Rainforest Mate - Cultivation, Harvesting, Processing
Uniquely grown in its native forest environment, Guayaki Yerba Mate is cherished as a sacred beverage. Like high quality coffee, high quality yerba mate is shade-grown in the rich ecosystem of the rainforest; delivering more flavor and nutritional value. Sheltered from direct sunlight, which can burn the leaves and make them bitter, rainforest grown yerba mate leaves are dark, emerald green and teeming with nutrients and flavor.
Most yerba mate is handled like a typical commodity and commercially grown in direct sunlight for maximum yield. Sun grown mate offers large producers the advantage of yielding more as well as the ability to bring in larger machinery for the harvesting. However, these large scale yerba mate mono – cultivations are lacking in biodiversity which serves to deplete the soil and reduce productivity year after year (thereby requiring more soil amendments).
By contrast, Guayaki contracts with growers who cultivate yerba mate in the shade of the forest. We recognize that our yields are lower, but as the premium yerba mate brand, we make no comprises for quality. Our harvesting teams are instructed to carefully prune the yerba mate trees for optimum quality and health of the tree for future harvests. Furthermore, we place a premium on biodiversity, recognizing that the Atlantic Forest is home to over 336 bird and mammal species. With only 7% remaining, it is our priority, responsibility, and ethical imperative to steward this forest.
Guayaki Yerba Mate is a work of art. Crafted like a fine wine, it is grown, harvested, and dried according to time honored traditions. Harvested from the lush subtropical forest, Guayakí hand-picks only the leaves and tender stems. After passing through a flash heating process to protect the antioxidants and nutritional properties, the mate is dried at low-temperatures. Finally, the mate is aged for one year in cedar chambers for a smooth, rich and balanced flavor. Each of Guayakí's loose yerba mate offerings is created in a unique way, please read our product descriptions for complete details.
The “whole plant - whole energy” approach is used in Guayakí's products. By combining the leaves and tender stems, we are able to produce a yerba mate with a unique, full-flavor and balanced energy. The tender stems add a light sweetness and contain more of the euphoriating effects of the theobromine - the component in chocolate that makes you feel like you are in love.