Brew for 8-10 minutes at 100°C. This tea is very suitable for resteeping up to 4 times. Resteeping is adding hot water to the used tea leaves.
You can also make Tereré with this tea. a cold drink. The preparation is basically similar but you use cold water instead of hot water and steep for at least half an hour.
If you find the taste a bit sour, or maybe even slightly bitter, then you might like it more with some honey or sugar. With sweeteners yerba mate is called Maté Dulce and without sugar: Mate Amargo.
In South America this tea is usually drunk in company, for example when visiting. In a special cup made from a gourd (calabas) called Cuia (Portuguese), the Maté is mixed with water and drunk through a thick iron straw with a spoon at the end, called Bomba (Portuguese) or Bombilla (Spanish).
There are some traditions involvde when drinking Mate. The man or woman of the house will fill Cuia with Maté and make a hole in the middle with the bomba. In that whole the water is poured in. The water should be almost boiling. After mixing the Maté is left for 8 or 10 minutes to relax. Then the drink is first drunk by the lord or lady of the house through the bomba. Subsequently more water is added to the same tea leaves and only then is passed around to let the guests drink and refill. Although this process involves a social hierarchy, the importance is mainly in drinking of mate together in respect of friendship and conviviality.
Even the current pope, Pope Francis, regularly drinks yerba mate after mass with a group of fellow church goers.
Etiquette with all Yerba Mate:
- Do not change the order of the people drinking
- Drink from the Cuia or hand it over to the next person. Don’t hold it in your hand without drinking.
- Always empty your Cuia until empty. Never leave a half-full Cuia.
- Sipping is permitted.
- Do not stir the Bombilla during drinking.
Ingredients: 90% Green maté, 10% lemon grass