Guayakí Yerba Mate - A Powerful Rainforest Experience
Sharing The Goodness
A Couple of Aging Hippies
When my endearingly goofy hubby saw the package to this terrific new tea I was pushing on him, he mistook it for a down-under import and immediately broke out in a terrible fake aussie accent, complete with "mate this" and "mate that" as he raved about his drink! After I laughingly explained where it really comes from and all the good stuff about who makes it, he was rendered simply speechless. But fortunately that left more time for sipping our tea, mmmmm. Great tea, mates!
There is nothing quite like the soft suction sound that...
a good vacuum thermos emits when the top is unscrewed. Wisps of steam billow into the stillness. It is 7:00 am, my favorite part of the day, the hour when that nostalgic sound and sight welcome me to another morning. I sleepily prop myself up in bed and lean against a carefully constructed pile of pillows. The water is slowly poured over a ceramic creamer filled with straw--that’s right--I pull out tufts from the hay bale we have in the backyard. This is actually just a joke that my mom enjoys bringing up regularly. No, the grassy imposter in the cup is actually yerba mate, the wonderful drink I became acquainted with while living in Chile. Mate keeps me close to cherished memories and allows me to enjoy a bit of culture that, though left behind in a prior chapter of my life, is an integral part of my being.
I watched intently as Israel Obregón tilted the cracked red thermos over his clay cup after delicately laying fresh lemon verbena leaves atop a mound of Argentine yerba. A hot stream came forth, and he passed me the strange concoction. I sucked on the metallic straw, which proudly wore a tiny pendant of Paraguay’s flag just below the mouthpiece. The hot, unexpected bitterness evoked a grimace of dissatisfaction, and I promptly returned the oddity to its owner. Over time, I developed a taste for and took a liking to the steamy, swamp-like infusion that bonded us every morning. A smile is hard to hold back when I remember my Paraguayan friend’s stocky frame sprawled out in our squeaky aluminum recliner, his mate cup in hand at ease on his stomach. He trusted that tattered piece of junk to support his girth until its rusty frame gave way, sending him to the floor with a thud. The spectacle elicited his jolly, orotund bellow that regularly shook walls of our dilapidated house on Santiago’s periphery. A toilet bowl brimming over with steam during the morning bathroom visit is a surprisingly accurate indicator that the frigid stillness has crept into the house, and came to be the gauge by which Omar Ramos and I reckoned the temperature. Yerba mate helped us brave the winter in a town nicknamed “the freezer,” due to its geographical undesirability at the base of the Andes Mountains. Huddled together near a dirty gas heater, we enjoyed passing a freshly halved, imported coconut back and forth, this being my Mexican counterpart’s receptacle of choice for the precious herb. Candlelight shadows danced on the walls around us as we sipped to the sound of pouring rain while drips resonated through the house. My friend spoke reminiscently of Mexican beaches and his Grandmother’s tacos. Preserved in the heart of Chilean folklore is the bone-chilling tale of “la boca chueca.” With wide-eyed enthusiasm, the old toothless men of the South tell it best. Somehow, the poor soul depicted in the story ventures out into the cold after drinking yerba mate and, (as much as I wanted to hear a happy ending, see the would-be fellow of misfortune emerge unscathed) the conclusion was always the same. NOOOOOOOOOO! The dreaded boca chueca strikes, mercilessly inflicting paralysis to its victim’s mouth, leaving it crooked for life. While I never met a casualty, practically and curiously, everyone I did meet knew one, and with genuine concern warned me of the perils of drinking mate and going outside in the cold. Daily, I engage with unnumbered South Americans in the systematic preparation of what each considers, respectively, the perfect mate. It has become a strange kind of ritual. Dusty swirls of green billow out with the dry, minced leaves as they’re lightly shaken from the package into my blue creamer. I like the creamer because the pear shape fits comfortably in my hand and the small spout stabilizes the bombilla. The bombilla is the straw that is used to drink the infusion, its characteristic feature a filter on the bottom, which prevents the herbs from passing through. The discerning aficionado prefers the alpaca bombilla, made of German silver mixed with nickel for strength and durability. Usually the mouthpiece is coated in 18k gold owing to the element’s absolute flavorlessness, thus eliminating tangy, metallic contamination. I happen to prefer the bombilla of palo santo, an aromatic wood exclusively grown in Paraguay. This rustic alternative goes especially well with lemon zest and my sweetener of choice, a light-bodied honey produced in the southern regions of Chile. Drinking mate never was and never will be a passive experience. Shared with friends, the ancient drink of the Guarani Indians provides a time of bonding and inspires stimulating conversation. Few of my American friends appreciate mate, and so I generally drink alone. Though unaccompanied but by my snoring yellow lab in the early morning hours, I savor my comforting drink and enjoy a good book. Sometimes I put the book down, and, while peacefully watching dog hairs blow around in the fan’s current, I think about the people and places with whom I’ve parted. They will always be a part of me. -- Kyle Smith 2005-07-13
My Experience with Yerba Mate
I am 24 years old from Arlington, VA and I have been drinking yerba mate for about 5 years now. I first heard about this unique energizing beverage when I was living going to school at university of Oregon in Eugene. I would buy it at the natural food store and drink it in the morning instead of coffee, which I was accustomed to. I would also drink it cold, just putting a guayaki tea bag in a mason jar, filling it with cold water and ice, and a touch of agave, which is very refreshing to wake up to, especially in the summer.
In 2002 I moved back to Washington DC area, and as my daily schedule and atmosphere changed, I kind of forgot about mate and how much I enjoyed drinking it. In January of 2005 I went to vacation to Argentina and re-found my love for mate. Essentially, I met a beautiful girl who, being from Buenos Aires, also drinks mate frequently. She took me to her friends music studio, where I enjoyed my first cup of mate in South America. I then realized what “proper mate etiquette” about how to prepare the calabaza and to finish the whole cup before passing. I also learned that every time I said “gracias” to the “pibe” that was passing me the cup, it looked as if I was saying “no thank you, I’m fine” when I was really just saying “thank you, I would love another cup” because it tasted so good. We then traveled from the city to Mar del Plata, on the beautiful coast of Argentina. We went by train and I was so surprised to see how practically everyone on the train had their thermos and mate ready to drink, including families with their small children. When we arrived to the beach, even though it was hot outside, everybody was drinking this stuff. I saw see all types of people sipping on mate, passing and sharing and I noticed that it was a very communal activity. After my 2 week vacation ended I sadly returned to DC, leaving my girl, the summer and the beautiful culture which I learned so much about. Getting back to DC was pretty depressing, cold, and boring, but I did have my yerba mate to remind me of all the nice experiences I had being in South America for the first time. Since being back here, I have converted many fellow “yankis” (shankis) into mate drinkers. I am thankful that I can find Guayaki mate here at the natural food store, not only because it is the best tasting, but also because it is organic and supports environmental consciousness. Thanks Guayaki!
Until then! Pat -- Patrick O'Shea www.sojamusic.com
Oh my gosh I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this stuff
I buy the tea bags but the loose leaf is so much better. I during about 4-5 bags a day's just cannot get enough of it. I have drinking the Yerba while i was in the South Pole and I am now drinking in the North Pole. I have gottin so many people hooked on ity as well. It has literally gone around the world with me. I take it everywhere I go. Its my favorite thing to drink. I like to brew it hot when im in the cold weather, and i put it in a ice cold water bottle when its hot. I LOVE IT! Thank You Yerba Mate!!! Brittany N. Rasmussen, www.uscg.mil/pacarea/healy
Mate In Baja
It is January in Alaska and the sun shows her face only five hours before sinking back beneath the white horizon. Cold. I sit here sipping a delicious morning cup of Guayakí's Orange Blossom tea and think of my first mate experience two Januarys ago, far from Alaska's cold, on a beach in Baja Mexico. Three months of living on a beach in Mexico is an experience I would wish upon anyone. Such an experience could turn anyone into a surfer. The beach culture of locals, expatriates and globe-trotting surfers is unique. Generosity and friendliness abound, and music is often shared around the campfire. One night around a communal fire as a guitar strums away, a small dark man next to me smiles and puts a gourd in my hand, making a drinking motion. Jutting toward me out of the gourd was an odd metal straw, the bombilla. I was about to have my first taste of mate. I took a sip and was about to pass the gourd on when I was told that the entire contents of the gourd were mine to drink. So I did. The gourd was taken by another man, Gilberto, the friend of the one who had passed me the gourd in the first place. As he took the gourd to refill it I heard a strange sound and looked to my left.
The man who had passed me the gourd held a very small and strange instrument to his lips. As a musician myself, I'm always intrigued by new instruments, and the sound from this one was both haunting and a little comical, much like a kazoo, but with a warmer and richer tone. When the song was done (the gourd and bombilla had made another pass around the fire by now), I spoke with the man, whose name was Joao, in my fractured Spanish. The instrument was a matofono (accent over the first "o"), a seed of the mate plant, split down the middle with a leather mouthpiece. I've looked for one ever since. Many hours later after more mate and music, I wandered back to camp with the surf hissing under a star-filled sky. As I lay in bed for the next few hours unable to sleep, I discovered one of the traits of mate. It was a few sleepless hours I relished and still think of fondly. I'm still searching for a matofono of my own but no luck so far. Upon returning to Alaska, I discovered Guayakí teas and have been a fan ever since, replacing my usual mate with Orange Blossom mate or Peppermint.
All the best to you,
PS: if you have any leads on a matofono, I'd be eternally grateful! :-)
Gleenwood Springs, CO
Several months again I succumbed to the yerba mate competition out there and tried another national brand of loose organic mate--what a mistake! As you can tell from my two recent orders from Guayaki, i was NOT pleased with other mates. Guayaki is the best. I won't succumb to temptation again!
This is Mate deliverance
It never fails - it works perpetually, you can count on the seasons, the rain and the sunshine, thus, you can count on the plants of our mother soil - mate delivers without hesitation, it does not pretend - it is what you make of it treat it like a friend - a product of the elements of nature mate needs water - so do we - mate needs sunshine and shade - needs tending and caring - so do we and any plant or living thing - so what is this thing - and how is it different to other drinks ?
maybe a saint among plants mate is blessed to bless those who want to receive a special gift - to heal the sick and surprise the sorrow stricken and to inspire those who aspire to live in a healthy, harmonious way..
(most definitely a servant with very few side effects and comparatively little cost)
Break down mate and see for yourself, study and analyse what it means to be a saint among plants. Prepare and drink and feel for yourself, breath expanding sensitivity increasing health protruding those who know, already know - what else needs saying? well, tribute is all i can give
thank you mate and friends
Guayaki! I first discovered the Yerba while visiting a local coffee shop with a good friend of mine. My friend was all like "you should try this stuff, check it out this little card says that indigenous South Americans survive famines with it! I was like "I don't know about that but I'll give it a go anyway." Very tasty! I was floating around the coffee shop, smiling at the lovely baristas. Subsequently after much reading and the purchase of a gourd and bombilla my coworkers thought I was doing drugs, happy drugs! Of the brands I've tried Guayaki is definitely the best tasting. I respect your methods as well. If you ever need something like a wandering salesman in Colorado I can see myself wearing a green suit and handing out samples to store owners. Also, imagine a guerrila marketing campaign with green colored drip-brew coffee pots placed strategically next to coffee bars in offices. "Try this instead!" it would say... oh, the possibilities :-)
When I first drank it, my life changed,
I am sharing my yerba mate experience right now, as corny as it
sounds. When I first drank it, my life changed, and my organs had a
tingly feeling, my teeth felt clean and VERY smooth, and my body felt
refreshed and rejuvinated. Anyways, I also had some yerba mate with
milk in Chile, this was VERY strong, but also good. South America is a
great place. And this sounds really cheesy, so i'll stop.
PS: unfortunately, my sister thinks it tastes like soggy cigarette
thanks for the product, ADAM
The Mad Hatters Tea Party
Guayakí - this words evokes so much personal feel to me because I have experienced Yerba Mate throughout stages in it’s journey.
I was familiar with this tea that seems to excite the system on many different levels. My first introduction was at the Oxygen Bar in Los Angeles. I remember distinctly the “Mad Hatters” entering the room and sharing a gourd with me at the bar. I remember the amazing way it made me feel and with samples continued enjoying its properties. I would brew it hot or put it in a water bottle and enjoy cold. Then I learned how to pack a gourd and would enjoy it the traditional way. A few months later I would be brought to the island of Kauai where having no idea I would meet Steve, one of the brothers at the core of this products distribution. I remember a raining afternoon with my girlfriend and I sipping the many flavors added to mate by Primal Essence. Steve was so diligent, he would have us taste each of the blends he was inventing at the time and take notes on our responses. He would ask us where we felt it in our bodies and what color it brought to mind. I remember that day as clear as this moment is now. We were completely elated and blissed out, fully aware of all around us. We had what was later to be named, Kundalini Rising, which is peppermint and cinnamon mixed together, a completely tingling sensation. I also remember another favorite including lemongrass, chamomile and cinnamon, or peppermint with chamomile. You know when you live a day and know that it is special and then later in time after many more days lived you can claim it as one of those most magical days, that for certain is one of those days for me and to think Guayakí Yerba Mate was the catalyst, pardon the pun. That was over two years ago and to witness the success of the company just by seeing so many people turned on to Mtte’s effects and joyful nature is a complete pleasure. Lea Petmezas (Feb 26 , 02)
Orange gourd pack
I cut an opening in the top and loosened the inner flesh of the grapefruit and packed in as much loose mate as I could.
Our Customer Care TeaMates get a lot of interesting suggestions from mate lovers each day. I'm so gald I took the advice of a Guayakí fan in Florida. She suggested using a large grapefruit or orange as a gourd. It was delicious! I cut an opening in the top and loosened the inner flesh of the grapefruit and packed in as much loose mate as I could. When I added the hot water and began to enjoy the fruity brew, I was able to pack a little more mate into the grapefruit. As usual, I was having a creative mate experience. It was great hot on a foggy California Coast morning and I imagine it will be even better cold on some hot afternoon. Yerba mate never fails to inspire!
Candi Pemberton Guayaki TeaMate
(August 18, 02)
I read Kevin Trudeau's book, "Natural Cures They Do Not Want You To Know About", back in May, 2007, when I first heard about the Yerba Mate tea that we should all be drinking. So I went to Whole Foods by me and purchased the tea. I have to tell you that I never have drank anything hot in the past (not coffee, hot chocolate, nor tea) ever because I did not like the taste. But since I tried Yerba Mate I have drank it everyday faithfully since this time and cannot go without it. I have 2 cups in the morning and sometimes one cup later in the afternoon. I feel so energized and truly enjoy the positive effect it has had on my life. I have told some of my friends about the tea also and they feel the same way right from the beginning. These are people who don't even really like to drink tea but have grown to enjoy the flavor and the great feeling's associated from drinking it. I know for sure that Yerba Mate tea will be something I will continue for the rest of my life and am so glad I found out about it. Thank you for offering a GREAT TEA !!!
Right now, as I blow in my mug, my mate steams up my glasses so I can't see to write. Mmmm, a fresh cup of mate in my dorm room in the morning makes it easy to welcome the cool Santa Cruz breeze in.
Well, mate became such an integral part of my mornings, afternoons, evenings, nights, etc, on my best friend's and my trip this past summer. We devised a system of drinking mate on the road for the few thousand miles of travel (8,000 altogether) in her little, stickshift Ford Focus. It definitely made the trek to Alaska a bit more refreshing, exciting, and just good all around. Anyways, we first stopped to spend some days at a ranch up in northern California where a congregation of awesome people gather every year for the ranch annual. My mate initiation began almost immediately as we all sat around the big wooden table after dinner passing a couple of gourds and sipping the strong liquid in the traditional way. At first, I didn't know quite what to think, but as any mate-lover understands, it is a gradual process. After that night my friend and I became temporarily addicted (for about two months) to the greenish brew, whether in tea bags or loose, hot or cold, in the car or outside. Now, we had a problem. When you are scheduled to drive for hundreds of miles a day it is not very easy to stop, brew water, then take about a thirty minute break for mate. It just didn't happen. So instead, I bought a thermos that could keep water hot all day. We would change the leaves in the morning, keep the gourd in the cup holders, and the water at the passenger's feet. The next issue was figuring out how to drive evenly while the other person pours hot water in a small opening that doesn't hold much. You know when you are pouring from a large container into a small container and all of a sudden the contents of the large container is all over you? That happened quite a bit, with only a few minor burns until we got the hang of it. Finally, we figured out a process that went like this: the driver would call "Mate Straightaway!" whenever one of us was aching for some brew; the passenger would unscrew the thermos and hold the gourd, getting ready to pour when the relatively straight, flatish road stretch would come up; after the tea cooled a little and was drinkable, the driver would steer with one hand and drink with the other, while the passenger would shift if needed and close the thermos back up so that no excess heat would escape. As you can see, the Mate Straightaway saved our legs from scalding and helped us enjoy the endless miles towards one of the most beautiful places in the world! Long live mate and the friends who make it good!
Elizabeth Wiig (April 10, 02)
Joy is what Yerba Mate brings to me. I tap into my deep, deep reservoir of joy. It is truly a "happy" drink.
Ok, you said you wanted to hear. I've been so excited visiting your website. All these people are having/ have had the same experience as me. I love Yerba Mate. I was introduced to it by a sweet, loving, gentle person, who saw in me a kindred soul about five years ago. Since then, I grew away from drinking it because (I thought) it was too expensive and recently stumbled onto a little Hispanic grocery store and discovered it in bulk, so blew the money and got about 5 pounds. I was so happy I did! I'd forgotten how much I loved it. I drink it every day now. Early morning, hot with spices and rice milk, during the day cold out of my trusting glass jar and in the evening I drink it with my quiet evening meal as I watch the beautiful Arizona sunsets over the desert and mountains where I live.
Joy is what Yerba Mate brings to me. I tap into my deep, deep reservoir of joy. It is truly a "happy" drink. Thank you.
Sandy Mauck (August 26, 02)
Hello, my name is Hunter, and my story about mate is pretty inspiring, or at least I think so. I first tried mate at the Earth Day Fair in New York City. There were free bottles of it, and I have heard of it, so I thought to myself "I must try that." My grandmother was telling me the week before about how great tasting it was, and how it improved her memory and mental clarity. Being a teenager, it is odd for me to like tea at all, but I have a passion for it. When my dad took a sip, he turned to me and said "Tastes like tobacco spit." Sounds odd, but I took a sip anyways. It was the most delicious and refreshing iced tea I had ever had to date. I ended up finishing mine and my dad's in about 10 minutes. Once I got home from New York City, I looked it up on the internet. I found out that my local health food store carries it, so I waited for my family's monthly visit to the health food store. I bought a 1/2 lb. bag and went home. The next morning I first tried loose mate, I was ecstatic at how great it was. I felt clear and energetic all day, and people asked me what I was doing differently. I proudly declared "Guayaki Yerba Mate! You should try it." School was going much better it terms of grades, and I felt more energetic to do active things. I was always a great student, always on honor roll, but a point or two away from being awarded high honors, which only about 20 kids got every year. The next semester, I checked the High Honors list to see my name right there, last name on the list. I was so proud! Later in the year, I wrote an essay about myself making honor roll. In a 5 Paragraph essay, one whole paragraph was used to explain mate, and how much it helped me. So far I have gotten 4 people hooked on it as well. I really appreciate what you guys at Guayaki are doing. Thank you so much for being such an important aspect of my life. I could have never made High Honers without Guayaki Yerba Mate.