On a yerba mate mission.

Today I'm launching straight in with my love for yerba mate. Yerba mate (*pronounced yer-bah ma-tey) is every South American's stimulation beverage of choice.  However, very few people here in the UK know what mate is. This is why the lovely couple behind Yuyo tea (Rosie and Charles) and a number of ambassadors including myself are on a mission to spread the word. Mate is unique in both it's taste and health benefits so I thought I'd use today's post to tell you what it is, why I love it, how it is consumed and how you can get involved in Yuyo's #YerbaMateMission yourself. Ultimately we'd love to get more people inspired to drink this wonderful beverage! 

So firstly, what actually is mate? 

  • Mate is neither a tea nor, a coffee. It is a native South American evergreen plant (most similar to the holly tree here in the UK), whose leaves as consumed as a form of beverage. 
  • Mate is a natural stimulant, containing high levels of caffeine (roughly equal to caffeine levels found in a black filter coffee) as well as high levels levels of theobromine (the feel-good compound found in cacao).
  • This unique combination means that mate provides slow release stimulation. The caffeine acts first, then when you usually feel the 'caffeine crash', theobromine kicks in, providing a longer lasting state of elevation.
  • Mate contains high levels of vitamins and minerals and reportedly more antioxidants than green tea.

Why do I love it? 

  • The main reason why I love mate is it's unique form of stimulation. Mate gives a slow and sustained caffeine release, without the resultant 'crash' or withdrawal symptoms of coffee, leaving me feeling focused and alert. 
  • Unlike many caffeinated beverages, mate does not contain tannins, therefore it does not stain your teeth. 
  • Mate is also net hydrating (unlike coffee). 

How is mate consumed? 

  • Traditionally in South America mate is consumed as part of a community and a symbol of hospitality and friendship. A host will pass mate round in a circle, sharing the gourd amongst friends so that everyone gets a sip. I guess you could say it brings people together. It's certainly more than just a drink. 
  • Mate is traditionally drank loose from a gourd, with a silver metal straw called a bombilla which acts as a tiny strainer to filter out the leaves.  The lovely Rosie from Yuyo sent me one of these BPA free silicon versions. I'm hooked on mine already! If you're keen on the idea of loose leaf yerba mate too, then take a look online as they're sold on Yuyo's website! All the cool kids have got to have one right?!
  • Yuyo also sell a range of gorgeous pouches, each containing 14 infusion bags (note we call them infusion bags, not tea bags as mate doesn't come from the traditional tea plant). They've blend organic yerba mate with other natural ingredients and essential oils, to create a delicious range of infusions. My current favourite is Yerba Spice. It's a gorgeously warming blend, perfect for this chilly weather, combining mate with ginger, cardamon, turmeric and chilli. 

How to make your own mug of mate:

  • Simply brew your yerba mate infusion in a mug of hot water at about 70-80°C (either add a dash of cold water to your mug before adding boiling water, or leave the kettle to cool for a few minutes before pouring).
  • Leave the leaves to infuse for 3-5 minutes (just like a regular cuppa), remove the infusion bag and enjoy! 
  • It's as simple as that. 

Finally, how can you get involved in the #YerbaMateMission? 

  • Rosie and Charles cofounded Yoyo after falling in love with yerba mate on their travels in South America. 
  • They hope to help you to #EscapeTheOrdinary with your own taste of yerba mate. 
  • Over the next few weeks they'll be giving out free samples, running great competitions, and sharing lots of fantastic information about the benefits of mate. 
  • Please join me in the #YerbaMateMission to spread the word. If you've tried it before, you'll know why we love it. Their campaign is running from today (16th January) until 12th February so head over to Yuyo to find out more!

*Disclaimer. I'm incredibly lucky to be one of the Yuyo ambassadors so was sent a lovely selection of mate to try. However, I have had yerba mate many times over the past few years and genuinely love it. I am also in no way sponsored or obliged to share this post. 

I'd love to know if you've tried yerba mate already, or if you are keen to give it a go. Feel free to tag me @mylifeisforliving, comment below, or contact me via my socials to let me know or if you've got any questions!

Until next time,

Hannah x