It Drink: Mate
This summer’s resolution: drink more tea. With the increasing popularity of the organic, natural foods movement, organic tea is becoming a hot commodity and caffeinated alternative to your basic coffee. Plus, last time I checked, coffee-stained teeth is not an “It” trend.
Yerba mate, a traditional drink in Argentina and Peru, has emerged as the trendy health drink for this summer. The drink mate is derived from the leaves of the Yerba Mate tree, which is grown in subtropical South America. Typically, the drink is consumed using a metal straw, which serves as a strainer, and a gourd; unlike most teas, mate is prepared by steeping loose yerba leaves in hot water, opposed to boiling the leaves. My first experience drinking mate was during a trip to Argentina in 2006; I have been a convert ever since. If you are too inept to drink mate like the natives do, head over to Whole Foods and pick up my favorite Americanized version: the organic Guayakí Yerba Mate bottled drink. Guayakí has blended the mate with additional flavor such as passion fruit, raspberry and mint to create the ultimate healthy and refreshing summer drink.
The benefits of mate: it is an appetite suppressant (South American women have long used mate to watch their figures), metabolism stimulant, helps stimulate focus and clarity and mate is highly caffeinated. The Guayakí brand sold at Whole Foods is also low in sugar so that it retains its health benefits. Mate has also been suggested to improve skin, digestive and circulatory health, as well as have anti-carcinogenic fighting powers. Not bad for tea that’s been around for centuries.
Rumored celebrity fans of the mate drink include Madonna, Matt Dillon and Alicia Silverstone. Be warned: mate has a distinctive taste, which is dissimilar from all other types of tea. I guess you will just have to taste it for yourself…
Buy mate drink online at www.guyaki.com ($40 for 12) or at your local Whole Foods.