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chappie

yerba maté

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For the past year or so I've been drinking yerba maté more than coffee and can attest to the differences between caffeine and the mateine in this South American beverage. I still love coffee, but can expect an edgy ride when I drink a few cups of coffeeshop-strength brew. With maté it's different; I feel a lift to the body and the brain without any sleep deprivation or crash -- and I can drink six teapots' worth or more. And if you believe what mate purveyors claim, the stuff is full of antioxidants among other health benefits.

A few natural-foods stores sell small portions of maté at a steep price; I've found it's better to order large quantities on eBay. The best deals I've found were for Cruz de Malta. I bought it in large shipments, and it is decent, but I've had better. Can anyone recommend an affordable but high-quality brand? Or does anyone have anything maté-related they want to share?

I have been trying to get my small-town coffee shop to stock it to no avail.

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i heard about mate through reading Che Guevara's 'The Motorcycle Diaries'. i'm looking for some in my city right now, since i love tea and have given up coffee. will report back when i find some, as i'm looking forward to trying it... :smile:


"The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the ocean."

--Isak Dinesen

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Try teaontheweb.com for all your tea needs. The green teas are great and the mate is organic, I think.

Good luck.


slowfood/slowwine

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My local espresso bar is carrying it. The owner is into all sorts of natural rpoducst and especially those purported to have health benefits (I'm sure that sme of them do). More specifically.... there's actually a yerba mate cafe that just opened in Ithaca NY, about an hour away from me. I go down that way once a month or so. I'll try to check the place out and report back on what I find.

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I like yerba mate as a beverage and also the way it represents community and family in South American culture, but sometimes I get paranoid about the communal aspect of it. I've been in social settings where we'll pass the gourd and bombilla (straw) around, say, 10 women. I know it's tradition, but I just think about how many other people's mouths have been on that same metal straw and it makes me worried about germ spreading. No one here seems to mind, though, so perhaps I should just chalk it up to being an American outsider.

In Argentina, Coca Cola has launched a mate-flavored soft drink just for this market. It's far sweeter than regular hot mate and it's carbonated. It sounds disgusting, but apart from the disturbing color (green like a dirty river), it's not all that bad. Nothing compared to normal mate, though.

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I think it depends on what your tastes are, Cruz de Malta is pretty good, I like Taragui. It sounds like you are making a tea out of it maybe? It will taste different made that way, also. When it's like that we call it a 'yerbiado'. There are yerbas that come in different grinds, some with more 'palo' or sticks than others, again, depends on personal preference and usage. I'm not sure where you are living, sounds like your availability is about as good (ie bad) as mine. I live in Oklahoma and we have my mother-in-law bring the yerba when she comes to stay or have friends in California or Miami sent us some.

:)

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It sounds like you are making a tea out of it maybe? It will taste different made that way, also. When it's like that we call it a 'yerbiado'.

I didn't reallize that different methods of preparing it produced a different product. Even with the gourd and bombilla, don't they all involve steeping the maté in boiling water? I have used a french press in the past but now just use a Chinese teapot with a wire mesh strainer.

Can you suggest other, better methods for me to make it?

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The difference is that in the gourd there is very little room for water, which by the way should be hot but not boiling, therefore the yerba doesn't really get a chance to steep much, it's almost like you are just using the water as a medium to carry the pure taste of the yerba to your mouth. A yerbiado would be boiling it in water and steeping it, different taste, to be honest usually yerbiados are for children or elderly women. Not sure why, usually one of those things you drink when you feel ill, etc. Children add milk. I have never tried a french press method, but would imagine it would be like a strong yerbiado. It comes in little tea bags too, which is known as mate cocido. I recommend you try the gourd method (if you haven't). I've found this website which sells the taragui that I find best (the red and white package 'with palo), also there is a set with 500 grams of taragui, a gourd and bombilla for $11.99. These prices are not too bad, I might start ordering from there.

Yerba Products

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<gasp> you mean theres no new magical methylxanthine? I'm shocked. Shocked I tell you.

First time I ever had mate was in a gourd setting in a graduate sutdent office. That gourd was packed with about a third cup of mate I guess. maybe a half?

There were 5 people and we passed it around. There was about enough water for each person to take a really good suck/swallow through that metal thingie. That stuff be bitter!!! But, as the gourd got back around to the first person, water was added again. So each subsequent slurp was better tasting. After about 30 minutes I was high as a kite. I buzzed for hours!! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Nowadays I use it like tea, nowhere near as strong as in the gourd. Much higher water to mate ratio. Good stuff, though.

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p.s. There is not such thing as 'mateine'

Heresy. I think I will ignore the facts, embrace the pseudo-science and marketing ploys and just continue believing in mateine. If I stop believing in it now, who knows, maté might start keeping me up at night, making me jittery and ceasing to build me into a superhuman.

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For Chappie and Tea Lovers: I had to give up my caffeine addiction and have found tea to be a great alternative. I order all my tea from an online company called Simplicitea. They sell 50 varieties of loose-leaf tea. They carry Yerba Mate as well as other hard to find teas such as Organic Assam and Organic Rooibus. They also carry the Mate' gourds that is used in South America. ( I'm very picky about quality and this stuff is the best I've found!) Go to www.simplicitea.com ad check it out.

Amber

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Have you tried looking for mate at latin stores in your area? Here in Seattle, most all of the latin groceries have a wide variety, from Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil, and much cheaper than at a specialty store.

In Paraguay, mate is taken cold (and called Terere) using the gourd (guampa) and straw (bombilla). The guampa is filled a bit more than 1/2 full with mate, usually some aromatic herbs are added (mint is popular), ice cold water goes on top, and drink it down. In a group, the usual custom is that one person acts as the 'server', fills the guampa, passes it to the first person in the circle, who drinks all the liquid and passes back to the server. They refill and pass on to the next person.

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My mom just got back from South America and brought me a gourd, bombilla and some mate. Right now I'm curing the gourd as per instructions (letting it soak with some herb for 3 days). So on Thursday I can start using it, I guess.

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I thought I found the ultimate maté site: www.todomate.com

On second glance, maybe not... the logo is great but they really don't offer much. I'll stick to eBay.


Edited by chappie (log)

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It's for sale in many co-op grocery stores here in Minneapolis. The same brand I brought home from Argentina eight or so years ago.

Bruce

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A topic close to my heart. I worked for over two years at a rural yerba mate cooperative in Paraguay. In my biased opinion, Paraguayan yerba is by far the best and most flavorful yerba available. And it's available (as far as I have found) at these sites:

The Pajarito brand at www.yerbamate.net

The La Rubia brand (packaged under private label) at www.ymrev.com

Also, check out the aromatic palo santo guampas and cool bombillas available at:

www.latinogift.com

I'd be happy to answer other questions, too, because I do have a lot of arcane knowledge in this area (and virtually no one to share it with!).

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I thought I found the ultimate maté site: www.todomate.com

On second glance, maybe not... the logo is great but they really don't offer much. I'll stick to eBay.

I work at todomate.com and I like to know opinions about what to improve in the Site to make it better. What else do you like to we offer on it? You can find our Mates at eBay Auctions too. I'll be waiting for feedback. Thanks and Best Regards.-


Edited by nlandoni (log)

Nicolas Landoni

www.todomate.com

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