There are only a handful of plants in the world that produce caffeine, and yerba mate is one of them. Along with tea, coffee, cacao, kola (or cola) and guarana, the yerba maté herb is used to produce a caffeinated beverage. While prepared as an infusion to create a tea-like beverage, yerba mate contains no actual tea leaves. Yerba maté is an herb native to South America and is used to make the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uraguay and Southern Brazil. In fact, yerba maté is consumed 6 to 1 over coffee in these countries.
Generally, yerba maté is steeped in hot water, not boiling, at a temperature similar to a green tea, around 160 to 180 degrees. This is somewhere just off the boil.
Using about 2 grams (1 teaspoon) of loose leaf tea per 8 oz. cup of water is a safe bet.
Always start with fresh, pure, cold filtered water when you brewing tea. Spring water is the best.
Cover your tea while it steeps to keep all the heat in the steeping vessel.
Taste your yerba maté after the recommended infusion time (we steep our yerba mate for 4 to 5 minutes) and then decide if you’d like it to go a little longer. Similar to a traditional tea, yerba maté can get more astringent and bitter the longer it’s infused in hot water.
Most high-quality loose leaf yerba matés teas can be steeped multiple times.