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I came across a blog the other day containing a post by someone who recently visited Argentina. From what I've observed over the years, there's a strong likelihood any article written about Argentina mentions yerba mate and the drinking ritual associated with it. This post was no different.

Jessica Festa is a world traveler and recently had the pleasure of experiencing mate (the traditional way) for the first time. Below is an excerpt from her writing...

The Meaning Of Mate In Argentina

While upon first glance many people believe the locals in Argentina are drinking tea, but the concoction is actually a blend of herbs. Mate, an infusion prepared with yerba mate leaves called "Ilex paraguariensis," contains caffeine, herbs and proteins as well as hot water. It has been drunk since Pre-Colombian times by the Guaraníes, a local group in South America. Argentina is the world's number one producer of yerba mate, making this a great cultural experience to have while traveling in the country.

During my visit to Argentina, I saw people everywhere carrying thermoses of hot water and mates, metal cup-like things with bombillas, which are the long metal straws poking out. In every shop and market you will also be able to find ornate mates for purchase. Luckily, I got to try mine with a local friend and learn more about what mate means to locals in Argentina.

"It's merely an infusion, but it has a huge meaning of sharing," explained my local friend Javier Viñuela, whose mother had prepared some mate for a group of us in her home. "As it usually happens with food, drinking mate is a way or excuse to share with friends and family."

How it works is like this: the person who "ceba el mate," or prepares it, is the first one to take a taste. After that, this person begins passing the mate to those next to him or her, who give it back to that main person to prepare again for those next in the circle. When you say "thanks" after sipping, it means you don't want to drink anymore. For this reason, it's important not to thank everyone each time you take a sip, but only once you've had enough.

Mate can either be taken bitter or sweet. For first-timers, I would recommend adding some sugar or honey, as the herbs can be quite pungent if you're not used to it. Moreover, being one of the last to sip it can also help to take out some of the bitterness, as by then the hot water has taken away some of the flavor's intensity.

During my first time trying it, I added sugar to help ease the bitterness. While the first few tastes were hard to swallow, once you get used to it the flavor is actually quite nice. Aside from sharing, there are other reasons people enjoy drinking mate. For one, many locals in Argentina find the drink delicious. Additionally, it's a cheap way of "having a drink" for a long period of time with friends...

Phenolic Compounds from Mate (Ilex paraguariensis) Inhibit Adipogenesis in 3T3-L1 Preadipocytes.
Plant Foods Hum Nutr. 2012 Apr 28.

Leaves of Ilex paraguariensis are used to prepare a tea known as maté which is a common beverage in several South American countries. The ethanol extract was fractionated to identify the compounds responsible for the anti-adipogenic activity in 3T3-L1 cells. Extracts of both fresh and dried mate leaves were subjected to column chromatography using molecular permeation to obtain the saponin (20% yields) and the polyphenol extracts (40% yields) from the fresh and dried leaves. The phenolic content was determined using high-performance liquid chromatography analysis and the Folin-Ciocalteau method. Also, mate extracts (50 ug/ml to 1,000 ug/ml) did not display citotoxicity using MTT.

The polyphenol extract from the dried leaves was the most effective (50 ug/ml) in the inhibition of triglyceride accumulation in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and rutin (100 ug/ml) likely accounted for a large portion of this activity. Additionally, mate extracts had a modulatory effect on the expression of genes related to the adipogenesis as PPAR?2, leptin, TNF-a and C/EBPa.

Aviva + Stevia + Peppermint = Hmmmmm...Good!

Take care and we'll see you in a couple weeks. Don't forget you can save on shipping when ordering at least $50 $35 worth of product! For a list of all our products, our storefront is a great place to start!

Drink and be well,

Dan Garcia
Founder, Aviva Ltd.

Browse Past Newsletters...
April 2012 - Anti-Obesity and Anti-diabetic Effects of Yerba Mate
September 2011 - New Shopping Experience Now Live!
April 2011 - Experience the Ultimate Infusion with a Mate Gourd!
January 2011 - New Partnership with Wild Harvest Supplier!
November 2010 - "Natural Highs" Yerba Mate Program for High School Youths
June 2010 - Dr. Elvira de Mejia Review on Energy Drinks
May 2010 - **Important Product Change Update**
March 2010 - Aviva Now Carrying Teatulia Line of Teas!
March 2009 - 2 Studies Regarding Yerba Mate and Obesity
January 2009 - Rooibos Tea Supports Liver Regeneration
July 2008 - Press Release about move to Denver!
July 2008 - South America's Elixir of Life
June 2008 - Argentine Organic Inventory Update
April 2008 - 3 New Yerba Mate Studies
February 2008 - NBC Today Show Video and Survey Results
November 2007 - Hidden Benefits of Yerba Mate
July 2007 - Men's Journal Article on Yerba Mate
June 2007 - Julio Franco of the NY Mets Drinks Yerba Mate
May 2007 - Kiehl's New Line of Yerba Mate Products
April 2007 - Yerba Mate Tea Association of the Americas
March 2007 - Nutrients for Improving Running Performance
February 2007 - Argentine Tea, the 'New Coffee Break'
January 2007 - The Social Significance of One Hot Drink
August 2006 - Make a Splash while Mountain Biking!
July 2006 - Nutraceutical Potential of Mate Tea
July 2006 - The World's Healthiest Foods List, A-Z
June 2006 - Acrylamide danger in coffee
April 2006 - New Argentine Organic Product
February 2006 - Herbal Tea With a Big Kick!
January 2006 - Monthly Special and Honest Food Guide
December 2005 - Tea is Hot!
November 2005 - Yerba featured on NBC Today Show
October 2005 - New Tea Packing Machine
September 2005 - Yerba in the Press
August 2005 - Mental Clarity & Xanthines
July 2005 - Heat Stress & Important Safety Tips
June 2005 (Part II) - Shortage of Yerba in South America
June 2005 - Aviva Sample & Processing Methods
March 2005 - Anticancer Research
February 2005 - Aviva Quality Discussion
January 2005 - Antioxidants
October 2004 - Yerba & Weight Decline
August 2004 - River Trip & Matelattes
July 2004 - Earn 5lbs w/ Wholesale Initiative
June 2004 - Beverage Consumption Rates

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