Yerba Mate

Cuisine: Uruguayan
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cup
Research points to the fact that there are many reasons to love yerba mate. Some people cannot live without it and yet for others it tastes too bitter. It's an acquired taste worth acquiring!

Yerba mate is an herb that grows in areas of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile.

Drinking mate with friends is a common social practice in these countries, especially in Uruguay and Argentina. Mate is consumed from a traditional hollow gourd (sometimes also called guampa). This is a metal container that is filled with hot water and the yerba mate herbs.  The tea is sipped through a metallic straw (called a bombilla). In a social setting, friends pass the drink from person to person refilling with hot water from a thermos when necessary!

The drink is so embedded in the culture that when you’re walking the streets of Uruguay you can see people walking around drinking mate. There are even hot water stations on the road so that you can refill your thermal bottle when you finish the tea!

Yerba mate is also said to have amazing health benefits such as increased energy, concentration and mental focus. No wonder they make so many energy drinks using mate!



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  1. Pour some yerba mate tea into your mate cup (until it is ¾ full)
  2. Pour warm water onto part of the yerba mate.
  3. The yerba is now getting wet and the infusion is starting to take place. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Put mate straw into the wet yerba mate tea.
  5. Pour in hot water softly. Add sugar to taste to the mate if you want to sweeten it and drink yerba mate. Your tea is ready to drink!

Chef Notes

The basic utensils for sipping yerba mate tea are the following, and can be found in many Uruguayan or Argentine specialty stores: Pava – Kettle Mate – Gourd Bombilla – Metallic Straw

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