In South America, yerba mate is the preferred hot drink, just as coffee is in the United States and black tea is in the United Kingdom. Its growing popularity can be attributed to the fact that it is both healthy and contains a respectable amount of caffeine.
We’ve done the legwork to find the best methods for harvesting, drying, and packaging yerba mate to ensure the best possible taste and consistency.
Several more modern takes on yerba mate are also included among our picks for the top 7 yerba mate brands.
How about the best yerba mate labels out there? Our go-to yerba mate is made by companies that care about their workers and the environment, sell at fair prices, and are simple to use. If you’re just getting started with tea, you might like a flavored blend with fewer stems. Green tea drinkers might like the traditional yerba mate brew.
In this piece, we’ll explain why yerba mate is such a great addition to your daily routine, and why we’ve selected these specific teas to serve as examples of the best of the breed.
What is Yerba Mate?
Some have likened yerba mate to green tea. It is technically a herbal tea, but it does not fit the bill for either green or black tea. It’s a caffeinated drink that stands on its own as a herb-based alternative to coffee and tea.
Yerba mate is a South American herb that is consumed as a hot beverage far more frequently than coffee. Its reputation as a divine gift for increasing stamina reflects the value placed on physical prowess by ancient nomadic warrior cultures.
The cultivation of yerba mate is the most interesting facet of this drink. Very specific native birds appear to be required for seed germination. This, as you can imagine, makes commercial cultivation more difficult and therefore the herb more precious.
Yerba Mate Cruz De Malta
This particular package is “elaborada con palos,” which means the blend is prepared using the leaves’ stems.
This manufacturer produces a “suave” blend with an increased proportion of stems. This reduces the amount of powder used and prevents the mate straw (bombilla) from becoming clogged.
This manufacturer provides a smaller half-kilo package in case you want to sample the product before committing to two pounds.
- The packaging is plastic-free because it is labeled “sin capas plasticas,” or “without plastic caps.”
- Authentically Argentinean; complete with tassels (suave)
- Sunlight, natural gas, and wood heat are used to dry the leaves; smoking is not involved.
The biggest drawback is that the term “con palos” is often off-putting because it suggests that filler wood was used. However, this is a traditional way to prepare yerba mate, so it won’t detract from the quality, though the flavor will take on a woodsy undertone as a result.
Yerba Mate Rosamonte
Since its founding in 1966, Rosamonte has been run by the same family with a single focus: yerba mate.
The plantation’s expansion into new markets is proof that it is a successful enterprise, so you can rest assured that it will continue to supply you with the high-quality tea you enjoy.
- Similar to other brands of palos, but with fewer stems and a finer grind.
- A product of Argentina
- Flavor is enhanced by drying and toasting, but it’s not as intense as a fully smoked blend.
Most yerba mate blends, including this one, produce quite a bit of dust, which is the biggest drawback. Many mate drinkers prefer this type because the grind is finer and there are fewer stems; however, if you aren’t careful, the dust can clog a strainer. If you’re looking for the most effective technique, we advise searching YouTube. Do it right the first time, and doing it again won’t be hard at all.
Guayaki Yerba Mate – Traditional Bags
Guayaki is dedicated to “Market Driven Regeneration,” which means that the company pays local farmers a living wage thanks to the demand for premium quality yerba mate.
Farmers impart this durability on their communities by fostering a rich diversity of plant and animal life in their woodlands.
- Certified organic and harvested in a sustainable manner
- Conveniently packaged as tea bags.
- smoked very lightly for a subtler flavor
One of the best features, and one of the most confusing for traditional or experienced yerba mate drinkers, is that this yerba mate comes in bags. Since yerba mate is typically sold in loose-leaf form, it’s simple to buy it by mistake if you don’t pay close attention to the label.
Taragui Yerba Mate Con Palo
The benefits and preparation methods of yerba mate are typically explained in Spanish, which can be a barrier for non-Spanish speakers.
The English language marketing and sales material for Taragui is well done, with clear explanations of the product’s health benefits and caffeine content as well as clear, easy-to-follow instructions for preparing the product.
- Distributors of Yerba Mate claim that their brand is the most widely consumed around the world.
- A product of Argentina
- The best flavors are achieved through a methodical drying and aging process.
The main disadvantage is that it is not clear how many stems are included when a package says “con palos.” The Taragui blend of yerba mate has a more traditional flavor, but its fine grind and dust can be difficult to work with for novices. Some yerba mate drinkers prefer more stems because it’s easier to make in a French press.
Canarias Yerba Mate
Even though Argentine mates predominate here, Canarias is actually gathered in southern Brazil.
Despite sharing the same plant with its Argentinian counterparts, this blend’s flavor is fresher and fruitier than its counterparts, less bitter, and nicely balanced by a hint of smokiness thanks to the drying process.
- This blend is “sin palo,” which means it contains no stems but only leaves.
- The most widely consumed beverage in Uruguay is a product of Brazil.
- Rich, velvety, almost chocolatey flavor thanks to the high polvo (dust) content.
The biggest problem is that, like the other stemless yerba mate blends, this one is extremely dusty. So much so that if you want your drink to taste smooth and not like sand, you should invest in a traditional bombilla with a fine grain filter.
Organic Yerba Mate Tea Bags – Variety Pack
Kiss Me Organics is an American company that collaborates with sustainable organic farms all over the world to create “superfood” supplements of the highest possible quality.
This brand is more accessible to a North American audience, and we love a local company as you can see from the other brands that made our favorites list.
- 100% natural, with palos
- Manufactured in Brazil
- There are four distinct flavors available in convenient tea bags.
Despite being the most non-traditional of our top 7 yerba mate picks, these tea bags are a great way to ease into the flavor of this healthy, caffeinated hot beverage.
Ecoteas – Organic Unsmoked Yerba Mate Tea
Ecoteas is another U.S.-based firm that works toward improving consumer health and reestablishing ecological harmony by purchasing yerba mate from local farmers.
- Certified organic, never smoked, highest quality assurance
- Produced in conjunction with a school in Argentina and a Fair Trade fund for that country
- These carefully sifted leaves are ready to use in a French press or a traditional bombilla, as they are stemmed and dust-free.
The biggest issue is that the company promotes their yerba mate as “loose leaf” and “no dust,” leading some customers to be disappointed by the product’s powdery consistency. Fine grain yerba mate, which is always powdery, is distinct from the dust produced by grinding the leaves and stems together.
Not everyone enjoys this, especially purists of the yerba mate beverage. However, if you prefer matcha green tea, you may find this particular brand more to your liking.
INATO Organic Yerba Mate
You won’t find a better Yerba Mate than this. All natural, wild-harvested, and grown in the shade, mate leaves are used. The leaves of yerba mate are grown and harvested expertly by INATO.
To further guarantee that you receive only the finest yerba mate leaf, this product is composed entirely of leaves and contains no sticks or dust. The mate originates in southern Brazil, where favorable growing conditions can be found thanks to the convergence of a rainforest and high altitudes. You can’t go wrong with INATO’s yerba mate if that’s what you’re after.
Cruz De Malta Yerba Mate
Capital Teas’ Yerba Mate is the pinnacle of synergy between the stimulating mate and the revitalizing green tea. It comes in loose-leaf form, making it easy to prepare, and it combines the health benefits of yerba mate and green tea.
Capital Teas does a fantastic job of sourcing their teas and mate, and their yerba mate ranks among the best on the market. This yerba mate drink is a delicious combination of green tea, mate, and lemon, and it will keep you energized and healthy.
Yerba Mate: What Is It, Exactly?
Yerba mate is a herbal tea made from the leaves of a holly tree native to the rain forests of South America. The holly tree, in its scientific designation, is known as Ilex paraguariensis. Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil are the primary countries where this plant is cultivated.
The indigenous people of South America have long made regular use of this beverage. For ages, yerba mate has been consumed for its purported ability to stimulate mental clarity and physical vitality.
The herbal infusion, Yerba Mate, is traditionally consumed from a gourd mug using a bombilla, a special straw. A filter is built into the base of the bombilla straw to catch any stray mate leaves.
Caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine are found in yerba mate, which are responsible for its stimulating effects. The caffeine content of this drink is comparable to that of coffee, but it has more positive health effects and fewer jitters. That’s why yerba mate is such a popular replacement for coffee.
Benefits of Yerba Mate
The South American beverage yerba mate is often recommended as a caffeine-free substitute for coffee. Caffeine is only one of many health benefits found in this beverage. As an added bonus, it’s easier on the stomach than coffee because it’s alkalizing rather than acidic.
If you have a sensitive stomach but still enjoy the stimulating effects of coffee, this is the perfect alternative.
Just a few of mate 1’s beneficial ingredients are as follows:
- Those that are vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, and B5
- minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc
- Pantothenic acid, pantothenic acid, 15 amino acids, carotene, fatty acids, chlorophyll, flavonols, polyphenols, tannins, and a variety of fatty acids
- Caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline are all examples of xanthines.
- Some specific health advantages of Yerba Mate include:
- Is a good way to get more out of life by boosting your stamina and
- Source that can boost physical performance
- Increases metabolic rate, which may facilitate weight loss.
- Possibility of using this as a means of bolstering the immune system
However, it’s important to pay attention to your body and use any beverage that contains caffeine sparingly.
Method for Preparing Yerba Mate
It’s easy to prepare Yerba mate. You can use a regular teacup, but the traditional method of using a gourd and bombilla yields the best results. Here is a rundown of the steps involved in preparing yerba mate using a gourd and bombilla.
- Yerba Mate
- Gourd (special mug)
- Bombilla (special straw with filter)
- Hot water
The Procedure for Preparing Yerba Mate Is as Follows:
- Bring water to a simmer (160 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Put enough yerba mate leaf into your gourd to fill it halfway, or four to five large teaspoons.
- To sort the leaves in the gourd from heaviest to lightest, place your hand over the gourd, turn it upside down, and shake it vigorously.
- Keep the gourd at an incline, so that the leaves inside form a slope.
- Put in the bombilla straw.
- Soak the leaves in a bowl of cold water for a while.
- The final step is to pour hot water over the mate leaves.
- Have fun and bask in the glow of your own euphoria.
Can you please explain the difference between a Gourd and a Bombilla?
A bombilla is a metal straw with a filter used to drink yerba mate out of a gourd.
Although you can brew Yerba mate in a teapot, the traditional gourd and bombilla are essential for the best experience. Featured below is a stunning gourd and bombilla made in Tealyra by hand.
Stainless steel Bombilla straw and Yerba Mate gourd (Tealyra) carved by hand in Argentina.
South American yerba mate is a delicious herbal drink with many positive health effects. If you like the stimulation of coffee but don’t like the jitters, this is a great alternative. Because mate is less heavy than coffee, it’s a better option for those with delicate stomachs.
You won’t be let down if you decide to try this fantastic energizing drink. If you’re trying to wean yourself off of coffee, do yourself a favor and pick up a bag of the best yerba mate money can buy.