Much preferred over coffee by many South Americans, Yerba Mate has caught the attention for many of its properties. The drink is supposed to be the most balanced drink among the six drinks in the world that are used as stimulants. Yerba Mate beats coffee, tea, Kola Nut, Cocoa and Guarana are behind this drink when it comes to energy and nutrition.
So, how is this beverage prepared?
Preparation Of Yerba Mate
The Yerba Mate is always prepared in a mate or gourd. In the earlier days, the gourd used to the dried and hollowed out squash. But nowadays the gourd is made from various materials like metal, ceramic or wood.
First, the herb or Yerba is kept inside the gourd and ground or crushed. Cold water is then poured into the gourd a little at a time. This is done so that the herbs can absorb the water and be ready for infusion. After it is ready, hot or even cold water is poured into the gourd. Boiling water is never used for this purpose. The herbs then infuse into the water. This becomes a beverage like tea.
The peculiar thing is that the leaves are never removed from the drink. The liquid is also not filtered out. The beverage is drunk by placing a bombilla inside the gourd. The bombilla is a metal straw. It is different in that instead of one hole at the end that is dipped into the liquid this one has several small holes. This helps to leave behind the leaves and herb bits in the gourd itself.
Drinking Yerba Mate is part of a social ceremony. One gourd of the beverage is prepared in one gourd which is shared. There is one Yerba maker or the cebedor who makes the drink. He then drinks it from a gourd. Then he makes another drink and passes the gourd to the next person. The drink is never shared but the gourd is. This is a way of showing friendship. Guests are also treated in the same way by sharing the gourd with them.
Modern Day Yerba Mate
Though the preferred way still is to make it in a gourd, many companies are marketing Yerba Mate in other forms. Some companies sell it in convenient bags like tea bags. Others sell the leaf in loose. It can be made in a teacup or French press or coffee maker in the same way other beverages are prepared.
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