Yerba Mate Tea: Benefits, Side Effects, and How to Make It

Immerse yourself in the fascinating world of Yerba Mate tea. We invite you to explore its benefits, side effects, and learn how to brew it.

What Is Yerba Mate Tea?

Yerba Mate tea is a traditional South American brew. It’s a vibrant beverage cherished in countries like Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. The tea’s name, “Yerba Mate,” refers to the mate plant (Ilex paraguariensis), from which the leaves and stems are harvested.

Yerba Mate is an evergreen holly plant. The leaves are plucked, dried, and typically aged before they are ground into a powdery mix known as “mate”. The tea is traditionally sipped from a natural gourd through a metal straw with a filter to separate the leaves from the infusion.

What Does Yerba Mate Tea Taste Like?

Yerba Mate has a distinct taste unlike any other tea. The flavor is often described as earthy, robust, and slightly bitter with grassy notes. Some may find it reminiscent of green tea but with a more potent punch.

How Much Caffeine Is in Yerba Mate Tea?

Yerba Mate is well-loved for its energizing properties. A cup of Yerba Mate contains approximately 85 mg of caffeine, falling between the caffeine content of green tea and coffee.

Types of Yerba Mate Tea

Each region in South America boasts its distinct Yerba Mate version.

Argentinian Yerba Mate

Argentinian Yerba Mate is the most widely consumed globally. The blend is mild, balanced, and often features stems mixed with leaves. It has a pleasant, grassy flavor and is aged for anywhere from a few months to a couple of years.

Paraguayan Yerba Mate

Paraguayans often enjoy their Yerba Mate cold, known as “terere.” Their blend has a robust and bold flavor, often smoked and sometimes mixed with herbs like mint or citrus peels for an aromatic touch.

Uruguayan Yerba Mate

Uruguayan Yerba Mate is typically more potent and bitter than its counterparts. This blend is fine and powdery, often consumed without a filter, leading to a stronger flavor and a thicker, creamier texture.

Brazilian Erva Mate (Chimarrão)

In Brazil, Yerba Mate, known as “Erva Mate,” is enjoyed as “Chimarrão.” It has a characteristic bright green color, a fresh, grassy flavor, and isn’t aged like other varieties. It’s finely ground and requires a specialized drinking apparatus to avoid inhaling the tiny particles.

Which Type Of Yerba Mate Is Best?

The “best” type of Yerba Mate is subjective and depends on individual taste preferences. If you enjoy milder, grassy flavors, Argentinian or Brazilian Erva Mate might suit you. If you prefer a robust, bitter taste, Uruguayan Yerba Mate could be your top pick. For an adventurous palate seeking a bold, smoky flavor, Paraguayan Yerba Mate could be the best.

We have tried dozens of different options. Here are the best yerba mate brands we have discovered through testing.

Yerba Mate Tea Benefits

Yerba Mate boasts numerous health benefits worth exploring.

Rich in Antioxidants

Yerba Mate is loaded with antioxidants, which are known to fight inflammation, slow aging, and boost immunity.

Boosts Mental Focus

With its caffeine content, Yerba Mate can sharpen mental focus and enhance cognitive function.

It’s also worth noting that there are other teas beneficial for improving focus and concentration.

Aids in Weight Loss

Yerba Mate can suppress appetite and boost metabolism, aiding in weight management.

Yerba Mate Tea Side Effects

Despite its benefits, Yerba Mate isn’t free from side effects.

Potential Insomnia

Because of its caffeine content, excessive consumption of Yerba Mate could lead to insomnia.

Possible Digestive Issues

Drinking Yerba Mate in large quantities may result in digestive issues like nausea and upset stomach.

Caffeine Dependence

Regular consumption of Yerba Mate may lead to caffeine dependence and associated withdrawal symptoms.

How to Make Yerba Mate Tea?

The process of making yerba mate is simple:

  1. Fill your Mate gourd with Yerba Mate leaves until it’s about halfway full.
  2. Tilt the gourd to one side, creating a slope of Yerba Mate leaves on one side.
  3. Pour a little cold water on the lower side to protect the flavor.
  4. Insert the bombilla, the metal straw, in the lower part.
  5. Add hot, but not boiling, water until it reaches just below the top of the Yerba Mate.
  6. Sip and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Yerba Mate tea offers a unique cultural experience packed with potential health benefits. Its unique flavor, combined with its stimulating effects, make it an attractive alternative to regular tea or coffee.


Does Yerba Mate Give You a Buzz?

Yes, thanks to its caffeine content, Yerba Mate can give you a gentle buzz, increasing alertness and focus.

Is It Ok to Drink Yerba Mate Everyday?

Drinking Yerba Mate everyday is generally safe, but moderation is key due to its caffeine content and potential side effects.

Is Yerba Mate More Powerful Than Coffee?

In terms of caffeine, Yerba Mate is less potent than coffee. However, its array of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals could make it a more beneficial beverage overall.

If you want to know more about the pros and cons of yerba mate versus coffee, here’s a detailed comparison.

When Is It Best to Drink Yerba Mate Tea?

Yerba Mate is versatile and can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Many people find it especially beneficial in the morning or early afternoon for a boost of energy.

Is Yerba Mate Good Before a Workout?

Yes, yerba mate can be beneficial before a workout. It has a higher caffeine content than many other teas, providing a substantial energy boost. It also contains antioxidants and nutrients that can support overall health.

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