What is Yerba Mate
Yerba máte tea is obtained from the leaves of Ilex paraguariensis, a tree native to South America that belongs to the Aquifoliaceae family. Yerba Máte thrives in the subtropical forests of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay but requires specific environmental conditions for proper growth and development. In Argentina, the geographical area where yerba máte is cultivated includes the northeast provinces of Corrientes and Misiones.
It is a region of astonishing natural beauty where the humid climate and rich soils create the ideal conditions for yerba máte to grow. In the wild, the yerba máte plant looks like a tree; straight with a rounded-crown full of leathery evergreen leaves that may reach up to 20 feet high. Despite being a crop, the plants growth is limited to the size of a shrub approximately 3-6 feet high. This facilitates the manual harvesting of the leaves.
Argentina is the largest producer and exporter of yerba máte tea with a consumption of 6.7 kilos of yerba mate per person per year.
The consumption of yerba mate is well spread among people throughout the country, including all ages and social classes. It is a popular infusion that, when drunk with hot water is called máte and when consumed with cold water is called tereré. Máte tea bags are also very popular, dipped in hot water and drunk from a mug. The consumption of máte produces a beneficial effect, awakening the mind and energizing the body.