A few months ago, my fiance and I attended the wedding of a good friend of mine, a first-generation Uruguayan American whose wedding and celebration were permeated with beautiful and significant representations of her home culture and family’s heritage. My favorite– by far– were the delicious vats of yerba mate tea all throughout the hall. We sipped on it all night long, and I made a mental note to check back in with my friend on the culture significance of mate as soon as she returned from her sunny honeymoon.
I knew the basic origins of mate, but I had no idea how strongly steeped (hee. see what I did there?) in the Uruguayan culture yerba mate truly was. My friend showed me her traditional mate cup, carved from a gourd with a small basin, holding space for the leaves and filtering out the tea into the bottom as hot water is poured over the leaves again and again. My friend shared with me the benefits her whole family (and whole home country) experience from their constant mate drinking– improved digestion (especially, as she noted to me, for a country whose diet focuses significantly on meat), maintenance of high vitamin A levels, the list goes on and on.
For the next few weeks, I was insatiable– from trying every mate I could find to researching flights to Uruguay in my spare time (a girl can dream, right?). So when this Numi bagged mate showed up in my latest sample box, I was over the moon!
First things first: this isn’t your traditional mate (obviously). It’s a bagged tea, and I won’t be drinking it out of a gourd anytime soon (even more obviously). But that said, it was truly a delight to drink. The lemon came through quite strong, and I rather enjoyed the balanced blend with green tea– even those who aren’t huge fans of the traditionally grassy flavor of mate might find this blend far more palatable. This cup needs nothing added, and for a bagged tea, it certainly isn’t a weak brew. While it might not be the most traditional mate I’ve ever tried, it’s up there with some of my favorites. I’ll definitely be adding bags of this to my regular rotation!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Mate
Where to Buy: Numi Organic Tea
This infusion of organic South American Yerba Maté, Australian Lemon Myrtle and green tea unfolds into a lemon taste with sweet, earthy undertones. Its stimulating effect evokes a cheerful mental lucidity.