Yerba mate is an energizing drink. In Argentina and Paraguay this is the national drink. It is made from the leaves of Ilex paraguayensis, a tree from South America. The leaves of this tree contain a lot of caffeine (up to 2%) and various vitamins. Just like coffee and tea are generally drunk here, mate is a very popular drink. It has a typical aroma, characteristic of yerba mate.
In the traditional way, yerba mate is prepared according to a ceremonial ritual in South America. A special cup and straw are then used to filter the drink. Often this is made of silver and with many decorations. The leaves are dried and shredded and then poured with boiling water for several minutes.
The drink offers mental focus and clarity. Often one feels a mental energy and one comes into a state in which everything can be remembered better and can concentrate longer. This, however, without physical restlessness, which often occurs after drinking strong coffee. The effects of yerba mate persist for a long time and are used for studying, calculations and other cerebral activity in which the right focus is important.
Yerba mate was already used in pre-Columbian times in Paraguay, before the Spaniards arrived in early 1500. In the early 16th century, Spanish explorer Juan de Solís reported that the Guarani Indians in Paraguay made a tea from leaves that ‘relieved them of fatigue and gave them happiness and energy’. Another name for yerba mate was Paraguay Tea. In the Andes, yerba mate soon became a popular drink that was drunk in a social setting.
Add hot water to 1/4 cup of powder for tea.