What is Yerba Mate? | Drink Marquis

By Matthew Pineda February 08, 2021

10 min read

The “jitter-free” caffeine that everyone is obsessing over, Yerba Mate, is new to the game in the US, but has been a traditional tea native to South America since way back! Yerba Mate is a key ingredient in the Marquis formula as it boosts energy with an impressive line up of nutrients.

So why is everyone swapping out coffee for Yerba Mate tea and energy drinks? The hype stems from the fact that Yerba Mate tea provides a soothing dose of caffeine. Although, most of Yerba Mate’s die-hard fans might not even know much about the drink! 

The name of this traditional beverage comes from its unique brewing and drinking ritual! Traditional Yerba Mate is also called the "drink of the gods", packed full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all while providing a natural pick me up. With many health benefits, Yerba Mate has gained a reputation as a "super drink" around the globe. Keep reading for a 101 on the history and traditions of drinking Yerba Mate! 

History and Origin of Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate may have just recently popped up in American stores, but it’s been around for a while! The drink dates all the way back to the pre-Columbian era. The local Guaraní people in Paraguay discovered the Ilex paraguariensis tree and began to cultivate it, drying the leaves and twigs, then drinking them in hot water. 

For centuries, the Guaraní praised it for its healing properties! Yerba Mate was an important part of their medicinal culture, along with their social culture as it was consumed through a special ritual! 

With the colonization of Paraguay by the Spanish, it became one of the country’s main exports. Other South American countries like Brazil, Argentina, and Chile also grew and cultivated the plant! 

How Much Caffeine is in Yerba Mate?

Yerba Mate can also be an alternative to your usual cup of coffee or used as a mid-day boost to avoid the second cup. Yerba Mate’s caffeine content typically falls somewhere between that of a cup of black tea and a cup of coffee. One cup of yerba mate contains about 80 milligrams of caffeine (an average cup of coffee can contain about 100 milligrams of caffeine).

Traditional Rituals of Drinking Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate can also be referred to as mate or maté, all describing different components of the traditional brewing and drinking process. The traditional ritual is actually described in the name, Yerba Maté, which means “gourd herb”

The practice requires a mate (dried gourd), a bombilla ( a special straw that filters out tea leaves while drinking), and a thermos for transporting hot water.

Individuals will sit in a circle and one person, the cebador, will fill the mate (dried gourd) with two-thirds of leaves and add warm water, releasing all the flavor. The gourd is topped off with hot water, just below boiling to not burn the leaves. 

The gourd usually gets passed around, allowing everyone to take a sip! It is common for the hot water to be refilled several times, and as more water is added the strength begins to increase! 

Fun Fact: Using the bombilla to stir the beverage is considered very rude! 

The ritual of passing around the mate in South America is considered to be celebratory and connective! During this time, they would talk and socialize with family, friends, and neighbors. 

This isn't the only way to drink Yerba Mate! Today, in the U.S., you won’t find Yerba Mate served in a dried-out gourd. Instead, you will find Yerba Mate sold as loose leaf tea, in tea bag form, or on the ingredient list of energizing drinks like Marquis! 

If you want to get the full experience you can order a mate or bombilla online! 

Yerba Mate- Health and Vitality

Yerba mate health benefits are extensive.

The Guaraní people of South America have regarded yerba maté as a drink associated with health and vitality. There is an impressive list of health benefits attributed to consuming Yerba Mate, which contains a long list of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, including:

  • B vitamins and vitamin C
  • Manganese
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • The Beneficial Plant Compounds: quercetin, theobromine, and theophylline!

Yerba mate meets all the requirements to be considered a superfood, as it is loaded with nutrients! Most of the effects of Yerba Mate can be attributed to its caffeine content. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, resulting in more alertness, greater energy, and reducing fatigue. 

The caffeine of Yerba Mate has the dual action of stimulating and soothing. This is due to its adaptogenic properties that help regulate your body’s systems. The relaxing compounds of theophylline and theobromine may also be responsible for this soothing effect.

The Ultimate Caffeine Blend

Marquis yerba mate energy drink with fruits

Yerba Mate is just one part of the unique Marquis formula! Our unique blend of sustainable plant-based caffeine is made with a blend of yerba mate, green coffee, and green tea. One can of Marquis contains 100 milligrams of plant-based organic caffeine.

Born out of the need for a guilt-free lift, every can of Marquis is plant-powered with zero added sugar, using fresh and all-natural ingredients. Just because it’s sugar-free, doesn’t bring down the taste - Marquis is naturally sweet with Stevia (a naturally sweet plant that contains zero calories). We use Rebiana A 98%, a high-quality strain of stevia so you get the best of both worlds: sugar-free and sweet!

We wanted to create a healthy energy drink so you don’t have to worry about sleepless nights or sugar-crashes. Marquis can be an amazing 3 pm power boost or an amazing mixer to keep you on the dance floor after a long day at work (check out our Marqology Cocktail Menu to level up Happy Hour!) 

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