That is probably the response you’d get if you asked someone in this part of the world what mate (pronounced ma-tay) is but travel down to South American countries like Paraguay, Brazil or Argentina and you’re most likely to be met with a resounding ‘OF COURSE!’ to the same question.
Well, it’s a type of tea that is prepared by steeping the dried leaves of yerba mate in hot water. In South America where the consumption of mate is common, it holds a similar cultural significance to that of coffee in Western or European cafés as well as Japanese tea ceremonies.
The indigenous Guarani people were the first to consume mate or as they called it, ‘the drink of the gods’, centuries ago. It was seen as a medicinal drink but was also commonly served during social affairs within the community. In the 1500s, Spanish explorers became the first to sample this unique tea while enlisting the help of the Guarani people in the mining of gold and silver. The Spanish noticed the unwavering energy levels of the Guarani miners and attributed it to mate. From there, mate made its way to Europe and became a huge hit.
1) Steady release of energy
Unlike coffee that provides a spike in energy levels upon consumption, the boost provided from mate is known to be steady and balanced throughout the day. It also rarely interferes with your sleep does not cause caffeine jitters that coffee commonly induces.
2) Improves mind function
Mate is known to improve mental alertness, memory and mood. The steadily release caffeine acts as a stimulant that helps to improve focus and productivity. Best-selling author, Tim Ferriss, claims to have tried many brain enhancing substances in his quest to optimise mental performance and in the end, mate is his weapon of choice.
3) Strengthens bones
Regular consumption of mate is said to increase bone density even in people who don’t exercise. According to a study conducted on post-menopausal women (who are particularly at risk of osteoporosis), the group of women who drank mate regularly had greater bone density in their spines than the women who didn’t.
4) Good for the heart
The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties in mate make it a great drink to protect and strengthen the cardiovascular system. It also contains theobromine, an alkaloid that relaxes blood vessels allowing for better blood flow.
So are you ready to try some? The next time you’re at our Tea Bar, don’t forget to ask our Tearista for some delicious mate!