Country of Origin: Brazil
Region: Mato Grosso
Shipping Port: Rio de Janeiro
Grade: Chopped roasted
Altitude: Below 1000'feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Traditional
Cup Characteristics: Full bodied and smooth. The roasted character imparts a coffee-like toast flavor. Rich in mateine, which is recognized as a mild stimulant
Infusion: Slightly dull tending black
Ingredients: Luxury roasted mate
Yerba Matte is one of South America's most widely consumed and revered hot beverages. The drink is made by brewing the dry roasted leaves of the Yerba Matte tree, (Latin: Ilex paraguariensis), a small evergreen that is a member of the Holly family. The tree is native to the subtropical highlands of Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina, and it is in those countries that the majority of Yerba Matte is consumed. In fact, it is not uncommon for visitors in those countries to see people sharing the drink outdoors at the park or on the beach.
Yerba Matte is called The drink of the gods by many of the indigenous people of South America who have brewed it for centuries. It was however, a people who believed in a different God that are responsible for the first commercial Yerba Matte plantations Jesuit missionaries. Upon arriving in the new world, the Jesuits quickly adopted the native practice of drinking Yerba Matte as a tea. At the time, Yerba Matte leaves were only being harvested from wild stands of trees. Owing to its widespread popularity, the Jesuits realized the large economic potential of the plant and founded the first Yerba Matte plantations during the mid 1600's.
By the 1770's, the drink had become immensely popular throughout the continent and was served by most households at all times of the day. The tea was traditionally drunk from a gourd, or mate, and was sipped through a straw known as a bombilla. Incidentally, this is still the way most Yerba Matte is consumed.) These mates and bombillas were often elaborately gilded in silver in fact, a contemporary European visitor to the colonies in Argentina reported home that, there is no house, rich or poor, where there is not always matte on the table, and it is nothing short of amazing to see the luxury spent on matte utensils. Obviously, the refreshing drink was highly regarded.
In recent years, the popularity of Yerba Matte has finally begun to take hold around the world as an alternative to tea and coffee. This roasted Matte has a pleasingly astringent, smooth, roasty character that comes from the roasting process the leaves undergo after plucking. It makes a perfect pick me up in the morning since it contains more caffeine than coffee or tea, and is also rich in Vitamin C and other naturally occurring nutrients and antioxidants. It is said in parts of South America when one offers Matte, he offers friendship. We offer you this delicious roasted Matte. Brew some today and drink in the history.
Traditional brewing method (using gourd and bombilla): Bring water to a roiling boil. Fill gourd 1/3 full with loose Roasted matte, then pour the boiled water up to the rim. Insert your bombilla and sip away. If sharing, it is polite for the host to drink first, and then add more water for the next person.
Tea Pot, French Press, or Infuser methods: A regular teapot or a French press are both perfect for brewing Roasted Matte. Add a tablespoon or two of loose Matte per 3-cup teapot add freshly boiled water, and let steep for about 3 minutes. Then, simply strain, plunge the press, or remove your infuser, and serve. Astringency will depend on the amount of Matte used so you may wish to experiment a little.
Iced Yerba Matte: As with all iced teas, pick your preferred brewing method and pour over a tall glass of ice. Delicious with a dash of sugar.