Organic Yerba Mate

Want a smooth, subtle, non-powdery mate?
In Bio Origeens no stems, no dust, only leaves!
What’s in it for me? Sweet and aromatic mattes with a light bitterness.

Yerba Maté is an energising and detoxifying drink from South America.
Together with coffeeand tea, mate is one of the three main drinks
the most consumed caffeine-containing beverages in the world.
It is traditionally drunk through a bombilla (filtering straw) in a calabash (maté cup):
a way of tasting it which gives it all the more charm!

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We have written this guide to mate to help you discover this drink, the most widely consumed in South America, and increasingly popular in Europe

What is mate?

Yerba Maté is an energising and detoxifying drink from South America.
Along with tea and coffee, mate is one of the top three caffeinated beverages in the world.
In many South American countries, mate is a real tradition and is more popular than coffee. This drink is shared daily in a convivial way with friends and family. This herbal tea chases away loneliness!

Maté grows on a tree also called Yerba Maté, whose botanical name is Ilex Paraguariensis. This tree belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family, i.e. the holly family. Like the holly, its foliage is evergreen. It can reach a height of 4 to 20m in its native environment.

It grows particularly fast under good growing conditions.

Ilex Paraguariensis produces clusters of white flowers which then provide bright red berries, but it is the leaves of the Yerba Maté that are used to make the drink of the same name!

Mate has been consumed for centuries in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The Guarani Indians were the first to discover the benefits of mate, at a date difficult to define. The Spanish conquerors discovered the use and virtues of mate in the 16th century thanks to the Guaraníes and increased its trade. It was then the turn of the Jesuits to be seduced by this plant, so much so that mate is sometimes called Jesuit tea. They decided to find out its secrets in order to cultivate it: as the seeds of mate are very hard, they must first pass through the digestive system of certain birds to soften, notably the toucan, before they can germinate.

Nowadays, mate is a real ritual in South American countries where it is widely consumed, ahead of coffee.

If you are curious and like to make your taste buds travel, mate is for you!

Mate can sometimes be derived from so-called “native” trees growing wild in the forest, but it is usually derived from plantation trees.

The production stages are as follows:

      1. The tree nursery

        Millions of plants, rigorously selected for their quality, are born in the nurseries

      2. Planting

        After six months, the seedlings are moved to their final location in the field. The care given to each of them allows them to become strong, healthy and with all the qualities of the authentic yerba mate. It takes 4 years before the first Yerba Maté leaves can be harvested from a young plant.

      3. The harvest

        It consists in cutting the young branches of the year. It is done manually with tools such as shears or pruners. Harvesting takes place between April and August when the trees have the most leaves and when they can best withstand cutting.
        The leaves are processed quickly within 24 hours of cutting to avoid fermentation.

      4. Drying

        In a dryer, the leaves are exposed to high heat for a short period of time to stop fermentation and oxidation. Without this step, the leaves turn brown and lose their flavour.
        Some traditional matés are roasted and smoked. This process is currently being questioned for maté marketed in Europe because it leads to the presence of anthraquinone, a harmful molecule of the PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) family that is formed when maté comes into contact with smoke.
        All our matés have been dried using processes that avoid the formation of anthraquinone by preventing prolonged contact of the maté leaves with smoke.
        The leaves are then subjected to lower temperatures of 80°C – 100°C for several hours to complete their drying.

      5. Maturation

        The taste, colour and aroma, which differentiate the various yerbas produced, are obtained after a period of maturation. Brazilian and Uruguayan Yerba Maté are generally fresh and green, while Argentinean and Paraguayan are aged for at least one year.

      6. Grinding

        The mate leaves are then crushed to become what is known as “yerba canchada”. The fineness of the cut and the presence of stems further vary the taste of the mate: finely cut matés with stems will have a marked bitterness, while matés cut more broadly will be sweeter and more aromatic.

Why drink Yerba Mate?

Barack Obama, footballer Antoine Griezmann, Pope Francis, actor Viggo Mortensen… many celebrities have adopted mate: why is this drink seducing more and more people?

Together with tea and coffee, mate is one of the three main drinks that contain the most caffeine. For comparison, black tea contains about 20mg of caffeine per 100ml of beverage, yerba mate 80mg and coffee on average 120mg.

Yerba mate is more caffeinated than tea and slightly less caffeinated than coffee, but it does not have its disadvantages. In fact, for some people, coffee can increase gastric acidity, which favours heartburn, a problem that mate drinkers do not have to face. The rise in energy provided by mate is also smoother and more gradual than coffee, thus avoiding the negative effects sometimes encountered with coffee, such as nervousness, palpitations or anxiety.

Mate is the perfect companion for people looking for a daily energy drink to replace or reduce their coffee consumption, without its disadvantages, or simply to alternate and vary the pleasures.

Yerba mate also has a reputation as a healthy “super drink” because it is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Which Yerba Mate to choose?

Yerba mate leaves naturally have a vegetal flavour reminiscent of green tea, but more bitter.

This bitterness is exacerbated in finely cut matés, which are often very dusty, and in those with lots of stems (con polvo y palo). Woe betide those who are not warned: beware of the dust in the mouth and the strong bitterness!

The main criteria influencing the taste are the cut of the mate leaves and the presence of stems.

To choose your mate you will have to determine the taste you want: characterful with a strong bitterness or subtle with a controlled bitterness and a vegetal taste.

We have chosen a 4-5mm wide leaf cut for our matés, for a light and balanced bitterness. Our organic mattes are characterised by their subtlety: their aromatic notes evoke the vegetal character of a green tea.

Other factors can influence the taste of mate: its origin (Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay…), its fermentation, its drying and the quality of the leaves.

The bitterness of mate is sometimes not appreciated by people new to this drink. They can then turn to naturally flavoured matés that allow them to enjoy the benefits of yerba maté while tasting a sweet drink similar to a scented tea.

To vary the pleasures and to introduce people to mate in a gentle way, we have created 3 flavoured mates: The Fruity, a mate with sweet orange notes, The Tonic, an energising mate with lemon and ginger, andThe Fresh, a refreshing mate with lemon and mint.

Buying certified organic mate can be a significant extra cost. However, the benefits of this certification are numerous:

      • the organic yerba mate leaves will have been cultivated with respect for nature: fewer chemical products will be discharged into the soil for greater respect of the fauna and flora
      • No use of synthetic chemicals: these substances will not end up in your gourd.
      • In addition to your health, it is also the health of the mate growers that is preserved.
        For all these reasons, we at Origeens have chosen to offer you a range of 100% organic mate.

What are the benefits of mate?

Maté has many benefits, which is one of the reasons why it is being used more and more. It is traditionally given the following properties:

    • Be rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants: Its antioxidant composition is such that the antioxidant power of yerba mate is slightly higher than that of green tea!
    • Boost your energy and improve concentration, thanks to its caffeine content
    • Improve physical performance
    • Help to lose weight, especially abdominal fat
    • Lowering blood sugar levels
A must for anyone looking for a healthy drink with detoxifying properties.

How to make and drink mate?

Traditionally, mate is drunk with a calabash (also called a gourd) and a filtering straw called a bombilla.

Mate is usually consumed in this way with a group of friends or family. One person is designated to prepare the mate and then pass it to the second. This person is called the Cebador.

The maté calabash

The calabash is originally a squash that is cut and dried and filled with mate leaves and water.
On trouve aujourd’hui des calebasses décorées avec ou sans pied et de toutes les tailles. They are also available in other materials such as wood, ceramic or stainless steel.
Want to make an informed choice when buying your calabash? We share our tips in our article “How to choose your mate calabash?

The bombilla

The bombilla is a metal straw with a filter at the end. The end with the filter is inserted into the calabash to suck and drink the Yerba Maté infusion. So ingenious!

Where to buy a maté kit with calabash and bombilla?

Are you looking for the calabash that will accompany you with style and practicality when you drink your mate? Our maté gourd setconsists of a ceramic gourd made by a craftsman in Portugal, a bombilla and a bag of our Organic maté l’Original: the perfect maté kit to learn about maté!

The traditional preparation of mate

..P.
preparation traditionnelle mate etape 1preparation traditionnelle mate etape 2preparation traditionnelle mate etape 3preparation traditionnelle mate etape 4
Remplir au moins 1/4 de la calebasse avec le matéPencher la calebasse afin que le maté glisse d’un côté.td,
Humidifier (eau froide ou tiède) les feuilles par le côté vide
Déposer la bombilla côté vide.Verser l’eau chaude (80°c max) sur la bombilla, côté vide.our hot water (80°c max) onto the bombilla, empty side

Top up the water level during the day, without changing or discarding the mate.

Cocido is a Spanish term for preparing mate like tea or coffee.

    • Utilisez une boule à thé, une passoire… bref, votre ustensile à thé préféré.
    • Measure out the quantity of yerba mate in the same way as you measure out loose tea.
    • Like the traditional method, always wet the herb with a little cold water so that the leaves retain their flavour and nutrients.
    • Add hot water, be sure it is simmering but not boiling.
    • Leave to infuse for 5 to 8 minutes.
    • To make a stronger brew add more herb.

Maté terere is a very common method in Paraguay.

Mate, served chilled, is very thirst-quenching in the summer for hot days.

    • Put 4 spoons of mate in 1 litre of simmering water
    • Infuse for 5 to 8 minutes and filter
    • Cool the preparation

You can then add lemon juice, honey or sugar as you wish. Our flavoured mattes are particularly suitable for this method!

To learn more about how to prepare mate, we recommend reading our article “5 WAYS TO PREPARE MATÉ”.

Origeens' tips for drinking mate

Wet your mate with a small amount of cold water: this will prevent its bitterness from developing.

N’utilisez jamais d’eau bouillante, mais de l’eau frémissante à 70°C-80°C, c’est une erreur courante… Boiling water will exacerbate the bitterness of your mate and alter its aroma and benefits.

Tip if you can’t heat your water to a precise temperature: bring the water to a boil and then allow it to cool for 5-7 minutes, you should then be in the right temperature range to enjoy your mate.

The main potentially undesirable effects of Yerba maté are related to the fact that it contains caffeine.

Avoid consuming more than one cup a day if you are pregnant.

We recommend that you consume it in the morning and early afternoon, as you would a coffee, to avoid disrupting your sleep.

Where to find mate?

In supermarkets, the offer of mate is still non-existent.

Your only chance of finding them in shops is to look for specialist shops:

      • If you are lucky enough to have a shop in your town that specialises in Latin America, then you will probably find some there, usually the traditional brands such as Rosamonte, Amanda, CBSé, Cruz de Malta, Taragui: these matés are usually finely cut and very full of dust.
      • Some bulk tea shops are starting to offer it
      • Mate is starting to appear timidly on the shelves of some organic shops: you can try your luck there!

But nowadays it is mainly online that you will find your happiness with a much wider choice.

cIn the Origeens organic mate shop of course! The quality of our matés is one of our great prides.

cDon’t hesitate to try them out with our lovely discovery box of 4 matés, packaged in ESAT by disabled workers in France.

In any case, we advise you to turn to sites with a clear traceability and origins, and if possible organic!

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