Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yerba Mate? Drink Up

Yerba mate (pronounced YERB-ah mah-TAY) is a popular South American herb that is brewed into a high-caffeine infusion.

It’s a drink native to South America, considered similar to green tea in both composition and taste. Although it is not a typical tea, it is called a tea for its similarities to other drinks, and due to the fact that it also contains nutrients and chemicals associated with very few side effects. It is harvested from the leaves and stems of a particular type of holly tree. It is sometimes roasted or aged before consumption to mellow its flavor.

Yerba Mate is abundant in xanthines, including caffeine and theobromine. It also includes potassium and magnesium.
Yerba mate has a bold, bittersweet flavor. It is traditionally drunk from a hollow gourd through a filtering straw (bombilla), but it can also be infused in a Western-style teapot, brewed with a French press, or made in other ways.

Coffee drinkers tend to prefer their yerba mate straight, blended with sugar/honey or made into a latte. Tea drinkers often like yerba mate blends. In parts of South America, yerba mate is blended with mint, citrus, gin and/or other ingredients.

Authentic Yerba Mate and commercialized Yerba Mate do not differ in composition either, so chances are consumers are getting the real deal here. It makes a tasty afternoon beverage. Here’s a Yerba Mate Latte recipe to get you started…..

Yerba Mate Latte Ingredients
• 1 heaping teaspoon loose-leaf yerba mate
• a single-serving tea strainer
• 1 tsp organic peppermint tea
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup low, non-fat, or soy milk
• a martini shaker
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 1 nice, big mug

You can create your own tea bags by using our individual paper tea bag filters. Heat the Water. Start by heating at least one cup of water but be careful not to let it boil so as not to destroy any of the naturally occurring antioxidants and amino acids.

The ideal temperature is about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill the Tea Strainer or paper tea bag with your Praise Tea Yerba Mate. While the water is heating, fill your tea strainer with yerba, and douse it with cool water, which helps to seal in all the mineral nutrition.

Let the Yerba Steep, according to steeping guidelines. Once the water is heated, slowly pour it over the yerba and peppermint tea, and allow it to steep for 3-10 minutes, depending on how strong you like your mate.

Remove the strainer and/or personal tea bag, and add a tablespoon of honey to sweeten. Shake the Milk in a Martini Shaker. And now it’s time for the latte. While using an espresso machine or frothing wand is a convenient way to give your milk a rich, foamy texture, this method can work just as easily, without the extra equipment and messy cleanup.

Pour about a half cup of milk into your martini shaker, and shake vigorously for about 30 seconds. Using vanilla or almond soy milk will not only cut down on the fat content of your mate latte, but can provide for an even more tasty treat.

Combine the Milk and Yerba Mate. Pour your agitated milk into a microwavable container, and heat for about 30 seconds. Remove the milk from the microwave, slowly pour over the yerba mate, sip, and enjoy!



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