This Brazilian mate is particularly round and fresh with very smooth vegetal notes. Its aromatic profile and the distinct size of its leaves make it an ideal mate to prepare traditionally in a calabash.
Mate is an infusion that originates in South America. It is also known as "Chimarrão", or "Jesuit's tea". Its name is derived from the quechua word "mathi", and refers to the hollowed-out dried gourd which constitutes the calabash from which it is traditionally drunk. It is made out of a yerba mate tree, which is a type of holly tree. This tree is native to South America, and is cultivated in four countries: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. This tree can only grow in subtropical climates, with high humidity and a lot of sunshine. Once the leaves are harvested, they are heated up to stop oxidation, then they are chopped and stored for several months to increase their aromatic concentration. The leaves are then graded and mixed together to obtain the grade required (with or without stems/large or small leaves, etc.).
Originally, it was at the centre of the native American Guaraní's diet due to the health benefits it provided. Providing a natural energy boost and health benefits due to its caffeine and mineral content, mate is the ideal drink for post-sports recovery.
This tea is grown organically and certified by Ecocert, an accredited independent certification body.
Legend of mate
There are many legends surrounding mate. One of the most famous is the tale told by the Guaraní. The legend goes that the god Tupú, moved at the sight of a young girl looking after her ill father, gave her a plant with magical powers: the Yerba Mate. The leaves of this magical tree have two qualities: healing powers, and driving out feelings of loneliness. But that's not all; to reward her for her kindness, the god raised her up to the status of a goddess, and she became Caa-Yarí, the goddess of mate.
Just like the tea, this precious Amerindian plant would make for a heavenly gift. The father's recovery at the hands of she who would become the goddess Caa-Yarí symbolises the healthy properties of Yerba Mate.
This young woman's generosity also exemplifies the solidarity between mankind that is at the heart of mate consumption, as this tea is typically shared together among friends.
- Colour: light gold
- Texture: silky
- Flavours: sweet
- Aromas: a mate with fresh vegetal notes
Suggestion of preparation
The traditional mixture made in a calabash is called "mate Cebado". This method is followed like a ritual in south America. Mate is traditionally shared among friends, who pass the calabash around in a circle. The first mate is drunk by the Cebador (the person who prepares the mate Cebado), as by drinking this first mixture, they can check whether it has reached the right water temperature and quantity. As well as being deeply embedded in the local culture, this preparation method brings two advantages:
- drinking highly concentrated mate means the drinker can benefit from all the leaves' qualities more intensely.
- preparing mate in this way means that the same leaves can be used throughout the day until they run out of flavour. Mate Cebado is therefore more cost-efficient.
A calabash and a bombilla should be used with this method. There are two types of calabash: traditional gourd calabashes, calabashes made from materials other than gourds. If you are using a gourd calabash, it should be cured before it is used to make mate for the first time.
1/ Fill your calabash with 2/3 of mate.
2/ Tip over the calabash to make the mate fall on one side. Straight up the calabash, place the lid and insert the bombilla on the empty side.
3/ Add 80°C simmering water. Savor the mate when the water gets colder. Renew infusions as much as you want.
N.B. Some dust of mate can go through the filter of the bombilla while savoring, it a normal effect.