Yerba mate is a traditional tea revered by ancient Latin American societies. This beverage is steeped in history and cultural traditions throughout the South American continent. From Paraguay and Uruguay to Brazil and Chile, yerba mate made its name by invigorating the lives of the people who consume it. Today, yerba mate continues to inspire minds and delight tastebuds.

Powering through the day has never been easier thanks to yerba mate. This traditional South American beverage packs a punch when it comes to energy. Mate is touted as an alternative to coffee due to its high caffeine content and smooth energy delivery. Discover the best this tea has to offer and immerse yourself in a world of bold flavor.

Yerba Mate Basics

Yerba mate is a traditional herbal tea brewed in South America. The tea is particularly common in Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Brazil. Yerba mate is also popular in Syria and Lebanon.

Yerba mate is known as mate cocido in Spanish and chá mate in Portuguese. The tea is typically consumed as a loose leaf tea, but tea bags have also been prevalent for a number of years. Yerba mate tea bags are commonly sold under the trade name Pajarito in Paraguay, Mate Real in Brazil, and Taragui in Argentina.

Mate tea was discovered by the indigenous Guarani and Tupi people and has become a staple of social gatherings in South American communities. The tea is made by steeping dried leaves of the holly tree—known as Ilex paraguariensis— in hot water. The leaves are harvested, dried, and crushed into a chunky powder mixture.

The tea is brewed in a mate gourd and sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. The straw is traditionally made of silver, but modern versions can be constructed of silver nickel, stainless steel, and hollowed cane. The straw features one end that is flared, which prevents the large leafy chunks from entering when submerged.

Health Benefits of Yerba Mate

Yerba mate contains high concentrations of seven of the nine essential amino acids. It's also packed full of minerals and vitamins that boast a range of health benefits. These healthy compounds protect the immune system and prevent serious illness.

Yerba mate contains antioxidants that may fight chronic disease such as heart disease and cancer. In addition, it has saponins that help to protect heart health.

Regular consumption of yerba mate may also aid weight loss by speeding up metabolism.

The most commonly known health benefit of yerba mate is its energy-boosting nature. Yerba mate has 85 milligrams of caffeine compared to 90 milligrams present in a standard cup of coffee.

For this reason, yerba mate is a popular ingredient in energy drinks, energy shots, and workout drinks.

Yerba mate also contains a xanthine known as theobromine that affects the delivery of energy.

This naturally occurring stimulant delivers a longer-lasting and smoother energy boost than coffee. That means you'll get the energy you need without the jitters or withdrawal effects.

Popular Yerba Mate Tea Brands

Cruz de Malta

Cruz de Malta yerba mate is one of the most popular brands among Argentine consumers. This yerba mate contains a high amount of cut stems and less powder than other brands. The tea has a potent smoky flavor that is preferred by traditional mate drinkers. This tea is slightly bitter and offers a full-mouthed feel.


Taragui yerba mate is similar to Cruz de Malta in terms of flavor strength and bold aromas. This yerba mate tea has more powder than Cruz de Malta, but the same traditional, strong flavor. Taragui is preferred by strong tea consumers and can be slightly bitter for new tea drinkers. Taragui also contains some of the highest concentrations of caffeine since more of the tea leaves are powdered.


Guayaki yerba mate is among the best yerba mate brands in North America. This tea company offers both loose leaf and pre-brewed canned teas that are fair trade certified. The tea leaves are grown sustainably by local Argentinian, Brazilian, and Paraguayan farmers.

Guayaki traditional organic yerba mate has a lower acidity and milder flavor that is suitable for new mate drinkers. The flavor profile of their mate tends to have nutty undertones and is weaker and milder than alternatives. The cut of the leaves is also thicker and coarser than other yerba mate brands.


Rosamonte is another strong option that is popular in Argentina. This mate has a malty flavor that is bold and bitter. The tea is powdery and commonly sold in tea bag form. This variety is recommended for people who enjoy strong flavor, but want the convenience of regular teas.

Our Best Mate Teas

Brazil Green Yerba Mate Tea

Our Brazil yerba mate tea comes from Parana, Brazil—home to Iguaçu falls. It features large chunks of holly tree leaves and stems for a potent flavor that is mildly bitter.

Our mate tea is packed with antioxidants to keep you healthy all year long. It also has a high amount of caffeine so you can get through the longest days.

You can brew it the traditional way using a bombilla and gourd. It can also be brewed just like other regular teas using a tea strainer and tea cup.

Roasted Mate Tea

We've put a new spin on classic yerba mate tea by toasting the leaves over an open fire. The tea leaves are harvested and roasted to create a rich, smoky flavor.

This yerba mate offers a slightly nutty flavor with an earthy finish.

Roasted mate tea is best consumed in the morning thanks to its high levels of caffeine.

Just one cup an you'll have enough energy to tackle even the most difficult projects. It's rich in vitamin C and other nutrients that can help stave off a cold or flu.

Butter Tea Blend

This butter tea blend is a mixture of our Sencha Fuji Green tea, Brazilian Green Yerba Mate, and Young Pu-erh teas.

These high quality teas offer unique flavor that includes grassy, earthy, and smoky notes. The powerful combination ensures you'll get things done, no matter how long your day is.

The tea was developed to boost energy and blends perfectly with grass-fed butter or MCT oil. The combination of potent tea compounds and fats helps deliver a smoother, longer-lasting energy kick.

You can also use heavy cream or other healthy fats to draw out the rich flavor.

How to Prepare the Best Yerba Mate

The traditional brewing method of yerba mate involves using a gourd and bombilla. Some creative tea drinkers prepare the beverage using a French press. You can also use tea bags for convenience if desired. We prefer to use tea in loose leaf form and stick to the traditional methods when making yerba mate. Read on to find out how to prepare the brew the classical way.

Once you purchase a mate gourd, it needs to be cured to protect flavor development. The gourd only needs to be cured once, not each time before brewing. You should only use the gourd to brew yerba mate tea in order to preserve flavor. The gourd will gradually absorb flavor with each brew, enriching the flavor the more you brew.

To cure the gourd, start by adding two tablespoons of yerba mate. Fill the gourd all the way up to the brim with hot water. Let the gourd sit for 24 hours before emptying the contents and rinsing well. Gently scrape the bottom of the gourd using a spoon and allow it to dry completely.

Make sure to dry the gourd completely between each use to prevent mold. Don't use soap to clean your gourd. The porous surface will absorb soap and detergent residue and alter the flavor.

Brewing Instructions:

1. Fill the gourd with loose-leaf mate. Use one teaspoon of loose leaves for every eight-ounces of water.

2. Do not use boiling water as it can crack the gourd and develop bitter flavors. Instead, bring the water to a simmer and pour it into the gourd covering all of the mate leaves.

3. Let the tea steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Yerba mate is traditionally a hot beverage, but you can also enjoy cold mate if preferred. Brew the cold mate using the same technique as a hot cup. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature before storing in the refrigerator or serving immediately with ice.

Mate is also traditionally consumed unsweetened, but you can add different flavors to enhance the drinking experience. Lemon juice, mint, warm milk and burnt sugar are all popular additives among mate drinkers.

Tags: Mate Tea