Also known as Yerba Mate, is a stimulating caffeinated tea from South America. It is a popular social drink of choice in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile, and parts of Brazil. Mate is prepared by steeping dried yerba mate leaves in hot water. Traditionally, mate is made to share around a table of friends and is served in a hollow calabash gourd with a metal straw. Mate has been discovered by American tea drinkers in recent years, and used as a natural and organic mild stimulant and study aide. Tea bag infusions of mate have made its preparation and consumption easier for daily use. Mate is rich in several important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, B 1 & 2, C, E, in addition to iron and phosphorous. Drinking mate was also found to increase levels of “good cholesterol” and lower “bad cholesterol.” Similar to coffee, mate has a rich roasted nutty taste. Some people prefer to add a little sweetner, such as a natural raw sugar or honey to their mate. Pick up a bag of this “drink of friendship” for your next social gathering, or just enjoy a cup of this strong tea while reading a good book at home.
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