I love rediscovering things from my country that are delicious or interesting, and incorporating them into my daily routines. One of these is Yerba Mate, a drink you see everyone drinking in Argentina - at cafes or their homes or while working, and it’s also popular in Chile. I’ve been a big fan of it for many years and always make a mental note to buy and pack a gourd and bombilla during my many travels back to visit my family.
It tastes like tea, but will give you the same buzz that coffee does - it packs a major punch! Yerba Mate is an excellent, clean substitute for coffee. It gives you energy without the “coffee withdrawal,” and has been my co-pilot during many afternoon writing sessions. If you haven’t already, it’s a must-try (tip: don’t heat it to boiling level!).
It’s such a favorite flavor of mine that we wanted to incorporate it into our Yerba Mate Face Mist.
Where does it come from? In Paraguay, the Guaraní indigenous people found and began to grow it, dry the leaves and twigs and then add hot water. It was used for energy and sturdiness. Once the colonizers arrived, the drink began to be exported all over South America, but particularly Argentina, Brazil and Chile.
Yerba Mate is prepared by first pouring its loose leaves into the gourd, slowly adding hot (but not boiling) water, letting it sit for a few minutes, and then taking that first delicious sip through the bombilla - just be careful not to move the bombilla too much or you’ll accidentally start sipping the leaves. And be sure to sip slowly because it can give you a caffeinated head trip you’ll never forget if you drink it too fast. Though it has less caffeine than its coffee cousin, you’ll be bouncing off the walls if you’re not too careful. Yes, it’s that strong - and delicious. You can keep refilling it until it loses its flavor and I often add a tiny bit of honey or stevia to sweeten it.
Why did we decide to use this coffee substitute for one of our products? Because its effects on the skin are almost magical - and still a bit of a secret. The fact that it’s caffeine means it’s been reported (by actual scientific journals) to “slow the photo-aging process of the skin by absorbing ultraviolet radiation,” and to its antioxidant properties also promote circulation. It protects the body against free radicals and cell degradation and because of this it triggers a great anti-aging and anti-inflammatory response in the skin.
Drink it or try it on your skin, it’s a fantastic, power-packed addition to your morning or evening routine.