We are aware of several herbal teas, their benefits and side-effects, but, do you know about Yerba Mate Tea? In this post, we will learn how to make yerba mate tea.
Yerba Mate is a shrub found in South America and grows wild in Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Chile. From ancient times, it has been referred to as the "drink of Gods" and till today people consume it daily for good health.
It stands firmly against Coffee as a healthier drink and most experts have agreed on it being the best beverage for health. Health benefits of Yerba mate are more in number than its side-effects. The following part of the article will guide you in preparing this beneficial hot beverage.
Making Yerba Mate Tea
As far as the type of this tea is concerned, it seems quite different from other herbal teas and therefore, the equipment required in the preparation of this tea is also very different and you may face difficulty in finding it.
But don't worry, even if you don't have the right equipment you can use alternatives. I will let you know the alternatives as we proceed in our yerba mate tea recipe. Now, take a look at the ingredients and the cooking vessels essential to make yerba mate tea.
You will Need
Let me explain about the gourd and the bombilla. Gourd is the traditional calabash kettle known as the mate in which the yerba leaves are placed to prepare the tea. It is possible that you may not have the calabash gourd so you can use an electric tea/coffee maker. It will not give you a similar taste as the gourd.
So, if you are interested in buying a gourd it can be available online or in exclusive tea stores. The bombilla is a straw, usually a metal one with small holes on one side. This side is called the filter side of the bombilla and it is inserted into the gourd to sip the tea.
This straw, you will need to buy from the above suggested locations because unfortunately bombilla has no other alternative. Once you taste the yerba mate tea, you will realize your investment was worth it and also you can enjoy the yerba mate anytime you want.
Lastly, you need to buy the yerba mate leaves. They are available at tea shops or in any natural food store. You can buy citrus flavored, the sweetened or the unsweetened ones as you wish.
One good thing about this drink, is that the taste of the drink does not depend either on the quantity of the leaves or on the amount of water used. It depends on how long the herb is steeped in water. Let us go through the steps involved in making yerba mate tea.
Step 1 Fill the mate (gourd) up to two-thirds full of yerba mate (leaves). Arrange the yerba leaves like they are accommodated on one side of the mate leaving a hollow space on the other.
Step 2 Insert your hand in the mate to shuffle the yerba mate and collect the dust on top. This step will ensure that the bombilla won't get clogged with the dust particles.
Step 3 Keep the mate in a tilted position to maintain the hollow space. Now, pour hot water (150º F) into the hollow space. Be careful while pouring water because you need is to make only the lower layer of yerba mate absorb water. The top layer must remain dry.
Step 4 Take the bombilla and cover the upper side (the non-filtered side) with your thumb then insert it into the hollow side of the mate where you poured water. Remove your thumb and take the first sip of your first yerba mate drink.
Step 5 Sip all the tea from the mate and add more hot water to the yerba mate for the another drink. You can have the drink till the flavor of the yerba mate is lost. The first few drinks will be stronger than later ones depending on the flavor.
Yerba mate is a social drink and all the people in the community share it together. They use the same mate and the same bombilla to sip the drink. They sit in a circle, sip the tea and pass it to the next person. Although you are not in Argentina to drink it like the locals, you can enjoy the making and drinking of the yerba mate tea with your family members.