Yerba mate (E-erba Mah-tay) is a rare herbal tea that’s one of the few plants that naturally produce caffeine. Both the tree and the drink originated in certain sub-tropical regions of South America, where it grows exclusively. Yerba mate has existed for centuries in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. Today, Argentina is the world’s largest producer of yerba mate. It’s drunk by millions of people in Argentina, where not only a healthy drink, but is a whole culture unto itself.
It’s strong, distinctive flavor is made by steeping leaves and twigs in hot water. Traditionally, yerba mate is served in a mate, or gourd, with a bombilla, which is a particular kind of straw.
Yerba Mate- Argentinian Herbal Tea
- Mate gourd and Bombilla (for tradtional)
- small saucepan or tea pot
- 4 bag Yerba mate or loose yerba mate for traditional
- 4 cup Hot water, not boiling
Traditional Gourd and Bombilla
- Fill ⅔ of gourd with yerba mate. Tap the loose yerba mate to 1 side to create a pit. Moisten the pit with cold water. Insert a bombilla into the pit and pour in hot water (150°F/65°C) and enjoy.
- Add 1-2 yerba mate tea bags to a mug. Moisten the bags with a little cool water. Fill the mug with hot (170°F/75°C) water. Steep for 5 minutes, remove bags and, if desired, flavor with sugar or honey.