Yerba Mate Tea as a Substitute for Coffee

Yerba mate tea, mostly grown in South America is the leaves of the Yerba mate tree. Traditionally mate is drank in a gourd with a metal strainer straw. Working at a tea-stand forced me to start drinking mate about two months ago. Now every time I feel the need of a little extra boost, I make a cup of mate with some lemon juice or with a touch of cayenne pepper or both >:)! I didn't jump onto the mate wagon as quickly as others might have. I remember thinking "what the heck is that?" Like the Rooibos (aka Red Tea,) it was unfamiliar. And it just didn't look like "tea."

With customers always asking "what does yerba mate tastes like?" And "Is it like coffee?" I gave in and tried mate for myself so I can answer those questions accurately. Yerba mate has an earthy, grassy taste to it and though it is high in mateine or caffeine, its caffeine quantity is not as high as coffee.  Yerba mate also consists of theobromine which studies have shown to produce a relaxing impact on the body. Mate therefore, keeps the body awake and alert without the jitterbugs that coffee tends to produce in us.
I am sensitive to caffeine and I turn to get hit quickly. Coffee makes me very hyper in an awful sort of way; I feel alert, slightly sick and tortured at the same time.  When coffee's caffeine wears off, I am usually down on the floor with the ants. For these reasons and also because I don't care for the bitter, awful taste of coffee, I stay clear off the beverage.

There are studies that suggests that mate has loads of antioxidants, that it is rich in vitamin B and C, and is also packed with minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc. It seems a nutritious teas. Certain studies state that mate can help with weight loss and that it can help lower blood pressure.
However, there are also studies that insist that drinking too much hot mate can cause oral cancers.

My favorite mate so far, is the Mate Chocolate from Spices and Tease.  Made with roasted mate, real cocoa beans, rooibos, pear blossoms, cornflowers, sunflower petals, dark and milk chocolate. I also like the Roasted Mate Chai, made with roasted mate, vanilla, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon.

However you choose to drink your mate, enjoy it! But don't over do it...just in case those studies of mate's correlation with oral cancers are right!


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