Have you ever travelled to South America? Us neither. But for those of you who have, you've probably heard of yerba mate already. It's one of the most popular drinks on the continent. Instead of starting their day with a hot cup of tea or coffee, a huge portion of the population wake up to a cup of yerba mate instead.
But what actually is yerba mate?
Firstly, it’s pronounced yer-bah mah-tay for all those who were wondering.
Like tea, it's made from dried plant leaves. Yerba mate comes from an evergreen holly, called Ilex paraguariensis, which is native to South America.
It's the national drink of Argentina, with some surveys estimated as many as 92% of households drinking it. It's often seen as a social event and has its own lingo - kind of like many of the popular coffee chains here (what exactly is a “Venti Iced Skinny Caramel Macchiato”?)
It tastes similar to green tea, which is why it blends so well with our brew but has its own unique smoky note to it.
Yerba mate has been spreading its wings in recent years and the beverage has found its way into the mugs of people across Asia, North America & Europe.
But why? What’s so great about yerba and why should we trade in our black coffee or English Breakfast for it?
The Benefits of Yerba Mate
The most obvious reason is because of its stimulating effect.
It contains caffeine, theobromine and theophylline – 3 compounds that are associated with increases in energy and stimulation.
Yerba contains similar levels of caffeine to coffee, but it’s unique make-up means that it gives you a smooth, sustained lift instead of a coffee high and crash. It's the most balanced energy booster, which is why we use it in our t+ Boost.
The coffee crash isn't the only side-effect that yerba mate avoids - if you're worried about your sleep patterns, then yerba is for you. It rarely ever affects sleep and won't overstimulate you, so you can have some peace of mind that when you need to turn off you can.
The caffeine content is also helpful for it's brain enhancing benefits by boosting mood and memory. It's also known to stimulate the production of dopamine, making you feel more motivated.
Yerba mate is a nutritional powerhouse in itself with a high concentration of minerals. Combined with our own vitamin solution in our t+ Boost, you can be sure that you're getting your micronutrients in. Yerba mate also contains other beneficial phytonutrients such as tannins, flavonoids and amino acids.
On top of all this, yerba mate is said to have many health benefits. It has been traditionally used as a digestive treatment and a weight loss aid, plus is believed to boost the immune system.
Want to try it?
Yerba mate is one of the key ingredients in our t+ Boost blend, providing some of the stimulating effects that the tea is named for. We’ve combined it with 50% RDA of vitamins B6 and B12, which contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, to help boost you even more. Plus, if the taste of a smoky green tea doesn’t appeal to you, we’ve blended ours with delicious natural raspberry and pomegranate flavourings.