What is
Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is obtained from the leaves of Illex paraguariensis, tree native to the subtropical forests in South America that belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family.

Yerba Mate grows in a very limited natural range and thrives in certain areas of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. A geographical area between 18 and 30 degrees south latitude, bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and the Paraguay River to the west. In Argentina, the geographical area where yerba mate is produced is made up of the northeast provinces of Corrientes and Misiones. It is a region of great natural beauty where the humid climate and soil type has created the ideal conditions for the cultivation of yerba mate. In the Guarani language Caa means Yerba, but it also means plant and forest. For the Guarani, the Yerba Mate tree is the main tree. It is considered a gift from the gods. Drinking the sap from the leaves was to them like drinking the forest itself.

In the wild, the yerba mate plant looks like a tree, straight with a rounded-crown full of leathery evergreen leaves that may reach up to 20 feet high. Though as a crop, the plants growth is limited to a shrub of 3-6 feet, thus facilitating the manual harvesting of its leaves.

Argentina is the largest producer and exporter of yerba mate mate with a consumption of 6.7 kilos per person per year. The consumption has spread throughout the country and does not discriminate in age or social class.

In Argentina, yerba mate is a common drink, an infusion that, when drunk with hot water is called mate and when consumed with cold water is called tereré. Mate tea bags are also common, steeped in hot water and drunk from a mug.

The consumption of mate produces a beneficial effect, awakening the mind and energizing the body.