Anyone here a drinker of yerba mate?

I enjoy drinking both coffee and tea. I tend to favor tea a bit more, as there’s such a much greater diversity of flavors possible. And some genres are pretty deep on varieties. I used to think “green tea” was just one thing… and had no idea you can get into dozens of different variations. The Japanese rule in that area. I still haven’t perfected whisking green tea, so I tend to just make it simple and go with genmai matcha (green tea with matcha powder accompaniment, plus toasted brown rice).

One day I learned from an acquaintance about yerba mate. And I eventually tried it in the worst possible way – tea bags. It wasn’t bad, and I actually liked it (sort of a nuttier, woodier kind of green tea). The only real way to have a proper yerba mate is with loose yerba. But it’s involved. You need a special “vessel” for the yerba mate, a mug made out of a gourd or wood. This ensures there’s some texture to the inner walls that the yerba mate can adhere, keeping from slipping around in unwanted ways. Then there’s the straw, which is a closed end with holes or gaps in it that act as a filter. You drink the yerba mate through the straw only, never directly from the lip of the gourd.

There are 4 major variants of yerba mate, by country: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil. They each have their own characteristics. The Yerba Mate Lab goes into decent details. Some yerba mate is lighter, with others heavier, more robust, or even smoky. Argentinian is the easiest to prepare and Brazilian is the hardest.

And apparently in addition to the very enjoyable flavors, there’s also some very potent medicinal qualities as well. Loads of anti-oxidants, even more than in green tea. You can learn more about yerba mate nutrition, at Mate Factor. The Brazilian variety is supposed to be the best in this regard, because it’s sold fresh instead of aged (as the others are, anywhere from 1 to 2 years).

The medicinal qualities look amazing. So I’m really intrigued to see if a regular consumption of yerba mate (properly brewed) could make a good health difference.

If anyone here drinks yerba mate, I’d love to hear about your experiences!

2 Likes

Oddly, yerba mate helps my wife with migraines. You’d think it was just from the caffeine but other teas and coffees offer no relief. Not sure what it is about tha mate but it rockays!

2 Likes

That’s fantastic! And it helps support the premise of yerba mate imparting health benefits. Part of what it’s supposed to do is help with cardiovascular health. Lowers blood pressure too, which could be related to vascular pressure that incurs migraines.

1 Like

Today is a migraine day for me, as it happens. Sometimes coffee (caffeine) helps but not consistently. I’ll have to give yerba mate a try.

My standard joke is that I only drink herbal tea because proper tea is theft.

3 Likes

Couple of BR friends here drink it — “Chimarrão” as it is called in the south of Brasil.

Pronounced like “shee-ma-rrauhm” :smiley:

I like the paraphernalia and the traditional cups which are made from hollowing gourds. Some are really cool with inlaid rings in tin and they look better as they get visibly used.

Nicest thing, while preparing the tea and pushing more mate into it, it forms a little green hill on top and it looks like a tiny landscape which is wonderful to look at and sort of connects you with the region where it comes from (I imagine).

I’m not a tea guy, though…

3 Likes