Share your Gourd

Is it safe to receive a package from any area where COVID-19 has been reported?

Yes. The likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.

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When drinking yerba mate, what is the main difference between the “traditional” method and other methods?

True yerba mate lovers prefer the traditional way with a gourd and bombilla – straw for a better and more natural taste, and most importantly, because the gourd provides with the perfect environment for the yerba leafs to develop its nutrients when brewing; as opposed to other methods that sacrifice much of the nutrients, for example, tea bags loose some nutrients because the twigs of the leaf must be removed therefore loosing some minerals.

Some laboratory tests confirm that the traditional method of drinking yerba mate provides the highest concentration of polyphenols, followed by red wines and green tea. (Bixby, Spieler, Menini, Gugliuccit, Life Sciences, 2005, #77 pgs 345-358). This study 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.”

Learn how to brew yerba mate the traditional way here

What other ways may I prepare the yerba mate without using the traditional utensils?

• Regular cup or mug:

Add 2 -5 Tablespoons (to taste) of loose leaf yerba to a cup. Insert the bombilla/straw in the loose leaf yerba (the straw should not be moved after its placed) and add hot water (temperature should be between 175 F – 185 F maximum)

•Sun Tea:

Place 1/2 cup of loose yerba leafs in 1 gallon of water in a clear glass jug and set in the sun for one hour. Strain, pour over ice, add your preferred sweetener and/or fruit juices, etc.

•Automatic coffee maker:

For a 4 cup brew: Place 4 – 8 tablespoons (more or less to taste) of loose yerba leafs in a filter and process coffee maker as usual

•French Press:

Place 2 -5 tablespoons of yerba loose leafs (more or less to taste) in top of press and process as usual.

Can I add other ingredients to my yerba mate?

Yes, here is some of our suggestions:

•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, lime, orange, or grapefruit zest

•Flavored syrups, i.e. maple, raspberry, etc.

•Liquors, i. e. Baileys, Grande Marinier, Amaretto

•Fruit juice, i. e. pineapple

•Cold beer

Why can’t I use boiled water?

Chemistry hidden in mate is very simple. When water is poured on it, some of the compounds that are in yerba dissolve in water, giving the mate its characteristic flavor and nutrional value. If the water is cold, nothing or very little is virtually dissolved. With increasing temperature, it increases the solubility of these components, that is, the ability to dissolve, and the water takes flavor.

 If you use boiling water, all those components will dissolve at once, giving the beverage a strong and unpleasent bitterness. When this happens, it´s said that “el mate se lava” (mate is washed out).

The main reason you don´t use boiling water is your health. You should not drink ANY beverage at such temperature, otherwise your health can be seriously damaged.

Therefore, to achieve a nice lasting flavored mate, water temperature should not exceed 167 Fahrenheit (°F) / 75 Celsius (°C) . This is the best temperature for mate´s compounds to dissolve gently and slowly.

Even if you use once-boiled water cooled down to 167°F, you´ll notice a clear taste difference between it and heated freshly drawn water. Heated freshly drawn water to the same temperature has a cleaner, crisp finish, while the once-boiled water has an off-putting twang to it.

Why not to stir the tea with the straw / bombilla?

Stirring the yerba mate with the straw plugs up the holes in the straw’s filter.

How long should the average size package of loose leaf yerba last?

On an average, 1.1 Lb. of loose leaf yerba should give you 10 to 12 servings when using a medium gourd and around 20 servings when using a smaller gourd. Each serving should give you 8 to 10 water replenishments or 28 to 32 oz of infused yerba mate for the medium to large gourds, and 16 to 28 oz of infused yerba mate for the smaller gourds.

What are the benefits of yerba mate?

·         Immune system booster

·         Provides sustainable energy without jitters or crash

·         Natural cleanser

·         Natural appetite suppressant

·         Aids in stabilizing the nervous system

·         Reduces fatigue

·         Reduces blood pressure

·         Rejuvenation

·         Breaks down fat (lipolytic)

·         Relaxes the muscles

·         Stabilizes sleep patterns

·         Increases libido

·         Mood enhancer

·         Delivers oxygen to the heart and lungs during exercise

·         Know to relieve allergy symptoms

·         Great natural dietary supplement

·         Increases mental clarity & focus

·         Increases creativity

·         Increases strength, energy and endurance

·         Hydrates your body

·         Reduces cholesterol

·         Great source of antioxidants

·         Source of 15 amino acids

·         Contains 24 different vitamins and minerals

·         Increases the alkalinity of the PH of your body

What is the minimum amount of Yerba Mate needed to get the full nutrional value?

Around 40 grams (1.5oz). Ideally 50 grams (1.8oz) or more per serving round.

Since you have to fill 3/4 of your gourd´s capacity you should consider this measure when you buy a mate gourd – cup.

What does yerba mate taste like?

Yerba has a distinctive and slightly bitter flavor (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 yerba mate and you’ll have a whole different experience.

Does yerba mate lower choresterol?

The results of a scientific study made in December 2015 by a team of researchers from the University Juan Agustin Maza , Mendoza , Argentina, confirms that drinking yerba mate helps to reduce the levels of  bad cholesterol ( LDL ) and triglycerides.

What are the traditional utensils made of?

The gourd or “mate'” (pronounced “mah’tay”) is made from a commercially grown vegetable similar to a Calabash. This gourd is often decorated with a silver, alpaca silver or stainless steel rim. Or it is simply drafted using beautiful native motives on their designs, or it could also be left plain and natural. The artisans use non-toxic glue to attach any decoration to the gourds

The “bombilla” (pronounced bomb-bee’-ya) is the filtering straw. The bombilla is used to extract the nutrients from the tea with an infusion method.

How do I prepare or cure the mate gourd for use?

Please click on the following link to find complete information about the gourd curing process:

How many times may I use the same yerba mate tea leaves?

You may refill the times before the leaves are weakened – no flavor or foam remains. This will give you between 28oz and 32oz of brewed tea per serving (depending on the gourd size you use) gourd 7 – 10

Can I get a discount if I order yerba mate in bulk?

Yes, the more you buy of an specific item, 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.

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.

Can I prepare yerba mate cold?

Yes, just add cold iced water or orange juice instead of hot water. We strongly suggest however to first brew it hot to get the full nutritional value, let it cool down and then add some ice or put it in the fridge. If you are not used to drinking it this way, it may act as a diuretic for you, until your body gets used to it.

What is “Terere” or iced Yerba?

Tereré is loose Yerba Mate brewed with any cold beverage, generally iced water, fruit’s juices or both. Herbs can be added too. The name is the onomatopoeia related to the sound of the last three sips a mate drinker does when sucking through the bombilla. It is very popular in Paraguay, especially during the summer, a time when temperatures easily reach 40 to 45 °C (104 to 113 °F). It´s also very common in northeastern Argentina, southern and western of Brazil, often prepared with citrus fruit juices like lime, orange and pineapple, although this practice varies depending on the region. Mixing fruit juices with tereré is commonly called “tereré ruso” (Russian tereré) because this practice is more common with Slavic immigrants in the northeast of Argentina.

What is Alpaca Silver?

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.

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.

Is it possible to drink too much yerba mate?

As with any stimulant, drinking excessive amounts of Yerba Mate is not recommended. The average healthy limit would be 2 servings per day.

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.

Is yerba mate addictive?

No, yerba mate, is not addictive and in fact, it is a wonderful substitute for those who are trying to leave the caffeine or alcohol habit.

Do some yerba mate brands give you more energy or have more kick than others?

No, all brands use the same main ingredient which is yerba (Scientific name: illex paraguariensis) with the same nutritional components. The flavor differs from brand to brand depending on factors such as the altitude that the tree was planted, the type of soil, when do they harvest, how long they let is age, how they dry it and so on. Very similar concept than wine: it all comes from grapes but we have a wide variety of flavors.

As a specific case, the brand Taragui has recently developed a new product called “+ ENERGÍA” or MORE ENERGY (that you can find in our catalog) that contains more “Mateine” concentration, maintaining their usual flavor. They achieved this higher level of Mateine concentration by harvesting the plant just when the concentration of Xanthine is higher.

May I use a tea ball or tea bag?

Yes, however, there is scientific evidence that using the traditional method of drinking yerba mate will give you all the nutrients and health benefits. Using a the tea ball or bag without the straw, will kill a part of the nutritional values of yerba mate.

How do I clean a cane bombilla or one that can’t be dismounted?

Hand wash in hot water. If the holes are clogged, you may clean them with an old toothbrush, a straight pin or one of our straw cleaners available in our catalog.

How much volume of loose leaf yerba do a gourd hold?

An average gourd will hold 2oz of dried yerba. Since all our gourds are 100% natural, you will not find two gourds with an identical size, therefore it is difficult to establish a specific amount for each gourd. Most of our gourds can be found in small, medium, and large sizes. The approximate size of the gourd can be found toward the bottom of each gourd listing. 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.

What should I do if I swallow some of the yerba mate leaves?

Don’t worry, if some of the particles of leaves get in your mouth, it will not be harmful for you to swallow them.

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.

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.

Is yerba mate a green tea?

No, actually green, red, white and black teas derive from the tea plant: Camelia Sinensis. On the other hand, yerba mate comes from the leaves of the South American holly tree Ilex paraguariensis.

Since 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).

Can yerba mate reduce my appetite?

Yes, yerba mate is known for its appetite suppressant quality. 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 Yerba 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, controlling your hunger, and increasing your body’s 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.