1. What is the main difference between the "Traditional" way and the other methods?
True yerba mate lovers prefers the gourd for the better and more natural taste and because , -this is very important- , you actually can get more nutrients from the herb with the traditional way, using a straw or bombilla, than the ones you would obtain from tea bags for example, as twigs must be removed from the herb to be put in a tea bag. Some laboratory tests confirm that the traditional method provides the highest concentration of polyphenols, followed by red wines and green tea. (Bixby, Spieler, Menini, Gugliuccit, Life Sciences, 2005, #77 pgs 345-358) They also found that the traditional method, “which usually implies repeated extraction from a large (50-100 g) quantity of dry product in a gourd, and intermittent consumption, many times for hours in a row, would allow for maintenance plasma levels of polyphenols which are usually not attained with green tea or moderate wine drinking.
2. What other ways may I prepare the yerba mate without using the traditional utensils?
•Coffee cup or mug: Add 2 -5 Tablespoons (more or less to taste) loose tea to a cup, nestle the bombilla in the tea and add hot water. Remember not to stir.
•Sun Tea: Place 1/2 cup of loose tea in 1 gallon clear glass jug and set in the sun for one hour. Strain, pour over ice, add sweetners, fruit juices, etc. - use your imagination!
•Automatic coffee maker: For a 4 cup brew: Place 4 - 8 tablespoons (more or less to taste) of loose tea in a filter and process coffee maker as usual.
•French Press: Place 2 -5 tablespoons (more or less to taste) in top of press and process as usual.
3. Can I add other ingredients to my yerba mate?
Yes, you can add:
•Honey mixed with the hot water
•Herbs like mint, blackberry leaves, etc.
•Non-dairy flavored creamers
•Milk (whole, rice or soy)
•Lemon or lime juice
•Lemon or lime zest (grated rind)
•flavored syrups, i.e. maple, raspberry, etc.
•Liquors, i. e. Baileys, Grande Marinier, Amaretto
•Fruit juice, i. e. pineapple
4. Why can't I use boiled water?
Boiled water has a different molecular structure, which kills the vital nutrients in the tea and will alter the taste - making it more bitter. Boiling water will also burn your mouth as it comes up the metal straw, and will wash out the yerba much sooner. Also using boiled water frequently is not good for your health.
5. Why should I not stir the tea with the filtering straw (bombilla)?
Stirring plugs up the holes in the filtering tip.
6. How long will a pound last?
On an average, 12 - 15 days if you drink it 2 times a day using a 1.5oz / 2oz volumen gourd.
7. What are the benefits of yerba mate?
•Strengthening the immune system
•Reducing blood pressure
•Breaking down fat (lipolytic)
•Balancing sleep patterns
•Delivering oxygen to the heart and lungs during exercise
•A great diet aid
•Increasing strength, energy and endurance
•Recent research has shown that Yerba Mate
•Contains 15 amino acids
•Contains 24 vitamins and minerals
•Is a whole body tonic
8. What does yerba mate taste like?
Yerba has a strong, distinctive and slightly bitter taste (similar to coffee), which many acquire a love for; if you are not among them, add a little honey, sugar, milk, lemon or numerous other things to your mate' and you'll find it a whole different experience.
9. What are the traditional utensils used?
The gourd or "mate'" (pronounced "mah'tay") is a commercially grown vegetable gourd often decorated with silver , alpaca or simply drafted using beatiful indian designs or left plain. (The silver is attached with a non-toxic adhesive.)
The "bombilla" (pronounced bomb-bee'-ya) is the filtering straw. The bombilla is used to extract the nutrients from the tea in an infusion method.
10. How do I prepare or cure the mate gourd for use?
12. How many times may I use the same yerba mate tea leaves?
You may refill the gourd 7 - 10 times before the leaves are weakened - no flavor or foam remains.
13. Can I get a discount if I order yerba mate in bulk?
Yes. The larger quantity of an item that you order the lower the price. If you would like to have a price quote on any quantity, please send your request by e-mail giving us the quantity you are interested in. You may also visit our wholesale section.
14. What if I can't find a product I'm looking for in your catalog?
All you have to do is to send us an e-mail stating your request and we will do everything we can possibly do to get the product for you.
15. Can I prepare yerba mate cold?
Yes. Just add cold water or orange juice instead of the hot water. If you are not used to drinking it this way, it may act as a diuretic for you.
16. What is alpaca?
Alpaca Silver is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc. Sometimes it may contain sterling silver as well. This alloy was developed in Austria by the Berndorf Metalware Factory around 1851. The Berndorf Metalware Factory was the first industrial enterprise in Austria to introduce galvanic silver-plating and it established "Alpaca Silver" as the quality brand for years to come. This alloy has properties similar to stainless steel, in that is does not rust or tarnish. The result is a bright, resistant, and beautiful alloy, with a very similar look to silver.
17. I am highly sensitive to caffeine, can I drink yerba mate without adverse reactions?
Dried yerba mate tea contains around 1% available caffeine (ranging from 0.5-2%) when made into a tea with warm to hot water. Hot water appears to provide very good solubility for the caffeine and theobromine, although ethanol (alcohol) and super critical carbon dioxide have been investigated for commercial production of extracts. Boiling water reportedly extracts slightly (5-10%) more caffeine than cold or hot water steeping. It is said that boiled yerba mate tea is less pleasant tasting which may be the result of additional materials such as tannins and oils being extracted from the leaves in addition to caffeine.
Mate tea is generally tolerated better than coffee and other teas, translating into a cleaner “caffeine buzz” without the anxiety, twitches, jitters, stomach upset and heart palpitations associated with coffee’s caffeine rush.
Researchers at the Free Hygienic Institute of Homburg, Germany, concluded that even if there were caffeine in mate', the amount would be so tiny that it would take 100 tea bags of mate' in a six ounce cup of water to equal the caffeine in a six ounce serving of regular coffee.
18. Is it possible to drink too much yerba mate?
Drinking excessive amounts of Yerba Mate is not recommended.
19. Will yerba mate prevent me from sleeping?
It does not interfere with sleep cycles. In fact, it has a tendency to balance the cycles, inducing more REM sleep when necessary, or increases the amount of time spent in delta states. Many people say they require less sleep when using yerba mate because they experience a deeper, more relaxing sleep.
20. Is yerba mate addictive?
No. It is a wonderful substitute for those who are trying to kick the caffeine or alcohol habit.
21. Do some yerba mate brands give you more energy or have more kick than others?
Different brands would have different tastes but would not give you more energy than another. However Taragui has recently developed a new brand called "+ ENERGÍA" (MORE ENERGY) is the same tea you would expect from a regular TARAGUÍ bag in terms of taste but with more Mateine. Why does it have more Mateine? Because it´s harvested just when the concentration of that Xanthine is higher.
22. May I use a tea ball or tea bag?
Yes, however the bombilla (straw) pulls the nutrients out more efficiently and you receive optimum nutritional benefits and a heightened sense of well being.
23. How do I clean a cane bombilla or one that can't be dismounted?
Hand wash in hot water. If the holes become clogged you may clean them with an old toothbrush, a straight pin or one of our straw cleaners available in our catalog.
24. How much volumen do each of the yerba mate gourds hold?
We are unable to establish this for each gourd. Our gourds vary in size since they are 100% natural. You must remember that no 2 gourds are identical in size. Most of our gourds can be found in small, medium, and large sizes. An "average" gourd will hold 2oz of dried yerba. The approximate size of the gourd can be found toward the bottom of the page for each specific gourd. If you have a specific size in mind, you may request that by adding a note in the comment section of your order. We will do our best to accommodate you with the proper size.
25. What should I do if I swallow some of the yerba mate leaves?
If some of the particles of leaves get in your mouth, it will not be harmful for you to swallow them.
26. What is the best way to store my packages of yerba mate?
Store it in a dark, dry place. Avoid letting the herb contact air, water, or light. Keeping the unopened packages in a cupboard should be fine.
27. How long will yerba mate stay fresh if it is stored unopened?
Flavor seems to peak around 2 years, and stays fresh for at least 3 years. After 3 years, it will begin to grow stale, but it is still safe to drink.
28. Is yerba mate a green tea?
Technically, no. Green and black teas are both derived from the tea plant, Camelia sinensis. In contrast, Yerba mate comes from the leaves of the South American holly tree (Ilex paraguariensis). Because yerba mate shares many of the constituents that are found in green tea (antioxidants), it is sometimes called South America's version of green tea. A more accurate description for yerba mate would be a "caffeinated herbal tea" or a "tisane," the French word used to describe herbal infusions that are prepared and enjoyed like tea.
29. Can yerba mate reduce my appetite?
Yerba Mate is traditionally used in South America as a supportive treatment in weight loss programs that include diet and exercise. In Europe Yerba Mate is used for weight loss “as the ideal slimming remedy which facilitates losing weight in a natural way and stills the distressing feelings of hunger,” according to Max Witchl in Herbal Drugs and Phytopharmaceuticals. Many people drink yerba before meals to reduce hunger cravings.
The popular Chilean herbalists J. Zin and R. Weiss supported what Peace Corps workers had reported. They found cases in which large groups of natives remained in good health, with only one small meal per day, through extended periods of famine and draught. They survived by drinking copious amounts of Mate.
Although the research identifies that our product contains many of the essential nutrients to sustain life, we suggest you only use our products to ensure a well-balanced meal along with a regular healthy diet. Use Yerba Mate by following the ancient principles of tea consumption a tool for regulating your calorie intake, controling your hunger, and increasing your bodies potential to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Researchers at the University of Surrey in Guildford, England found a reduction in appetite and thirst when using Yerba Mate.
Dulloo, A., et al. noted in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that a drink like Yerba Mate can increase the “24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.” (1999). Thus, more calories are burned when drinking Yerba Mate.
Please use this information as a guide for research. It is recommended to discuss any information with your doctor. This product or its information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.