Yerba Tea

Yerba Mate tea is a brew popular among South Americans. It was discovered by the people of Paraguay and has amazing nutrients and also has a lot of rejuvenating properties. Yerba tea is a traditional drink made by dunking the leaves in hot water. There are many ways by which you can make this Yerba Mate preparation, but the traditional a good yerba mate recipe is bitter to taste. Due to its various health benefits, the consumption of this drink has picked up, states sites like

South Americans consume Yerba tea hot and cold. The tea is prepared in a special container called the Mate gourd which is the traditional gourd. Nowadays, you can find ceramic, metal or wooden cups to prepare Yerba tea. To sip the tea, a bombilla is used. A bombilla is a metal straw and has a strainer at the end. This brew is pretty straightforward to prepare and is done via both, traditional or modern methods.

Traditional way of preparing Yerba Mate Tea

Take a kettle or any other container and boil some water.
Take a well-cured gourd and add a few tablespoons of Yerba tea leaves into it.
Immediately, cover the mouth of the cup with your hand or a small plate and move it back and forth to give it a gentle stir. This quick stir will mix the tea with the water evenly without leaving any heavy stems at the bottom.
Keep the gourd inclined to one side. Now dip the bombilla inside the gourd against the tea leaves so that the strainer end of the bombilla keeps the leaves intact.
Add a little cold or room temperature water into the cup and rest it for a few seconds. This process of adding room temperature water helps retain the flavour as well as the not damage the nutrients.
Now add hot water from the kettle which is about 160-180 °F to the gourd. The water should not be boiling as this makes the brew bitter.

Curing the Mate Gourd

A Yerba Mate gourd should be cured if you are using it for the first time. The gourd has soft tissues which are bitter and has a flavour of the cup. By seasoning the gourd, you are going to remove that bitterness as well as the taste coming from the container. Below are the steps you have to follow to cure it.

Place a few tablespoons Yerba Mate inside the gourd
Fill the cup completely with boiling water. Let it rest for a day.
Pour out the mixture from the gourd and rinse it. Under running water, using a metal spoon scrape out the soft tissue which is inside the gourd. Be careful not to remove the centre stem of the cup.
You will have to repeat the process for a few more times.
Leave it to dry in sunlight for 2 days. The gourd is ready to be used.

Yerba Mate has to be drunk bitter to get all the health benefits it has, but you can drink it with a little honey or sugar. However, sweetening the Yerba Mate, is not recommended.