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How to use Yerba Mate

The Traditional Yerba Mate Method

This method is the easiest, safest, and best method to drink Yerba Mate in order to benefit from its nutritional and chemical content. It is also the world’s most popular method. It is often enjoyed alone or with the addition of breads, sweets, croissants, crackers, etc. It is generally consumed 3-5 times per day in Yerba Mate cultures; current research supports drinking tea throughout the day using this method.

Advantages

  • Extracts the most nutrients with the least amount of water.
  • The use of the gourd and bombilla are the easiest, safest, and best method to drink Yerba Mate in order to benefit from its nutritional and chemical content.

Disadvantages

  • The greatest number of steps to master its preparation. All other methods require less steps in the preparation of the tea
  • Requires the development of a relationship between you and a gourd.

Easiest Explanation

  1. Pour some yerba mate into your cured gourd.
  2. Pour warm water onto part of the yerba mate.
  3. Relax as the yerba mate awakens.
  4. Put straw into the yerba mate.
  5. Pour in hot water and drink.

Detailed Explanation

  1. Fill cured gourd between a little more than half full to 2/3 full of yerba mate and optional smaller dried additives (e.g., other herbs or small fruit peels). Tilt gourd until yerba mate and additives are along side of gourd arriving near the top (shown in green).

  1. Optional Step- Cover with hand, turn upside down, and shake vigorously to help prepare the yerba mate. This moves the smaller leaf particles to the top in order to prevent the straw (bombilla) from clogging. Turn it back over carefully on its side. Try to keep the yerba inclined along one side during the entire preparation and drinking process.
  2. Before the straw (bombilla) is put in, pour slightly hot water onto the bottom half of the yerba mate. Only a little tepid water (140-158 degrees Fahrenheit or 60-70 degrees Celsius) is added to the bottom half of the tea.
  3. Wait until the water disappears. The water will soak into the yerba and allow it to become moist. This helps awaken the herb.
  4. Insert filter end of straw at an angle into the deepest part of the yerba mate as the above image demonstrates. Straw may be used to first pack the yerba mate along side of gourd if yerba mate has fallen.
  5. Pour hot water that is not boiling onto the base of the yerba mate, then drink. Try to wet as little of the yerba near the top when filling the gourd with water. The temperature of the water is a personal choice. Do not use very hot water; as one could burn the throat. This concept applies to all hot liquids: very hot coffee, soup, or tea is dangerous for our throats. Still, people will push the boundaries in an effort to extract even more chemicals and nutrients or for the pleasure they might find in drinking very hot drinks. Don’t burn yourself: find a safe level between (160-185 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 – 85 degrees Celsius).
  6. Drink! Optional: add larger additives like mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, honey, or lemon juice (to name a few) into the gourd as desired.
    • Some people love the first sip because it is the most nutrient rich. Others do not like the first sip because it is either too strong or the temperature of the tea is too cool for their enjoyment. For those that dislike the first sip, they will discard it before swallowing.
  7. Repeat step 7 until you have had enough. When bubbles no longer longer form on top of the water, the the tea has run out of many of its nutrients. As you drink it, try to wet as little of the yerba near the top when filling the gourd with water; this will help make the tea last longer. This helps to create the needed suction to extract the nutrients and protect the straw from getting clogged.

General Traditional Method Benefit Note:

Jane Higdon, Ph.D, Oregon State University, writes that it may be difficult to drink enough of a tea “to reach sufficient plasma and tissue levels of tea polyphenols to realize a protective effect.” The American Chemical Society supports this claim by noting that the “direct measurements in people’s blood” when using a tea without the gourd and straw are “typically less than one-tenth” the amount shown to produce any significant result. (2003) Fortunately, the Traditional Method of consuming Yerba Mate increases your ability to gain its many benefits. Laboratory tests confirm that drinking mate via the Traditional Method may be the only way to receive certain benefits (Bixby, 2005; c.v. Palermo, 2003).

Drinking very little water with tea is an ancient and important principle that should be considered when drinking yerba mate. One can not safely recommend drinking copious amounts of water with it. The Traditional Method of drinking Yerba Mate with gourd and straw, which uses very little water, is the most effective way to benefit from it’s many nutritive values (Bixby, 2005: Life Science).

The YerbaCup Method

A Yerba Mate serving cup that eliminates the need to pour water while maintaining as close to the principles of the traditional method as possible. The YerbaCup® design is the worlds most popular and accepted version; it easily extracts the nutrients and compounds that help support a balanced living. It follows the basic principle of the traditional method by using a built in straw with a built in water chamber; allowing for less water with more nutrients.

Advantages

  • Makes enjoying Yerba Mate easy when commuting to work, sitting in class, or whenever you’re in a hurry.

Disadvantages

  • Does not have the flavor enhancement of the traditional gourd.
  • Does not work as well with leaf only brands of Yerba Mate.

Easiest Explanation

  1. Fill lower basin full with hot water.
  2. Fill upper colored cup full with yerba mate tea.
  3. Suck through straw to enjoy the benefits of this totally new method.

Detailed Explanation

  1. Pour hot water that is not boiling onto the base of the Yerba Cup. Don’t burn yourself: find a safe level between (160-185 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 – 85 degrees Celsius).
  2. Fill upper basin (colored part)full of yerba mate and optional smaller dried additives (e.g., other herbs or small fruit peels). Put plastic lid/straw over upper basin.
  3. Optional Step- Turn upper colored basin upside down, and shake vigorously to help prepare the yerba mate. This moves the smaller leaf particles to the top in order to prevent the straw (bombilla) from clogging.
  4. Place upper basin over lower basin.
  5. Drink and enjoy!
  • Optional Step – Wait until the first sip of water soaks into the tea. This will allow the Yerba Mate to become moist and helps to create more suction to extract more nutrients.
  • Optional Step – Add larger additives like mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, honey, or lemon juice (to name a few) into the uppper basin as desired.
  • Optional Step – Some people love the first sip because it is the most nutrient rich. Others do not like the first sip because it is either too strong or the temperature of the tea is too cool for their enjoyment. For those that dislike the first sip, they will discard it before swallowing.
  • Be sure to follow the reccomended use procedures.

The Terere Yerba Mate Method

Terere is especially popular in Paraguay and Brazil. Terere is made similarly to the Traditional Method yet Juice or cold water with ice cubes is used in place of the hot water. It is often enjoyed alone or with the addition of breads, sweets, croissants, crackers, etc.

Advantages

  • No need for heating up water.
  • Can use juice for the most combinations of nutrients and flavor, while still extracting nutrients from the yerba mate.
  • Gets more nutrients and chemicals from the yerba mate than from Mate Coido.
  • Less steps than the Traditional Method.

Disadvantages

  • Does not extract as many nutrients as a Yerba Cup or the Traditional Method.
  • Requires the development of a relationship between you and a gourd..
  • Easiest Explanation
  • Pour some yerba mate into your cured gourd.
  • Put straw into yerba mate.
  • Pour Juice or very cold water with an ice cube onto some of the yerba mate.
  • Drink

Flavors or Additives

  • All of the additives used in the Traditional Method are commonly used with Terere, but Terere benefits from the additional nutrients in many juices.
  • Some of the more popular juices to use are lime, orange, lemon, mango, peach, or grapefruit. Combinations of these juices as well as other juices help make Terere a unique, nutritional option for extracting the nutrients of the tea into your favorite juice.
  • Yerba Mate drinkers have experimented with an endless variety of juices; even beer and lime cola have their supporters. Just replace the water with Juice

The Yerba Mate French Press Method

French press; bitterness can be reduced with Sweetener. Use very little tea (3 grams per cup of water); higher tea ratios are only traditionaly used with gourds.

Drip coffee maker; yerba mate can back up some filters as it awakens, so watch water level in filter during first use. Use very little tea (3 grams per cup of water); higher tea ratios are only traditionally used with gourds.

The Yerba Mate Tea Ball Method

Tea balls; lack of suction keeps some nutrients trapped in tea.

The Yerba Mate Cocido Method

Mate Cocido follows the opposite principle of the Traditional Method or YerbaCup: instead of using as little water as possible to extract the most nutrients, one uses a lot of water to extract the least amount of nutrients. Mate Cocido is 3 grams of Mate soaked in 8-12 ounces of water.

Advantages

  • Easiest preparation.
  • Does not require a bombilla.
  • Available as little tea bags.
  • Does not require you to develop a relationship with a gourd.
  • Can use juice.

Disadvantages

  • The Traditional, YerbaCup, and Terere Methods all provide approximately 50 grams of Yerba Mate nutrients, while the Mate Cocido only extracts nutrients from 3 grams of Yerba Mate.
  • Many nutrients are not extracted from the tea because there is no suction, so the result is less nutrient rich than all other methods.

Easiest Explanation

  1. Add 3 grams of yerba mate into your cured gourd or any other cup.
  2. One can use a tea bag, tea scoop, or place the tea in loose if you have a bombilla.
  3. Pour 8-12 ounces of Juice, very cold water, or hot water into the gourd or cup.
  4. Drink
  • Optional: All of the additives used in the Traditional and Terere Methods are commonly used with Mate Cocido.

Comments

Comment from LLOYD WILSON
Time March 5, 2012 at 6:53 PM

I cannot seem to locate this eae in Windsor,Ont. Canada i really enjoy this tea and find it good for my energy level

Comment from ATTA
Time April 21, 2012 at 10:44 AM

i love mate tea, went 2 syria in 2008 & got 6 mate ( 250 gm), till now using & only left around 100 gm. In india no mate & dont know how to get yarpa mate.

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