Long hailed in South American countries as a healthy, energising social beverage, yerba mate tea is finding a new audience in Europe. Notable for its ability to provide energy without the jitteriness suffered by coffee drinkers. Its taste has been compared to that of green tea but with a more herbaceous, grassy character. Enjoyed hot or iced it can also be mixed with fruit juices for an energising punch. Our superior yerba mate is an herbal beverage from Brazil that contains caffeine; we would not suggest it as a nightcap.
This tea contains a high level of caffeine | Steep at 70°C for 3-5 minutes.
A species of holly, the leaves and twigs of the South American Yerba Mate plant have long been enjoyed as a steeped beverage traditionally brewed in a hollowed out gourd called a cuia or guampa and sipped with a specialised metal straw called a bomba or bombilla. Culturally significant as an energising social drink, Yerba Mate is often shared at gatherings with family or friends, passing the gourd from person to person, no doubt ensuring lively conversation. Toucans, the colourfully beaked birds more known for peddling fruit-flavoured breakfast cereal, long played a significant role in the dispersal of mate plant seeds. The seeds have a hard husk and needed a ride in the Toucan's digestive juices to sprout. Modern cultivation involves scarring the seedpods with sand to facilitate sprouting.