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What is Yerba Mate?

Mate.Also called Paraguay cayi, Paraguay tea, South American holly, mateteestrauch, erva-verdadeira, St. Bartholomew's tea, Jesuit's tea, hervea, caminu, kkiro, kali chaye, Ilex paraguayensis of the Aquifoliaceae family, yerba mate is an herbal tea claimed to have multiple medicinal and healthful properties.

Ilex paraguayensis is a medium-sized tree of the holly family grown wild and cultivated in Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil. It's a sustainable harvest which in turn supports rainforest preservation and the conservation and protection of endangered species.

Due to ever growing international popularity, the tree with its graceful, full-leafed branches, and white flowers that produce small red, black, or yellow berries, is now cultivated in other locations.

It's the leaves that are desirable. They need to be "deactivated" to release the natural enzymes. This can be done by holding cut branches over an open fire in a fire-roasting process. Alternately, the leaves can be blanched before roasting. Either way, the leaves are dried, toasted and crushed to produce a fine, crumbly brown-leaf tea

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