“A true warrior, like tea, shows his strength in hot water.” – Ancient Chinese proverb
Yerba Maté (Illex Paraguariensis)
We also carry Yerba Mate, pronounced ‘yurba mahtay’, a herb prepared from Illex paraguariensis – a South American evergreen shrub which is a relative of the common holly. The leaves are processed like tea leaves and allowed to age to enhance the flavour. Mate is rich in caffeine and was used by the native population of Latin America for centuries before European settlers established coffee plantations. Traditionally, Mate was made using a cold water infusion in a small bowl, usually a hollowed-out gourd, and inserting a hollow tube or straw through which the tea is sipped.
Gourd and straw from Argentina specifically made for preparing Yerba Mate. The straw is called a bombilla, pronounced ‘bombeeya’. Upon special request, gourds and bombillas can be purchased from Teaberry’s. The bombilla today is generally stainless steel, but some have been made from silver. Traditionally the bombilla was often made from organic materials. Introduced to other cultures by the Guarani people of South America, Yerba Mate contains vitamins, minerals and a very high level of anti-oxidants as well as a high amount of caffeine.