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July 2011 Issue

Waking up to Yerba Mate

As an alternative to your morning cup of coffee or tea, yerba mate (pronounced yer-bah mah-tay) is making a big splash in the U.S. Grown beneath the tree canopy in the South American rainforest, yerba mate is a very popular drink in countries like Argentina, where it is preferred seven to one over coffee. This beverage is made from the ilex paraguariensis plant, a relative of the holly family, known for its stimulating and antioxidant properties. Traditionally, people in South America enjoyed this brew by filling a hollowed out gourd with yerba mate leaves and hot water and using a straw to sip the hot infusion. Over the centuries, it’s thought to enhance vitality, clarity and well-being. Today, you can find yerba mate in the coffee/tea section of many supermarkets. Brew yerba mate leaves, either in loose leaf form or in tea bags, into a hot, earthy beverage just like you would tea or enjoy prepared yerba mate beverages in bottles or cans.

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