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what is mate tea?

Posted by arden on 15th June 2018

what is mate tea?

Mate tea (pronounced mah-teh) is the national drink of Argentina, renowned for its ability to rejuvenate and provide focus and apparently the new secret weapon for the England football team. The herbal tea is cracked up to be an energy-boosting cuppa for improved sports performance, energy and endurance. The hype around this tea may have you thinking it can help you run a marathon next week after just one park run, but best to read this guide first to get the low-down on what it’s all about... 

First things first...what is yerba mate tea?

Mate tea is made from the yerba mate (pronounced ‘yehr-bah mah-teh,’) a South American holly tree similar to the tea plant. It’s not strictly “tea” as it’s not made from the tea plant, Camelia Sinensis, but it has similar benefits to tea since it’s similarly high in antioxidants and contains caffeine. In South America it’s drunk from a hollow gourd with loose leaves, hot water and a metal strainer straw (in Argentina nearly everyone walks around with the iconic cups in their hand,) but we sell it in our trustee tea temples.

Where does yerba mate come from?

Mate tea originates from Paraguay where the indigenous Guaraní people and Tupí communities were the first to cultivate the herb and make tea. Since then it has spread throughout South America, and most popular in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and Brazil.

health benefits of yerba mate tea?

British footballers are turning to mate tea for its many health benefits, and since Lionel Messi drinks it, they may be on the right track. These are the most promising benefits:

  1. Focused energy. The energy boost of mate tea is similar to what you get from coffee (one cup of mate has half as much caffeine as the typical Americano) but less jittery and more relaxed thanks to another compound called theobromine, which is found in chocolate.
  2. Improved mood. The theobromine in chocolate and yerba mate is known to cause increased endorphins, basically, a more calm and happy frame of mind.
  3. Less inflammation. Mate tea has high levels of antioxidants (also found in fruits and veg), which are proven to lower inflammation and help your body repair and fight disease
  4. Weight lossMate is championed for its weight loss effects—it helps reduce cravings and appetite, and increase fat burning and thermogenesis (it speeds up your metabolism!) this could be due to the theobromine or caffeine, but more studies need to be done to confirm
  5. Better sleep. This one is very counter-intuitive, but mate has been shown to improve deep sleeping, also known as REM sleep! Who would have thought it?


So, pop on your trainers and get some yerba mate on the go! It tastes like a smoky green tea, possibly a new lapsang souchong or another option for lovers of the popcorn tea. For summer, try it iced, with a bit of cinnamon or ginger for an extra antioxidant and flavour kick. Maybe even chili flakes if you’re feeling brave.

Want to learn about other teas with benefits?

Click here to shop yerba mate