Can Yerba Maté Tea Improve the Look of Your Skin?

AGE SPOTS

Did you know that there is an enzyme that is linked to age spots and sun spots? Yerba Mate Tea works on that enzyme and lessens its effect. So, when you drink yerba mate, you might see less aging and discoloration.

PUFFINESS

Because yerba mate is a powerful antioxidant, it reduces puffiness in the skin.

WRINKLES AND FINE LINES

The antioxidant effect also works on lines on the face, the classic sign of aging.

UV DAMAGE

Vitamin C in the yerba helps supports the skins effort to protect itself from UV damage.

REDNESS AND RUDDINESS

The Tumeric in our DETOX blend helps the skin immensely. It helps to reduce the redness caused by inflammation.

In addition to the yerba, good skin comes from whole real foods that nourish and encourage moisture in the skin. You will also want to drink water throughout the day (not flavored water!) starting with warm lemon water in the morning.  It is true that good skin starts from the inside.

Source: LoveFromArgentina

8 Health Benefits of Yerba Mate (Backed by Science)

Yerba mate is a traditional South American drink that’s gaining worldwide popularity.

It’s said to have the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the joy of chocolate.

Here are the top 8 health benefits of yerba mate.

What Is Yerba Mate?

Yerba mate is an herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant.

The leaves are typically dried over a fire, then steeped in hot water to make the tea.

Yerba mate is traditionally consumed from a container called a gourd and sipped with a metal straw that has a filter at its lower end to strain out the leaf fragments.

Sharing it from this traditional gourd is said to be a sign of friendship and bonding.

Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients

Yerba mate contains several beneficial plant nutrients, including (1):

  • Xanthines: These compounds act as stimulants. They include caffeine and theobromine, which are also found in tea, coffee, and chocolate.
  • Caffeoyl derivatives: These compounds are the main health-promoting antioxidants in the tea.
  • Saponins: These bitter compounds have certain anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.
  • Polyphenols: This is a large group of antioxidants, linked to a reduced risk of many diseases.

Interestingly, the antioxidant power of yerba mate tea seems to be slightly higher than that of green tea (2).

What’s more, yerba mate may contain seven out of nine essential amino acids, in addition to nearly every vitamin and mineral your body needs (13).

However, the tea contains very small amounts of these nutrients, so it’s unlikely to make a large contribution to your diet on its own.

Can Boost Energy and Improve Mental Focus

At 85 mg of caffeine per cup, yerba mate contains less caffeine than coffee but more than a cup of tea (4).

Therefore, just like any other caffeinated food or beverage, it may increase your energy levels and make you feel less tired.

Caffeine can also affect the levels of certain signaling molecules in your brain, making it particularly beneficial for your mental focus (56).

Several human studies observed improved alertness, short-term recall and reaction time in participants who consumed a single dose containing 37.5–450 mg of caffeine (7).

Additionally, those who regularly consume yerba mate often rave that it enhances alertness like coffee — but without the jittery side effects.

However, these testimonials have not yet been scientifically proven.

May Enhance Physical Performance

Caffeine is also known to improve muscle contractions, reduce fatigue, and improve sports performance by up to 5% (891011).

Since yerba mate contains a moderate amount of caffeine, those drinking it can expect similar physical performance benefits.

In fact, in one study, those given one 1-gram capsule of ground yerba mate leaves right before exercise burned 24% more fat during moderate-intensity exercise (12).

A higher reliance on fat for fuel during exercise spares your carb reserves for critical high-intensity moments, such as cycling up a hill or sprinting towards the finish line. This could translate into better sports performance.

The optimal amount of yerba mate to drink before exercise is currently unknown.

May Protect Against Infections

Yerba mate may help prevent infections from bacteria, parasites, and fungi.

One test-tube study found that a high dose of yerba mate extract deactivated E. coli, a bacteria that causes food poisoning symptoms like stomach cramps and diarrhea (1314).

Compounds in yerba mate may also prevent the growth of Malassezia furfur, a fungus responsible for scaly skin, dandruff, and certain skin rashes (15).

Finally, research suggests that compounds in it may provide some protection against intestinal parasites (1).

Nevertheless, most of these studies were done on isolated cells. It’s currently unclear if these benefits are the same for humans, and more research is needed (1617).

May Help You Lose Weight and Belly Fat

Animal studies show that yerba mate may reduce appetite and boost metabolism, which can help with weight loss (18).

It seems to decrease the total number of fat cells and reduce the amount of fat they hold (19).

Human research suggests that it can also increase the amount of stored fat that’s burned for energy (1220).

Furthermore, in a 12-week study in overweight people, those given 3 grams of yerba mate powder per day lost an average of 1.5 pounds (0.7 kg). They also reduced their waist-to-hip ratio by 2%, which indicates lost belly fat (21).

In comparison, the participants given a placebo gained an average of 6.2 pounds (2.8 kg) and increased their waist-to-hip ratio by 1% over the same 12-week period (21).

May Boost Your Immune System

Yerba mate contains saponins, which are natural compounds with anti-inflammatory properties (122).

In addition, it provides small amounts of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and zinc. These antioxidants can strengthen your immune system and promote health (2324).

However, researchers have not yet investigated the direct effects of yerba mate on the human immune system.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

Yerba mate may help lower blood sugar and reduce the complications of diabetes.

In fact, a recent animal study reports that it may improve insulin signaling (25).

It may also reduce the formation of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), which are involved in the development and worsening of many diseases (2627).

However, research in people is currently lacking.

May Lower Your Risk of Heart Disease

Yerba mate contains antioxidant compounds, such as caffeoyl derivatives and polyphenols, which may protect against heart disease.

Cell and animal studies also report that mate extract may provide some protection against heart disease (2829).

In humans, yerba mate seems to reduce cholesterol levels.

In one 40-day study, participants who drank 11 ounces (330 ml) of yerba mate each day lowered their “bad” LDL cholesterol levels by 8.6–13.1% (30).

That said, more studies are needed before strong conclusions can be reached.

Reference: Healthline

Everything You Need to Know About” Yerba Mate Tea”, The Argentine Super-Beverage

If you’re looking for a boost of energy that doesn’t come from an espresso bean, look no further than yerba mate tea.

Yerba Mate tastes like a tea and hits you like a coffee — and yet, it’s technically neither. If you’re looking for a boost of energy that doesn’t come from an espresso bean, look no further than this South American super-beverage made of the steeped leaves and twigs of an indigenous plant, which has been providing locals with a natural pick-me-up for centuries.

The drink itself dates back to the pre-Columbian era when the local Guaraní people in Paraguay discovered and started to aggressively cultivate the Ilex paraguariensis plant (a member of the holly family), dry the leaves and twigs, and drink them in hot water — mainly as a wellness beverage. Once the Spanish colonized Paraguay in the seventeenth century, they too began drinking it, and it became the country’s chief export. Other South American countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile grew the crop as well, and even after the arrival of coffee and other kinds of tea in South America, Yerba Mate remained one of the most popular drinks in the area.

Strong, bitter, and vegetal, Yerba Mate has a very distinctive taste that, like coffee, can require adjusting to. “It’s very expressive, like this euphoric experience,” says Ashleigh Parsons, of the Los Angeles hotspot Alma at The Standard, who used to live in Argentina. Depending on how much you consume, she says, “It can feel very trippy. The caffeine in it can really give you this high.”

There’s even a time-honored ritual around the consumption of Yerba Mate that celebrates this sensation — usually in a park, or some kind of outside gathering spot. That ritual is described in the name, Yerba Mate, which translates to “gourd herb,” referring to the standard way of drinking the beverage. The practice requires a mate (or dried gourd), a bombilla, (a special straw for drinking that filters out the tea leaves), and a thermos, for transporting the hot water. During the drinking process, individuals will sit in a circle, and one person (called the cebador) will fill the mate about two-thirds the way full with the leaves, add a little bit of warm water to release the flavors, put the bombilla into the mate at an angle (to ensure the straw doesn’t get plugged up), and finally top it off with hot water (never boiling, as that will burn the leaves). The gourd gets passed around, and everyone takes a sip through the bombilla. (A tip: never use the bombilla to stir, this is considered very impolite!).

There are tons of different types of both mates and bombillas, and in South America, each person will usually have his or her own unique one. While mates are, most traditionally, made of actual gourds, they can also be made with ceramic and wood and painted decoratively. Bombillas, too, can be made with various materials, including silver, stainless steel, and bamboo.

As the gourd gets passed around, it will keep getting refilled with hot water, with each subsequent pour intensifying the taste of the leaves. If bitter isn’t your thing, you can always add sugar or milk to your Yerba Mate — though if you want to drink as the locals do, you’ll take it without any add-ons. As far as food pairings, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to Yerba Mate, but it’s not uncommon to see pastries or crackers served alongside the drink.

Of course, this elaborate process isn’t the only way people drink Yerba Mate. Just as we drink our morning coffee, many South Americans will prepare a thermos of Yerba Mate, drinking it throughout the day for a burst of energy.

Still, according to Parsons, the act of passing around the mate in South America is widely considered to be “an art and a conversational piece,” she says. “It’s this communal beverage, and the entire ritual of drinking it is meant to be connective and celebratory.”

Yerba Mate, of course, eventually migrated over to the U.S., and over the last couple of years, it has become a popular ingredient in everything from health elixirs to energy drinks — hailed not only as an energy booster, but also as a means for weight loss, concentration, and better digestion. You can also buy the loose leaves at most specialty grocery stores to make the drink at home. And if you want to get the full Yerba Mate experience, Parsons says, you can even order a mate and a bombilla online, gather some friends, and enjoy the beauty of the South American ritual for yourself.

Reference: Food&Wine.com

Top 7 Ingredients To Add To Your Mate

Although many hardcore materos out there would most likely laugh at the idea of adding anything other than yerba to their mate, it is not at all uncommon to “pimp up” your drink with all kinds of delicious flavors. There are several reasons why you would want to add different ingredients to your yerba, but most people do it in order to weaken the naturally bitter taste of the infusion.

Orange or lemon peels

It is no secret that mate may cause Heartburn. Some materos have the habit of adding small bits of orange or lemon peels in order to neutralize the acidity in their stomachs while giving a “twist” to the taste of their mate. Before the peels can be added to the infusion, they must be dried first, roasted through direct fire exposure and then cut into small pieces. Only then, can they be mixed with the Yerba. The main question seems to be: Is it worth the trouble?

Coffee

Those who are not able to decide between yerba mate and coffee, tend to try and get the best of both worlds. The combination of coffee powder with yerba mate is an explosive drink with high levels of caffeine, making it the perfect mix to kick start your day. This mix can be prepared by adding 2 spoons of sugar and 1/2 a spoon of coffee powder to your yerba mate infusion.

Mate with Brandy (aguardiente)

Mixing mate with booze is an old tradition, which remains very much alive in the northern regions of Argentina and southern Brazil. It is very common, especially during those typical cold winter evenings, which haunt the Pampas during the months of June and July. This mixture is prepared by first soaking the yerba with a dose of distilled alcohol, like brandy or cachaça.  Water is added only after the yerba has absorbed the alcohol. A fresh dose of booze may be added from time to time. The advantage is that this mix will warm you up incredibly fast. The disadvantage is that it might be harder to swallow than a dose of kerosene.

Mountain herbs

Those who enjoy medicinal plants will absolutely love this one. Another popular way to pimp up your mate is to add herbs like peppermint, peperina, and balm. This should give a whole new healthy and refreshing touch to your infusion, similar to wellness teas found in your local drugstore.

Mate with honey and Kidron

If you are the type who despises the bitterness of mate, then this might just be the perfect mix for you. Just add in a spoon of honey with a few Kidron leaves and you are all set to go. Again, the hardcore materos might argue that this completely takes away the essence of drinking mate and they are actually right.

Milk

This is definitely the most controversial of mixes. To prepare your milky mate mix, just add hot milk to the yerba, instead of water. This was actually very popular with the ladies in the old days. They believed that drinking milk with mate helped to boost their breast milk production.

Mate with beer

This is not a common mix, but it does deserve a place in our list just for being such a daring mix. According to a poll done by the  Instituto Nacional de la Yerba Mate (INYM), 2% of the materos like to substitute water with beer. This is a practice that is still in its initial stages and we hope it remains that way.

Reference: YerbaMateBlog

The Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is a great and healthy drink. Most of the newcomers usually stumble upon mate, while searching for other topics such as weight loss and healthy foods. I guess the one article that no yerba mate site can do without, is an article explaining the health benefits of yerba mate. So without further adieu, here are my first (of hopefully several) articles on this subject.

Everything written here is based on analysis and studies of yerba mate, which have revealed a composition of various nutritional, physiological and medicinal properties in the product. The book Erva Mate published in 1991 by the master in botany Renato Kaspary and Eunice Valduga’s Master’s Degree dissertation helped shed some real light in the topic of the health benefits of drinking yerba mate. Many of the articles found on the web are actually based on or are translations of these two works.

The Chemical Composition of Yerba Mate

Studies have shown that yerba mate is made up of Alkaloids (caffeine, methylxanthine, theophylline, and theobromine), tannins (caffeic and folic acid), vitamins (A, B1, B2, C and E), minerals (aluminum, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium), proteins (essential amino acids), glucides (fructose, glucose, raffinose, and sucrose), lipids (essential oils and waxy substances), as well as cellulose, dextrin and saccharin.

According to Kaspary:

Yerba mate is considered an almost complete food because it contains almost all the necessary nutrients to our body.

Also worthy of mention, is the extensive list of therapeutic properties of yerba mate, partially due to the presence of alkaloids, such as caffeine, in its composition. So let’s take a closer look at some of these therapeutic properties:

Physical & Mental Stimulation

Yerba mate, stands out, as a natural stimulate, assisting in mental and physical activity and acting beneficially on the nerves and muscles to eliminate fatigue. It has also been observed that the stimulating effect of mate is longer than that of coffee without leaving residual or side effects such as insomnia and irritability.

Anti-aging & Cell Regeneration

Yerba mate has a higher antioxidant capacity than green tea. A brew of yerba mate has an ORAC rating of over 6,000 units, whereas green tea has an ORAC rating of about 2,000. This means that yerba mate may have the ability to prevent heart disease, lower cholesterol, and slow the growth of cancer cells.

Studies show it is as powerful a cell protector as vitamin C, reducing the effects of aging as well as protecting against other diseases.

Digestion & Weight Loss

Yerba mate acts on the digestive tract as well, helping digestion and facilitating evacuation and urination. I’m sure all of you have felt the urge to visit the toilet after drinking just a couple of gourds. Am I right or am I right? 🙂

It’s weight loss benefits come partially from the caffeine it contains. Caffeine helps in accelerating the metabolism process and, consequently, in burning fat.

In addition, yerba mate contains xanthines, which are known to boost your metabolic rate by 10%.  Mate is considered thermogenic and diuretic. These characteristics are essential for weight loss.

All in all, mate is a great beverage to accompany meals as it helps to refresh the palette and it also helps aid nutrient absorption, whereas tea, coffee, and fizzy pop can all inhibit nutrient absorption.

Antidepressant Properties

According to various researches done by international institutes, mate can eliminate depressive states. It provides a sense of wellness and vigor in the body without causing any side effect like depression, palpitations or nervous agitation caused by other similar beverages.

Sexual functions

Yerba mate contains high proportions of vitamin E, which is known to aid in regulating sexual function, besides being an indispensable element for the skin.

Other vitamins

The analysis made ​​with the leaves of yerba mate shows that this plant contains, in large scale, vitamins of the B complex as well as other vitamins like:

  • calcium
  • magnesium
  • sodium
  • iron
  • fluorine life-essential minerals.

Yerba mate is rich in pantothenic acid found in a smaller scale in the royal jelly of bees, much sought after for the medicinal properties it possesses.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this first post about the health benefits of yerba mate. I will be writing more in the future as well as translating some popular Brazilian articles on how to use mate to keep yourself in shape for the summer and that stuff.

We have seen that yerba mate can do wonders for your health, but all this health talk makes it sound like some kind of herbal medicine and not the “social drink” that it’s really meant to be.

Reference: YerbaMateBlog

Top Celebrities who Drinks Mate

It’s no secret that yerba mate has come a long way from the Pampas of South America to tea houses and mate circles around the world. In this article, you will meet our top 5 international celebrities materos.

Pope Francis

The first place goes to Pope Francis himself. The Pontiff was born and raised in Argentina and the fact that he now occupies the highest pedestal of the Catholic Church hasn’t stopped him from holding on to his Argentine roots. This and the fact that he is clearly more awesome than the German Pope before him makes him the absolute top matero on this list.

Alicia Silverstone

Scoring 5th place in our top 5 matero list is Alicia Silverstone. This muse of the 90s starred in Aerosmith video clips but is perhaps best known for her role as the bitchy Cher Horowitz in Clueless. I haven’t seen Alicia on TV for a while, but she now has a blog called The Kind Life, where she regularly posts fitness tips. In one of her posts, she has revealed yerba mate to be one of her favorite alternatives to drinking coffee.

Madonna

The Queen of pop graciously takes spot number 4 on our top 5 matero list. Nobody doubts her wonderful energy that allows even today, more than three decades into her career, to still deliver great action packed concerts. So what’s her secret? A while back her personal trainer, Nicole Winhofer, gave this statement to Allure Magazine:

“She takes supplements of natural origin with ginseng and yerba mate”.

Anthony Kiedis

Number 3 on our list goes to the leader of one of the greatest bands of all time, Anthony Kiedis, of course! Kiedis has admitted that he found in yerba mate, the energy he needs to prepare for his shows. If that is where he gets all the energy he needs for his shows, we don’t know, but here is what he told TVNZ.com back in 2007:

“About an hour before [the show] I start drinking some Yerba Mate. You know what that is? It’s a South American coffee product& a mild stimulant. It’s like caffeine, sort of.”

Viggo Mortensen

And the second place goes to Viggo Mortensen, of course. Originally from New York, he spent part of his childhood in Argentina, where he acquired the habit of drinking yerba mate and a strange fanatism for San Lorenzo de Almargo Football Club. Mortensen drinks yerba mate regularly and takes it with him wherever he goes.

Not long ago, he was held by airport security officers who confused his yerba mate for something a little less legal. You can read the full story here or check out my own experience with yerba mate in airports here.

Reference: YerbaMateBlog

How Much Yerba Mate Should You Drink?

How much yerba mate should you drink? I guess there is no single answer to this question because much depends on the habits, health, and particularities of each consumer. Despite this, it is safe to say that excesses should always be avoided.

In general, there is no limitation to how much yerba mate you can drink. However, some situations deserve more precautions and moderate consumption.

According to research published by respected medical sources, it is necessary to limit quantities if you suffer from any health conditions which require you to control fluid intake, such as kidney diseases. The same recommendation applies to those with a stomach or intestinal condition since the mate is an intestinal stimulant.

Special care should also be taken by people who take diuretics for hypertension problems, as mate will amplify the diuretic effect.

Drinking Yerba Mate During Pregnancy

According to the American Pregnancy Association, pregnant women should decrease their caffeine intake to about 150 to 300 mg a day, limiting the exposure to the fetus, which lacks the necessary enzymes to metabolize caffeine. A standard mate contains about 90 mg o caffeine per cup, which suggests that drinking up to 3 cups a day should be completely harmless. At least, according to the American Pregnancy Association.

A 2005 study carried out in Southern Brazil, monitored 5000 pregnant women of which 70% admitted drinking yerba mate daily. The results showed that contrary to the hypothesis, no harmful effect on intrauterine growth or duration of pregnancy was detected. In South America, as Mate is the National Drink of Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil, mate is safely consumed by thousands of women during pregnancy.

No matter what the studies say, the safest bet here is to keep consumption under the 300mg/day limit. If possible, avoid the first brew which contains the most amount of caffeine.

Yerba Mate and Sleep

People who have difficulty sleeping should avoid drinking mate after 6 p.m., but in this regard, it is necessary to say that not all people react the same to the stimulating effect. But for this reason, people who are irritated or easily stressed should consider restraining their consumption of mate.

Yerba Mate and Cancer

Much has been written and speculated about whether yerba mate can or cannot cause cancer. The absolute truth now is that there is no proof that drinking yerba mate can cause cancer in any way. It has, however, been observed that drinking large amounts of hot liquids over long periods of time may lead to esophageal cancer. Due to this, it is recommended to avoid consuming yerba mate at very high temperatures.

Drinking yerba mate at moderate temperatures is not only healthier but helps lessen the bitterness of the infusion as well as prolonging the taste of each serving.

Yerba Mate and Obesity

Another issue to consider is the snacks usually consumed when drinking mate, which may themselves be bad for your health. Healthy mate is bitter mate. Adding sugar to the infusion incorporates empty calories to the drink, which add no beneficial nutrients.

Avoid drinking mate together with foods containing a high percentage of carbohydrates and fats, like cookies, biscuits, and cakes. An excess of mate may potentiate the stimulatory effect and generate too much excitability. Also, remember that mate has a diuretic effect, which on hot days can cause dehydration.

So as you can see, apart from some situations where you need to be cautious, mate is a faithful companion that has no major contraindications.

References: Circleofdrink, Clubdelmate, “Mate drinking during pregnancy and risk of preterm and small for gestational age birth,” Journal of Nutrition, 2005. “Cancer and yerba mate consumption: a review of possible associations”. 2009

“Yerba Mate & Ginger” – A Fantastic Combination

All of you mate puritans out there will probably curse me for this, but today I would like to suggest a brand new aggregate for your mate. We all know that roses are red and mate is bitter, but sometimes it pays off to take a stride down a different road and see what lies ahead.

For those of you who follow this blog, you may already know that I presently live in Shanghai. It is not the most mate friendly place in the world, but in some ways, it has contributed a lot to my matetivity (mate + creativity). The reason being that necessity is indeed the mother of all improvisions and trust me…here you HAVE to improvise. I have always been a great fan of Chinese cuisine and I often describe it as being awfully Multi-Dimensional as opposed to our 1-dimensional recipes in the West. You see, western dishes are either sweet or sour or salty. A well prepared Chinese dish, however, will take you from sweet to sour and from salty to spicy in just a couple of bites and one prominent ingredient in most of these dishes is, of course, ginger.

Don’t get me wrong, I like my mate to remain as criollo as possible, but I admit that I have been experimenting quite a lot lately. One of such experiments happened sometime last year. The winter in Shanghai can be surprisingly brutal and I ended up catching a pretty nasty cold.  I remember my good old grandma was always talking about how ginger and honey were good medicines for cold. Or perhaps it was honey and lemon? Or even perhaps ginger and brandy?!? Well…I don’t remember anymore, but I did have ginger at home, so I thought: Ginger and mate? What the hell!  Long story short, I was pleased with the result and I think you might be too.

Mate & Ginger, How to?

The idea is quite simple, really. Just cut a few thin slices from ginger root. The slices should be about 1 cm wide. After that, place most of the slices at the bottom of your mate and use the few remaining ones to scrub around the inner walls of your mate. This will work particularly well if you have a wooden mate or gourd.

With each drinking cycle, the ginger will release it’s citric, fresh and spicy flavor right into the infusion. The result is a radical mix, which you will either love or hate.

Medicinal Properties

Ginger is a very powerful ingredient and can promote a series of positive effects on the human body. It is a natural analgesic and if consumed regularly it may help prevent rheumatic and menstrual cramps. It also promotes expectoration, so its an ideal substance to relieve cold symptoms. Ginger has also been known to contain some anticoagulant action, which helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Finally, ginger has effects on the nervous system. It is a natural stimulant, which makes it a natural antidepressant and also has aphrodisiac action. It’s great against premature aging and reduces stress levels.

One downside to ginger is that it does raise your body temperature. So it’s not recommended if you are suffering from fever.

So this is how I prepared my mate and ginger infusion. You are welcome to try it in different ways and post the results in the comments below. Enjoy!

Reference: MedicalNewsToday

The World’s Largest Yerba Mate Circle in Argentina

This year the Guinness Book of Records will have to make room for one more record. We are not talking about the world’s largest rubber-band ball or something of that sort but we are actually talking about the world’s largest “Yerba Mate Circle”, which took place in Missiones, Argentina on April 3rd, 2016.

According to a local newspaper, 15,000 materos gathered at the Costanera de Candelaria located in Missiones in order to attempt the world’s largest yerba mate circle. Thousands of families, neighbors, and friends showed up at the event despite the heat and the rain forecast.

The gathering began around 4 pm and featured an evening of concerts, food stands and a unique opportunity to be part of a historic yerba mate event. Among the materos were Alberto Blaza and Anabel Santini,  representatives of the Yerba Mate Museum, who traveled 1700 Km from Buenos Aires in order to take part in this historic day. Blaza and Santini brought along a number of interesting mate-related artifacts and a sample of the “Ilumimate”. The Ilumimate is a mate made of a thermal material which glows in contact with hot water.

“We believe this mate will be especially helpful to travellers who like to drink mate during the night.”, said Blaza

The Candelaria Circle was organized by the Ministry of Tourism of the province of Misiones, with the intent of turning the Candelaria into one of the world’s largest yerba mate centers. Due to the success of the event, the Ministry has already revealed their wish to turn the circle into an annual festival.

Reference: YerbaMateBlog

Meet The “Typical Yerba Mate Characters & Their Rituals”

Just as the English have their tea, the Scottish have their Whisky, the Columbians have their coffee and the Yankees their soft drinks; we are forever bound to our Yerba Mate. You can truly enjoy drinking mate in all of its forms:

At the beach, there is nothing better than a nice cold Matte Leão and at home, You can always fall back to drinking with a bombilla from a gourd. Despite this, its not exactly just Argentines, but Brazilians and Uruguayan brothers who are internationally stigmatized as the yerba mate drinkers.

If you still haven’t done so, We recommend you do take some time to visit these two beautiful countries. Both Argentina and Uruguay have quite a lot to offer in terms of tourism and both nations are true culinary heaven. Before you go through, We would like to introduce you to some of the people you will be meeting there.

The Early Bird

Wakes up around 4 am and goes straight to the kitchen. His hands are already shaking as he reaches for an old busted kettle, which never leaves the top of the stove. Our Early Bird most likely works the early shift in a factory or drives a cab or is a gatekeeper somewhere. He strongly believes that the sun shall not rise upon this earth unless he takes a sip of his daily mate. Its the outskirts of Buenos Aires, outside the birds, begin to chirp, but in the kitchen, it’s dead quiet. He hears the clock ticking on the wall and glances at the package of Rosamonte lying on the table. The old busted kettle whistles, putting an end to his suffering.  He pours the absurdly hot water into a metal mate and takes a sip while tuning his pocket radio to the sounds of  Julio Sosa and Carlos Gardel. His mate is bitter…its damn bitter. As day breaks, our Early Bird brews one for the road and makes his way to yet another early shift.

The “Al Francescoli”

This character spends the entire day leaning on the door of his home with a thermos under his arm. Enjoys wearing shorts, Adidas flip-flops and a T-shirt. Consumes mate from morning until night, especially when engaged in some other activity. The “Al Francescoli” is a hard worker for sure. His trade? A grocery store, but sometimes sells butane gas on the side (In South America it’s still common to cook with gas and not all places have pipelines). He cultivates a habit of referring to his mate and to his radio as if they were actual friends, but what he enjoys the most is to waste time chatting and joking with customers. His pleasure? Bitterness. His yerba? Sara or Canarias. Usually drinks out of an old leather mate, which he bought as a souvenir during a trip to El Palmar years ago.

The Cup Cake

This female character spends the entire day drinking mate and watching telenovelas on TV, while her two daughters pull their hairs out in their bedroom. Every single afternoon, her equally unoccupied friends will stop by to gossip about the other neighbors, do their nails and browse the latest Avon catalogs. Loves to drink sweetened Cbsé served in a calf’s toe mate. When the next telenovela begins, everybody sits around in a circle eating a cookie while the crumbs roll down their abundant curves.

The Urban Gaucho

This urban character doesn’t drink mate as a social activity, but rather as a means to fulfill a wish. Though the urban gaucho often lives in the most cosmopolitan and modern part of town, he enjoys pretending he does not. You will always spot him walking around with his keys hanging from a “cuentaganado” (a counter used to count people or cattle) and wearing a thick leather belt with matching Cardón boots. The true Urban Gaucho enjoys watching polo matches and dreams of being Adolfito Cambiaso. Unfortunately, he doesn’t own horses to ride under the sun, so the best the urban gaucho can do is to put on a baby-pink polo-shirt, which makes him look browner than what he really is. What he does own, is a leather mate and a silver-plated bombilla given to him as a birthday gift. The urban gaucho is the La Merced or Campo y Monte type of drinker and he takes it with just a touch of sugar and honey.

The Fundamentalist

Without any doubt, the most annoying of all materos. The fundamentalist usually hails from some “hicktown”  and brought along to the city all sorts of rituals on how to drink mate. According to his beliefs, its not the mate that should be adapted to the individual’s taste, but rather the individuals should adapt to the mate: it is imperative to slide the bombilla in a precise angle; you must respect the exact temperature of the water; maintain constant rhythm when mixing sugar with yerba; only pour cold water over exactly 5o% of the yerba; spread the leaves and the stems evenly and, of course, never EVER use any sugar substitute in fear of “contaminating” the mate. The fundamentalist loves to rant about those who burn or sweeten their mate and never lets anyone touch his favorite leather gourd.  Nobleza Gaucha is his brand of choice and he is the only one who cares if the mate is passed anti-clockwise or not.

The Diplomat

Diplomats are the exact opposite of the fundamentalists. They are willing to try anything as long as it keeps their mouth busy. They will drink mate with any stranger and love to smoke while doing so. The diplomat is the busy type and sometimes forgets their mate on the table. Hours later, they come back, spit out whatever gum they are chewing on and carry on with the mate drinking. Hot or cold water, it doesn’t matter for the diplomat.  They don’t pledge loyalty to any brand and will drink out of any mate. Sweet, bitter, hot, cold, with stems or without…it’s all good for the diplomat.

Uptown Girl

The uptown girl is an absolutely cosmopolitan girl, who has trouble admitting she hates yerba mate. She’s been trying to make the switch from coffee to yerba for years but has been so far unsuccessful. Her greatest dream is to become “just one of the gang” and fit in more with the crowd. Now and then she decides to make a new effort and buys a collection of pimped-up gourds and bombillas in the hopes of finally getting into the habit, but unfortunately puts it all aside after a week or so. Every time a new yerba comes out, she will run out to buy it and her kitchen cabinet looks like the yerba mate shelf of an Argentine supermarket. When friends drop by for a visit they get served the most horrific and washed out mate, but according to her, the problem is always in the yerba, the kettle or the water…

El Piglet

El piglet doesn’t usually drink mate, but when he does, he prefers to do it in the most disgusting manner possible. First of all, he never changes his yerba. After 5 or 6 brews, he simply takes out a spoon of the old mate and sprinkles in some fresh yerba. To make things extra disgusting he will pour in juice, milk, sugar, coffee, lemon, fresh orange peels or anything else he can find around his filthy kitchen. His gourd was once coated with leather but now looks like a leper’s stump dominated by fungus.  His bombilla is always clogged and tastes like rust. It’s virtually impossible to identify the piglet’s favorite brand of yerba since he keeps it in an old and rusty Danish cookie tin from 1986.

Source: FansdelMate