrate.
For some time now, Mate is imported into Europe as Mate and presented, distributed and served in under different variations and names. The most common is Mate, deriving from the original Mate with Mate-Tea or Yerba Mate coming next.
Since its recent rebirth, mate grew in popularity becoming a mainstay amongst students and office workers principally because of its stimulating and alertness effect.
Mate today is both hip and trendy. Mate is now consumed in many parts of the globe as it has been consumed historically in South America: As a social beverage! One to be shared with friends.
“Long ago, when the world was already world, the sun was already the sun and the moon, the moon...”
With these words, begins the legend of how mate came to earth according to the Guarani Indians, the indigenous people of South America.
According to tradition, the moon only knew the earth through the words of the sun. The moon grew curious and one day decided to visit the earth to get to know and learn more about humans and animals. To avoid being recognized, she came to the earth at night and landed in a clearing.
A hungry Jaguar immediately noticed the moon and wanted to attack her immediately. Suddenly an arrow jumped out of the jungle and saved the moon. In gratitude, the moon wanted to grant the shooter - a farmer - a wish. The farmer humbly declared that he had no wish. For confirmation - typically South American - he cursed that he did not desire anything.
Consequently, the moon offered him the mystery of the stars: Mate. In addition, the moon promised that she would guarantee a good friendship to all people who would drink Mate together. To this day, South Americans offer Mates as a token of hospitality to guests; hospitality turns into friendship.
Strictly speaking, mate is not tea. Only drinks deriving from the Camellia sinensis and Camellia sinensis assamica plants can be called tea. In everyday language, tea usually refers to the way the beverage is prepared, brewed or poured.
Back to mate: The mate shrub (flex paraguariensis), that grows to become a mate tree, is a plant species of the genus holly and the family of holly plants.
Mate grows exclusively in South America. Originally from the primeval forest of the Paraná Basin, mate is now found in the forests of Argentina, Paraguay and southwest Brazil. More specifically, in waterways pressed between the rivers Rio Paraná, Rio Paraguay and Rio Uruguay.
Mate and Mate blends offer multiple flavors. It's worth trying.
About 50% of the mate still comes from the jungle and is harvested from wild trees and from our own mate cultures. Harvesting wild trees is not ecologically harmless. In addition, the ingredients can vary greatly. Mate from our own cultures has a constant amount of caffeine and ingredients.
It is guaranteed that the mate from certified farms is 100% organic and that the mate farmers are treated and paid fairly.
Trust only in certified and 100% organic mate
The calabash or Calabaza is strictly speaking a container for liquids made of a bottle gourd. These first containers for the transport and storage of beverages are said to have existed since 12,000 - 6,000 years B.C.. The pumpkin was hollowed out and dried.
True Mate lovers still associate a calabash with a calabash made from bottle gourd today. Compared to others, the pumpkin calabash is very light and rarely bursts. The same applies to wooden calabashes, whereby the wood used should come from the Caldén tree. The Caldén tree only grows and thrives in Argentina.
Over time, the taste and flavours intensify when drinking from Mate cup. The cup absorbs flavors with usage and a kind of taste patina develops, similar to what occurs with high-quality tea pots. The more often one drinks mate from these calabashes, the better the mate tastes.
For traditionalists and people who insist on a traditional Mate enjoyment, this is a unique advantage.
Recently, an increasing number of ceramic and stainless steel calabashes have come onto the market. The advantage of these calabashes is that they are easier and more efficient to clean up without getting mouldy. If you like to mix your mate with sugar, milk (oat or coconut milk), fruit juices or other ingredients, a ceramic or stainless steel calabash is recommended.
You can change the Mate ingredients as often as you wish, since there will be no taste residuals or influences. Stainless steel and ceramics are completely taste neutral as they do not absorb and therefore release any taste or smell.
The Mate connoisseur will taste the Mate or its mixture pure and pristine.
The right choice of a calabash is a question of taste and use.
The question of the ideal calabash is also a question of application. Traditionalists or those who want to enjoy the original mate will always choose a calabash made of bottle gourd or calden wood. And enjoy the ever more intense typical Mate taste.
However If you are curious and like to mix and experiment with your mate using different ingredients, a ceramic or stainless steel calabash is recommended.
The calabash should be prepped prior to the first mate if it is made of pumpkin or wood.
For this purpose, fill the calabash about two thirds full with mate and pour about 80° water into the mate cup until it is full to the brim. Allow the calabash to stand with the mate for over 24 hours so that the pumpkin's and the wood's pores can close all by themselves.
It is best to repeat this process the next day with a fresh mate. The calabash will now have absorbed the taste of mate and will enhance the taste and enjoyment of mate. Calabashes made of stainless steel or ceramic do not need this preparation.
Calabashes made of pumpkin and wood should be emptied immediately after consuming mate. Glued Mate residues should be carefully removed with a spoon. Subsequently, rinse the calabash thoroughly. For hygiene reasons and to avoid possible mould growth from the outset, it is important to allow the calabash to dry completely.
As a rule, calabashes made of wood or pumpkin are not suitable for the dishwasher. Please follow the manufacturer's care instructions. Traditional Mate connoisseurs categorically reject the use of dishwashers because they destroy the 'taste patina' in the calabash. Calabashes made of pumpkin or wood have to be cleaned and treated as described above. Once they have been cleaned and treated as described above, Mate connoisseurs can enjoy them for years to decades.
Ceramic and stainless steel calabashes are of course easier to clean than natural calabashes and can be washed in the dishwasher as any other kitchenware. Before reuse, simply rinse it briefly to remove any detergent residue, then wipe the calabash dry, and it is ready to be enjoyed.
The bombilla is simply a drinking straw with a sieve. The sieve end of the drinking tube has been inserted into the yerba or mate and prevents leaf pieces from being sucked into the mate. Bombillas are available in many shapes and in many different materials. Seven things to look out for when choosing and caring for:
1. Bombilla length
2. Bombilla material
3. bombilla sieve
4. bombilla use
5. caring for the bombilla properly
6. frequent use care
7. maintenance of the Bombilla for occasional use
The Bombilla should fit the calabash. A deeper calabash requires a longer bombilla. The rule of thumb is: If the Bombilla is in the empty calabash, about half of the Bombilla should stand outside.
In addition, the personal drinking habits also determine the length. Some like a longer drinking tube, others a shorter one. An individual compromise is often the best solution.
Bombillas are available in gold, silver, nickel silver (also known as alpaca), bamboo and wood.
Bamboo and wood are more maintenance intensive and you have to ensure complete drying and dry storage after each use. In the case of metals or metal alloys containing nickel silver, one should also be aware of possible allergic reactions.
There are flat sieves, spoon-shaped sieves and sieves that look like an extension of the Bombilla. Flat or spoon-shaped sieves are better fitted in the yerba or mate. Vertical screens that extend the Bombilla are easier to clean. Both types are basically suitable for the desired flow rate of the beverage.
Both forms have worse sieves, which clog faster or have too large pores, which do not block the Mate leaves. Here you should focus on the leaf size of your favourite mate. It is important that the sieve reliably prevents the Mate leaves from being sucked in and drunk.
Before and during drinking: Once the Bombilla has been inserted into the mate tea or yerba mate, it should no longer be moved. This sets the mate and the sieve reliably filters the drink.
Cleaning a calabash and bombilla is a ritual in itself.
A clean Bombilla guarantees perfect mate pleasure. A well-kept bombilla made of wood or bamboo will last for several years. A metal bombilla practically forever. A Bombilla should be carefully washed after each use. A metal Bombilla can of course also be washed in the dishwasher. With a bombilla made of wood or bamboo this is not recommended. After washing the bombillas made of natural materials should be dried thoroughly.
For frequent, daily use of the Bombilla, monthly basic cleaning is also recommended. For this purpose, plunge the Bombilla in boiling water for about 30 minutes. If the Bombilla is dirty, you can add some sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) to the water. Afterwards the inside of the Bombilla should be cleaned with a thin brush ( similar to a pipe cleaner ).
If the Mate drinking utensils are not used for longer periods of time, it is advisable to clean them thoroughly with water before use. In the case of wood or bamboo bombillas, unwanted microorganisms may develop if stored incorrectly and in a damp environment. Therefore it is important to ensure complete drying after using the natural materials.
That cannot be stressed often enough.
In recent times mate has also been prepared by South Americans in the French Press or like a normal loose tea or in a paper bag to be filled.
Tea eggs or tea strainers in which the swelling mate cannot spread are not advisable!
For practical reasons the mate enthusiast will select an appropriate solution in order to drink his mate as often as possible.
In South America, mate is the folk drink. In Argentina the per capita consumption is about 5.5 kg yerba mate. Mate world champions are the Uruguayans with 8 kg per inhabitant. (For comparison: In Germany, 4.2 kg of coffee is drunk per capita.) In South America, Mate is the equivalent of tea time for the British. And the South Americans usually drink the mate in a sociable and cozy get-together. The group leader is the person pouring the mate: the 'Cebador'.
Whoever takes over as "Cebador", fills about two thirds of the calabash with yerba mate or the crushed mate leaves and pours hot water over it.
The first mate is the bitterest and is not drunk, but spat out by the Cebador.
The Cebador passes on the second infusion. The first of the round drinks the mate. The Cebador pours the mate again and hands it to the second of the round. Each of the participants always drinks the whole mate in the calabash. Afterwards or in between, the Cebador will water the mate repeatedly. One mate filling is enough for about 8 to 10 infusions.
(= 8 to 10 Mate enthusiasts). Then a new Yerba Mate is set for a new round.
Those who have drunk enough mate will notify the Cebador with a simple 'Gracias'.
Mate, Mate Tea and Mate Blends can help you lose weight. Matein is responsible for this. A substance similar to caffeine with a similar effect. Matein stimulates the metabolism and promotes fat burning. Mate offers the advantage that it does not provoke nervousness or hippiness like coffee, but rather provides an even stimulus. Also the typical coffee quick drop in performance after the push, will not occur with Mate. Mate stimulates evenly and continuously.
Mate provides a longer satiety feeling, since it slows down the emptying of the stomach. This makes Mate tea a natural appetite suppressant. If you drink mate about an hour before your meal, you will feel less hungry. In addition, metabolism and fat burning are stimulated. And the food makes you feel full for longer. Scientists found out in a recent study that cold mate stimulates metabolism and fat burning twice as much as warm mate tea.
DISCLAIMER: As good and healthy as mate is, one should not expect miracles from mate. Those who strive for a permanent weight reduction have to pay attention not only to their diet, but also their overall lifestyle choices, as these impact directly one’s health and well being.
We advise those looking for specific health benefits, to consult their physician or qualified health professionals before making decisions that will impact their health.
All mate packages before and after calabashes, bombillas in different colours.
Mate, absolutely pure, tastes bitter and probably suits only real gauchos. However, that is not an issue, as we offer some good alternatives that better suit the taste of cosmopolitan Mate drinkers and enthusiasts. They are:
Enjoy your mate in a beautiful calabash from Alveus.
The original Mate cup - the calabash - made comes from Argentina and its made from Caldén wood, This particular tree only grows in Argentina. Our Cups are produced using this unique type of wood. We offer them is 4 different colours, together with the matching Bombilla - the drinking straw with sieve.