Eco Teas Organic Yerba Mate Unsmoked - 16 oz. (454 g)
Eco Teas Organic Yerba Mate Unsmoked is a pure leaf yerba mate that contains nearly twice the antioxidant power of green tea. It comes from a small organic family farm in northeastern Argentina, where it is dried with a unique smoke-free drying process to achieve a smooth, clean flavor. They take the extra time to remove stems and powder, so the loose yerba mate you buy from them is the most nutritious, energizing product possible. Where you are using a coffee-maker, a French press, a tea ball, or a traditional mate gourd and bombilla straw, their Eco Teas loose yerba mate is the highest quality, best value product on the North American market.
- Enhances physical energy
- Stimulate mental clarity
- Supports a weight loss regimens that include a balanced diet and exercise
- Elevates mood
- Aids elimination
About Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate History & Culture
The first people to discover yerba mate were the Guarani (pronounced wa-ra-nee). Their traditional homeland in Paraguay, northern Argentina, and southern Brazil overlaps the home range of wild yerba mate. The Guarani enjoy yerba mate as a daily tonic, and also as the basis of their medicinal system. They have a legend telling how yerba mate was the gift of a benevolent god, who gave the tree to a small group of weary travelers as a reward for their righteousness. When Jesuit missionaries arrived in the region in the 16th century, they organized the Guarani people into a system of missions along the Rio Alto Parana. These missions grew so wealthy as a result of their yerba mate plantations that the regional secular governments ejected the Jesuits and took over production. This was an era of much hardship and turmoil for the Guarani people.
Over the course of the following centuries, yerba mate developed into an icon of national identity for many South American countries, especially Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. To this day, Argentines traveling abroad can be easily recognized by their mate gear, which they take out at every opportunity. If you see a group of young people sitting on a beach in Miami or in a cafe in Paris sharing mate, chances are you'll overhear them speaking in Spanish in their distinctive Argentine accent, which sounds just a bit like Italian. At the heart of yerba mate culture is the ritual of sharing. If an Argentine asks you to share a mate, this is a great compliment. She is inviting you into a circle of friendship and hospitality. Like the Japanese tea ceremony, a subtle language has evolved around the rate of pouring the water, and also the size of the pours. Generally speaking, smaller and slower pours indicate a greater level of interpersonal connection because this makes the yerba last longer!
Yerba Mate is finally shaking off its sleepy regional roots and going global. It's showing up as a "power ingredient" in energy drinks and other products in their fast-paced culture. However, if we North Americans want to become the #1 importer of yerba mate, we still have a long way to go. Yerba Mate has been popular in the Middle East for quite a while. Something about the communal nature of the yerba mate ritual must appeal to Arabic traditions of hospitality, friendship, and family. Believe it or not, the #1 importer of yerba mate is currently Syria.
Yerba Mate Botany & Ecology
Yerba Mate is known to botanists as Ilex paraguariensis. This Latin name literally means "Paraguayan holly". That's right, yerba mate is a type of holly. It naturally grows as a spindly tree in the intermediate layer of the forest. Imagine a tree as tall as a flowering dogwood, with large waxy leaves like a rhododendron's. Farmers generally prune their yerba mate trees to keep them short and bushy, so they are easier to harvest. Yerba Mate produces clusters of white flowers, that mature into bright red berries. For years, botanists tried and failed to get the berries to sprout in other lands.
One of the reasons that yerba mate never grew popular in Europe during the colonial era was that yerba mate was difficult to cultivate beyond its native range. Eventually, local Guarani people showed the botanists how the berries sprouted once they were eaten by toucans. It turned out that the toucans had acids in their digestive tracts that broke down the seeds' harder outer coatings, making them ready to sprout. Yerba Mate is a major component of the endangered Matto Grosso, or Interior Atlantic Forest type. The Matto Grosso is home to the toucan, the jaguar, and the coati, among a thousand lesser-known but no less wonderful endemic creatures. Sustainable yerba mate cultivation represents the last best chance to preserve this unique biological treasure trove.
Health Benefits of Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate provide 25mg of caffeine per 2g tea bag in 8 oz. of water. For comparison, the average cup of coffee has 135 mg of caffeine. The average cup of black tea contains 50mg Green Tea has 30 mg. Not all 'caffeines' are the same, however. What we refer to as 'caffeine' is really a group of substances known to chemists as Xanthine Alkaloids. The caffeine in coffee is very physical and quick to take effect. Theophylline is the 'caffeine' found in green tea. It tends to be very mental. Theobromine is the 'caffeine' found in chocolate. It tends to be very slow-releasing.
Yerba mate actually contains a mixture of these three xanthine alkaloids. It also provides minerals to support nervous system function, and B-vitamins to relax muscles. For these reasons, it produces a balanced, long-lasting physical and mental stimulation. At one point, South American chemists were so intrigued by the qualitative difference between yerba mate stimulation and coffee stimulation that they invented a phantom molecule called mateine to explain it. They claimed that mateine was a unique molecule in the xanthine alkaloid family. We now know this is not the case, though they still sometimes refer to mateine as the holistic effect of drinking yerba mate.
Yerba mate receives a lot of press as a diet and weight-loss tea. While nothing can replace a healthy diet, regular exercise, and a great attitude. Yerba mate can certainly give you a boost:
- Yerba Mate raises metabolism.
- Yerba Mate regulates appetite, encouraging a healthy diet.
- Yerba Mate aids digestion.
- Yerba Mate is thermogenic. "Thermogenic" means that it actually induces the body to burn calories.
- Yerba Mate provides antioxidants, minerals, amino acids, and B vitamins to support a healthy lifestyle.
Yerba Mate Antioxidants
When brewed as directed, this tea provides an ORAC value of 10,000 µmolTE/240ml, which is five times stronger than a typical cup of green tea.
Yerba Mate & PAH
A lot of yerba mate is dried with smoke. In general, smoked foods often contain high levels of carcinogenic substances known as PAH's (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons). To be on the safe side, you may want to drink unsmoked yerba mate.
Yerba Mate pH
A cup of mate cocido brewed at medium strength yields a pH of around 5.5. Be aware that variations in brewing method and water quality will inevitably cause variation. For best results, use filtered pH-neutral water and don't steep longer than five minutes.
Yerba Mate & Fluoride
If you are concerned about the high fluoride content in green tea, yerba mate might be a good alternative. Yerba mate has a lot less fluoride than green tea. An 8 oz. cup of Eco Teas yerba mate with one 2g tea bag yields 0.021mg of fluoride, which is only one-fifth the fluoride content of the average cup of green tea brewed at similar strength.
About Eco Teas
Eco Teas is a small grass-roots tea company from Ashland, Oregon. Three best friends founded Eco Teas in their kitchen in the year 2000. They are committed to supplying the highest quality organic, fair trade teas at the best possible prices. They are best known for their yerba mate products, but they have recently branched out into a wider selection of organic, fair trade teas.
Eco Teas Mission
- Support organic agriculture, fair trade, and sustainability in all they do.
- Provide healthy, delicious world teas.
- Minimize packaging through cutting-edge compostable materials.
- Encourage the transition to loose tea.
- Provide access to natural products for all through affordable, fair pricing.
The subtropical province of Misiones in northeastern Argentina is about the size of the state of Massachusetts. Although it comprises only 1% of Argentina's landmass, it produces 70% of Argentina's timber, and it is home to 40% of Argentina's biodiversity. Misiones contains the largest surviving remnant of the Interior Atlanic forest, which once stretched from southern Brazil to Paraguay. Misiones is also the source of Eco Teas Yerba Mate. One of the many beautiful things about yerba mate - in addition to its great taste and amazing health benefits - is that it can be grown organically in the shade of a thriving forest canopy. Food crops and fruit tress can be interplanted with the yerba mate trees. Yerba mate can form the basis of a sustainable local economy. However, most yerba mate is grown on large plantations. The forest is logged off, never to be replanted. Weeds are controlled with herbicides. Workers are paid low wages to harvest the herb from these large estates.
They started Eco Teas seven years ago with a clear set of intentions: to promote organic agriculture; to provide healthy high-quality teas at great prices; and to model a better way to do business by incorporating sustainability and social responsibility into the bottom line equation. Working together with universities, nonprofits, their customers, and their family farm partners, they are planting thousands of native trees on their yerba mate farm each year. They believe this project will serve as a beacon for other small farmers throughout the region, and the world beyond. They'd like to express their deepest gratitude to you - their customers - for choosing to support them over the years. Your participation makes their efforts possible.
Energy & Water Commitment
They offset their office energy use with 100% clean, renewable wind power through the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. For every ounce of water you use to make their tea, they work in partnership with BEF to put an ounce of water back into Evans Creek, an important habitat for salmon in southern Oregon.
Their tea bag boxes are made from recycled paperboard and printed with soy-based inks. Inside the box you'll find 24 individually wrapped tea bags. The clear cellophane wrappers protecting the tea bags may look like typical petroleum-based plastic, but they're actually made from a plant-based, compostable bio-plastic. Inside this wrapper is a tea bag made from unbleached, glue-free filter paper. The tag is printed on recyclable paper with soy-based inks. To avoid using any staples, the unbleached string connecting the tag to the bag is tied with an ingenious knotting system. All of this material is totally compostable, including, of course, the certified organic and fair trade tea itself.
Their new loose tea line is made from 100% tree-based, compostable packaging. Their Pure Yerba Mate Five Pounds Loose bag is recyclable. They are currently in the process of transitioning their One Pound Bag of Yerba Mate to compostable material.