Try Yerba Mate: nature’s pick me up!
Have you tried this famous Latin American natural pick me up yet? This is the fuel that helped build the Inca Empire. If it’s good enough for an ancient civilisation light years ahead of its time, then it’s probably good enough for you.
This unique beverage tastes like you’ve mixed green tea and coffee. It’s a natural stimulant packed with vitamins and minerals and has an uncanny ability to leave you alert and refreshed at the same time.
There are many ways to prepare Yerba Mate but generally the gourd (i.e. the drinking vessel) is nearly filled with the yerba (1/2 to 1/3 full) and hot (but not boiling) water. Then, hold the mate with one hand so you’re covering the opening with your palm, turn the mate upside down and shake for a few seconds (this just settles the finer particles closer to the top so the bombilla – the long thing that looks like a fancy straw- doesn’t clog up).
Next, you’re ready to slowly turn the mate upright while trying to keep the yerba at one side of the mate. Then add a little cold water to wet the leaves and wait until the water is absorbed. You can now pour 80°C into the cavity in the mate until it almost reaches the top. It’s sometimes easier to hold the mate at a slight angle to ensure the yerba stays on one side.
Congratulations – you’re now ready to start sipping from the bombilla. If you put your bombilla into the leaves rather than into the cavity you’ll get a stronger flavour. Just keep topping up with water as needed but try not to let the water sit in the mate for too long because it may get too strong.
If you’re using a new gourd, you must ‘cure’ it before use. It’s really simple: just fill it ¾ full with yerba mate, add boiling water, let it soak in and fill again with boiling water. Leave the full gourd to sit for at least 24 hours then empty, rinse and scrape out any gourd flakes with a spoon. Check out our Green Yerba Mate here and our Bombilla & Gourd here. Let us know how you get on – happy sipping!