What is Yerba Mate and why should you drink it?

What is Yerba Mate and why should you drink it?

In recent years, the world of caffeinated drink options has expanded significantly. Walk down a drinks aisle in the grocery store and you’ll be bombarded with options of all kinds in a rainbow of cans and bottles. But with a rising interest in healthier living, a new leader in energizing beverages has managed to cut through the noise and rise to the top. Enter yerba mate - a naturally-derived, healthy, energy-boosting, and delicious alternative to coffee jitters and sugary energy drinks. While the magic of yerba mate might be new to some, the energizing drink actually has a long history of tradition behind it, as well as extensive research on the many beneficial ingredients and effects on the body. It was really only a matter of time before yerba mate would emerge in the global market as a crowd favorite. 

What is yerba mate? 

Yerba mate is a form of herbal tea that originates from South America and is widely popular across the region and in some countries in the Middle East. Made from the dried leaves and stems of the Ilex paraguariensis, a plant member of the holly family, yerba mate has a distinct, slightly bitter, earthy taste when brewed. Yerba mate is considered by many to be a superfood, not only for its high caffeine content, but also for its many antioxidants, nutrients, and health benefits. 

Yerba mate is an energizing stimulant that contains higher levels of beneficial alkaloids than coffee and green tea that help to boost concentration, focus, and reduce blood pressure. With coffee on the high end and green tea on the lower end of caffeine content, one cup of yerba mate typically sits somewhere between the two. Yerba mate’s caffeinated effects have been described as equally energizing, yet smoother overall, with less unpleasant side effects like feeling jittery, anxious, and experiencing a crash afterwards that some anticipate with coffee or sugary energy drinks. 

The benefits of yerba mate don’t stop with that even boost of energy. Similar to green tea, yerba mate contains high levels of antioxidants and beneficial vitamins, is anti-inflammatory, and can promote a healthy heart and digestion. 

South Americans knew they were onto something long before the many health benefits of yerba mate were discovered. Historically, the drink was enjoyed alongside a social, traditional ritual. The name “yerba mate” actually translates to “gourd herb.” The “gourd” refers to the traditional drinking vessel, which is a hollowed out gourd, also called a calabash. In addition to the calabash, yerba mate was traditionally drunk through a straw specifically created for enjoying mate called a bombilla, which has a filter at the base to keep out stems and leaves. Traditionally, people would come together outdoors to enjoy yerba mate together. Sitting in a circle, the ceremony leader known as the cebador would begin by filling the calabash about ⅔ of the way with leaves then add hot (but not boiling) water to release the flavor. The mate would be passed around the circle, with the cebador topping off the drink with more hot water. 

Unsurprisingly, the magic of yerba mate has since spread across the world and become a fan favorite. Now, yerba mate comes in many forms: as loose leaf tea, in packets, and more recently, in energy drinks. High-profile athletes are powered by it, including recent FIFA World Cup Champion Lionel Messi and his entire Argentina team, as well as fellow soccer star Cristiano Rinaldo. Students have switched from sugary energy drinks to yerba mate to assist with late-night study marathons, without the crash. Late night party-goers looking for alternatives to binge-drinking are turning to - you guessed it - yerba mate. 

YATÉ (pronounced ya-tay) is a yerba mate option for the health-conscious individual looking for a caffeine boost at any hour of the day or night. Calling back to the traditional roots of yerba mate, which was meant to be enjoyed as a social activity with friends and loved ones, YATÉ was created with nightlife and music in mind. YATÉ is a modern and natural yerba mate interpretation with a sparkling, refreshing taste and low sugar and caloric content that provides that boost of energy needed for a night out on the dancefloor. Find more about YATÉ here.

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