An herbal tea beverage that is popular in South America
It’s green tea in Japan, chai in India, but when you’re in South America, the drink of choice is Yerba Mate (pronounced YER-ba MA-tay). It’s a very popular form of herbal tea that is commonly seen in countries like Argentina and Paraguay. Yerba Mate comes from the Yerba Mate tree (Ilex paraguarensis) so it is not a true tea.
Yerba mate has a bold, bittersweet flavor. It is traditionally drunk from a hollow gourd through a filtering straw (bombilla), but it can also be infused in a Western-style teapot, brewed with a French press, or made in other ways.
Coffee drinkers tend to prefer their yerba mate straight, blended with sugar/honey or made into a latte. Tea drinkers often like yerba mate blends. In parts of South America, yerba mate is blended with mint, citrus, gin and/or other ingredients. There are many yerba mate blends available on the market today. Check out our Forsman Mate selection.
Some Known Benefits of Yerba Mate:
Chronic fatigue syndrome
High blood pressure
Yerba Mate supposedly does not contain caffeine, but rather a closely related compound called “mateine” which is a similar stimulant. Mateine is not as harsh to your body and does not produce the same addictive results. Others have claimed that the chemical compound within Yerba Mate is in fact caffeine, and to think otherwise is just wishful thinking.
Yerba Mate Recipes
Mate can be made hot or cold. Always use fresh filtered water. Mate is powdery so use a fine mesh filter for best results. We find the French Press or tea filters to be the best, leaving little to no sediment.
1. Mix the herb with a little cold water, which protects the nutrients and flavor (optional).
2. Never use boiling water. Just like green tea, use 185-degree water. Although Yerba Mate is traditionally steeped for 4 minutes. Do it however you like.
3. Yerba Mate may be used for multiple infusions. We suggest minimum 3 more uses, depending on your steep time.
French Press Yerba Mate Preparation by
Just like coffee and tea, yerba mate’s flavor profile changes depending on how you brew it. Some prefer cold-brewed yerba mate, and some like the convenience of a yerba mate teabag or the flavor of a yerba mate latte brewed with milk, and some prefer the classic way of brewing yerba mate with a gourd and a filter-tipped straw. However, an increasing number of people are using French presses for convenience and a different yerba mate flavor profile. If you’re interested in French press yerba mate preparation, simply follow these instructions.
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Yield: Makes two servings
* 2 tbsp. yerba mate
* 16 ounces water at about 150 degrees Fahrenheit (just simmering)
* (Alternately, you can use a larger French press and a ratio of 1 tbsp. yerba mate per 8 ounces water.)
1. Place your yerba mate into the filter of the French press.
2. Slowly pour water over the yerba mate, allowing it to soak in and pass through the filter as you go.
3. Brew for 4 to 6 minutes, depending on desired strength.
4. Depress the plunger into the filter pot. Serve.
Cold Brewed Mate Recipe by
This easy recipe for cold-brewed mate brews in the fridge overnight. It can be drunk straight, mixed with honey, or made into a yerba mate smoothie in the morning.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours, 2 minutes
Yield: Makes one to two servings
* 8 to 12 ounces cool water
* 1 tbsp. loose-leaf yerba mate, or two teabags
* Honey or juice (pineapple, orange, lemon or other) to taste (optional)
1. Combine water and yerba mate in a glass. Cover the glass with a small saucer or plastic wrap (optional).
2. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
3. In the morning, strain the leaves or remove the teabags.
4. Add honey or juice to taste (optional).
Iced Lemon-Honey Yerba Mate Recipe by
This iced lemon honey yerba mate drink is made with cold-brewed yerba mate, lemon juice and honey. The honey rounds out the bittersweet flavor of the yerba mate and the tartness of the honey. It’s a great way to enjoy yerba mate on a hot day.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Cold-Brewed Yerba Mate infusion: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours, 7 minutes
Yield: One serving
* 8 ounces cold-brewed yerba mate
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or to taste)
* 1 teaspoon clover honey or other mild honey (or to taste)
* Ice (optional)
Combine all liquid ingredients and stir well. Add ice if desired.
Banana Mate “Tea” Smoothie Recipe by
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes
Yield: Makes one serving
- 4 ounces cold-brewed yerba mate
- 1 peeled, frozen banana
- A splash of soymilk, other milk alternative, pineapple juice or other liquid (to taste)
- Agave, honey or other liquid sweetener (to taste)
- Break the peeled, frozen banana in to a few pieces.
- Combine all ingredients in a blender.
- Blend until smooth, adding more liquid if needed.
- Serve immediately.