There are so many different types of tea out there. Green, black, white, oolong… the list goes on! But have you ever heard of mate tea? It's a beverage that has been around for quite some time.
It originates from South America and is usually served as an after-meal drink. Some cultures use it as an everyday beverage, similar to how we might drink coffee or water. However, mate tea isn't like most other teas you may be used to drinking. Rather than bitter like green or black teas, it has a more earthy and grassy taste with a hint of bitterness – but in a good way!
So if you're ready to give this new type of tea a try, keep reading for our insider tips on what to mix with mate tea.
What is Mate Tea?
Mate tea is a herbal beverage consumed as a traditional drink in South America for centuries. It is often referred to as "the drink of friendship" as it is commonly shared with friends and family members while socializing.
Mate tea is made from the dried leaves of a plant called yerba mate, which is related to the holly tree. Yerba mate is naturally caffeine-rich, which is why it is popular in South America. Mate tea can be served hot or cold. It can also be mixed with other ingredients to create different flavors.
Hot mate tea is often sweetened with sugar or honey, while hard mate tea is usually combined with fruit juice. Mate tea can be found in various varieties, such as Mate Mate, Mate Blended, and Mate Caramel.
Yerba Mate Benefits
- Healthy Heart: Yerba mate is rich in antioxidants, which help to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Weight Loss: Yerba mate also contains caffeine, which has been proven to increase metabolism and energy levels.
- Maintaining Brain Health: It's also been shown to help prevent brain diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease due to its high levels of antioxidants.
- Better Sleep: Yerba mate has also been known to induce sleep, which is helpful for those with trouble sleeping.
- Stronger Immune System: Yerba mate contains vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy immune system.
- Healthier Joints: It is also suitable for your joints and muscles, making it helpful for those who suffer from arthritis.
How to Mix Mate Tea
Mate tea can be mixed with various herbs, spices, and fruits.
- Herbs: Herbs such as mint, lemongrass, and ginger make great additions to mate tea.
- Spices: Cinnamon, cardamom, and star anise can also be added to mate tea to enhance the flavor.
- Fruit: Fruit such as lemon, lime, and orange can be used to give mate tea a sweeter and more refreshing flavor.
Types of Mate Tea
- Mate Mate: This is the original form of mate tea, made from yerba mate leaves dried naturally and ground into a fine powder. Mate is considered to have a more robust flavor than other types of mate tea.
- Mate Blended: This is a less traditional version of mate tea made from the dried yerba mate leaves that have been roasted and ground. This mate tea is often mixed with other ingredients, such as Fruit or herbs, to create different flavors.
- Mate Caramel: This mate tea is trendy in Argentina. It is made from the same dried yerba mate leaves as the other varieties but has a caramel flavor. It is achieved by adding a small amount of caramel while the leaves are still fresh and green.
Which Herbs to Use When Mixing with Mate Tea
- Mint: Mint is a classic herb often paired with mate tea. It can be added to the mate tea leaves before they are dried, or it can be brewed with the mate tea leaves after they have been dried and ground.
- Lemongrass: Lemongrass can be used to give mate tea a unique flavor slightly different from what you would get from the mint. Lemongrass can be consumed either fresh in a mate tea or dried and brewed in hot water.
- Ginger: Ginger is another herb that can be used to give mate tea a unique flavor. It can be added to the dry mate tea leaves or the brewed mate tea.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon can be added to mate tea for a sweet flavor reminiscent of chai tea.
Which Spices to Use When Mixing with Mate Tea
- Cardamom: Cardamom is a classic spice usually used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. It can be added to mate tea to give it a flavor similar to chai tea.
- Clove: Clove is a classic spice often added to Indian dishes. It can be added to mate tea to give it a similar flavor to chai tea.
- Star Anise: Star Anise is often used in Chinese desserts and dishes. It can be added to mate tea to give it a sweet flavor.
- Vanilla: Vanilla is a commonly used spice that is often added to desserts. It can also be added to a mate tea to give it a sweet flavor.
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg is another classic spice often used in desserts. It can be added to mate tea to give it a sweet flavor reminiscent of dessert.
Which Fruit to use when Mixing with Mate Tea
- Orange: Oranges are often used to make orange juice. They can be used to add a sweet flavor to mate tea.
- Lemon: Lemons are often used to make lemonade. They can be used to add a sour flavor to mate tea.
- Grapefruit: Grapefruits are a sourer version of oranges. They can be used to add a sour flavor to mate tea.
Mate tea is a refreshing and caffeine-rich beverage consumed in South America for centuries. It is made from dried yerba mate leaves ground into a fine powder and brewed with hot water.
Mate tea can be mixed with herbs, spices, and fruits to create unique flavors. If you're curious about trying something new and flavorful, why not mix up a batch of mate tea and explore different flavor combinations? You might find a new favorite beverage!