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Old 11-13-2008, 05:20 PM   #1
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Default Yerba Mate, My Experience

OK so I've been drinking yerba mate for a little over three years now. I started drinking it about six months after I started smoking cigars and look where that's gotten me! I sell the durned things for a living now.

First, it's a relative of the holly tree err... bush? The plant itself is called Ilex paraguaiensis forgive me if that's not spelled correctly. It's sometimes called Jesuit tea or Paraguay tea. In the wild these trees grow to be about 20 feet but in cultivation they normally grow between 12 and 24 feet. The mate plant is related to the Yaupon holly I think it's called which is used to make the Black Drink, a highly caffeinated ethnobotanical beverage used by native tribes in the southeastern United States.

OK so that's nice and everything but what are its benefits? Welp, you got B vitamins, 1, 3, I think 6, and B complex. There's a bunch of antioxidants. Vitamin A and E as well I'm pretty sure. Inositol, and phytocholines. All kindsa good stuff.

Why is it so envigorating? Well, you may find some sources online saying that there is a special xanthine with a similar isomer? structure to caffeine but it is more easily absorbed and provides smooth muscle movement. This is bullshit. Mateine does not exist no matter how much people want to market it.

What does exist are the aforementioned B vitamins, caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Xanthines are stimulants and caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine are all classified as such. This stimulant mix is quite a bit different from the jittery caffeine only rush many people get from coffee or tea.

Now, about theophylline and theobromine. Theophylline is used as a bronchodilator for ashtma patients. I think the brand name is Theodor? As a young boy I was called Matthew the Wild Indian because my allergist prescribed me a dosage of theophylline to keep me breathing. It's very envigorating and is also a nervous system stimulant promoting smooth muscle movement. Theobromine is similar to theophylline in its effects on the body. Recently a study concluded that dark chocolate was more effective as a cough suppressant than codeine cough syrup because of the theophylline content.

OK enough science and polysyllabic words. Let's get to some mythology. I'm not 100% on this so if there are fine points I'm missing or gross errors feel free to let me know!

This is a Quechua story, the main civilization of South America. The language is still spoken in many countries and has influenced the culture. So a woman and her father were banished from their tribe. Her father was crotchety but she loved him so they went into the forest and lived away from all the other people. Well, I think it was because her father was dying that she wanted to go back to the people. On her journey to her people she cried and asked the gods for help. One came down and showed her how to prepare yerba mate. She and her father were envigorated and made it back to their people where they shared the wonder of mate and its ability to stave off hunger, provide energy, and promote well-being.

OK so that's cool and everything. Now, there's processing to mate like there is in cigar tobacco. After the harvest the leaves are 'deactivated' or cured over smoke. Some Brazilian variants aren't smoked and therefore are very green in color and have less effect. Some manufacturers also age the mate. Rosamonte Seleccion Especial is aged for 24 meses or two years. It's very strong.

As to the proper enjoyment. It is very easy to completely ruin mate. Any water temperature above 185 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the helpful enzymes, over extract the xanthines and tannins from the leaves and you will be left with a very bitter brew. I first made mate erroneously with a drip coffee maker and nearly soiled myself twice over 10 minutes later on my mad dash to the pisser.

More coming up.
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Old 11-13-2008, 05:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Yerba Mate, My Experience

Great post man, you sell it now?
LINKY BROTHA!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MithShrike View Post
OK so I've been drinking yerba mate for a little over three years now. I started drinking it about six months after I started smoking cigars and look where that's gotten me! I sell the durned things for a living now.

First, it's a relative of the holly tree err... bush? The plant itself is called Ilex paraguaiensis forgive me if that's not spelled correctly. It's sometimes called Jesuit tea or Paraguay tea. In the wild these trees grow to be about 20 feet but in cultivation they normally grow between 12 and 24 feet. The mate plant is related to the Yaupon holly I think it's called which is used to make the Black Drink, a highly caffeinated ethnobotanical beverage used by native tribes in the southeastern United States.

OK so that's nice and everything but what are its benefits? Welp, you got B vitamins, 1, 3, I think 6, and B complex. There's a bunch of antioxidants. Vitamin A and E as well I'm pretty sure. Inositol, and phytocholines. All kindsa good stuff.

Why is it so envigorating? Well, you may find some sources online saying that there is a special xanthine with a similar isomer? structure to caffeine but it is more easily absorbed and provides smooth muscle movement. This is bullshit. Mateine does not exist no matter how much people want to market it.

What does exist are the aforementioned B vitamins, caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Xanthines are stimulants and caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine are all classified as such. This stimulant mix is quite a bit different from the jittery caffeine only rush many people get from coffee or tea.

Now, about theophylline and theobromine. Theophylline is used as a bronchodilator for ashtma patients. I think the brand name is Theodor? As a young boy I was called Matthew the Wild Indian because my allergist prescribed me a dosage of theophylline to keep me breathing. It's very envigorating and is also a nervous system stimulant promoting smooth muscle movement. Theobromine is similar to theophylline in its effects on the body. Recently a study concluded that dark chocolate was more effective as a cough suppressant than codeine cough syrup because of the theophylline content.

OK enough science and polysyllabic words. Let's get to some mythology. I'm not 100% on this so if there are fine points I'm missing or gross errors feel free to let me know!

This is a Quechua story, the main civilization of South America. The language is still spoken in many countries and has influenced the culture. So a woman and her father were banished from their tribe. Her father was crotchety but she loved him so they went into the forest and lived away from all the other people. Well, I think it was because her father was dying that she wanted to go back to the people. On her journey to her people she cried and asked the gods for help. One came down and showed her how to prepare yerba mate. She and her father were envigorated and made it back to their people where they shared the wonder of mate and its ability to stave off hunger, provide energy, and promote well-being.

OK so that's cool and everything. Now, there's processing to mate like there is in cigar tobacco. After the harvest the leaves are 'deactivated' or cured over smoke. Some Brazilian variants aren't smoked and therefore are very green in color and have less effect. Some manufacturers also age the mate. Rosamonte Seleccion Especial is aged for 24 meses or two years. It's very strong.

As to the proper enjoyment. It is very easy to completely ruin mate. Any water temperature above 185 degrees Fahrenheit will kill the helpful enzymes, over extract the xanthines and tannins from the leaves and you will be left with a very bitter brew. I first made mate erroneously with a drip coffee maker and nearly soiled myself twice over 10 minutes later on my mad dash to the pisser.

More coming up.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:49 PM   #3
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Default Re: Yerba Mate, My Experience

Nope, I don't sell it, I sell cigars... sorry for being vague. Although now with Yerba Mate Tea Gourd being gone there's a hole to fill. That would be cool. Tomorrow I'll get my various preparations experiences written up. Hope you guys have enjoyed it so far.
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Old 11-13-2008, 10:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Yerba Mate, My Experience

Ope, didn't check over the post, the first time. Some corrections:

Asthma... fat fingered that.

Dark chocolate is an effective cough suppressant due to theobromine content, not theophylline.
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Old 11-13-2008, 11:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Yerba Mate, My Experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by MithShrike View Post
Ope, didn't check over the post, the first time. Some corrections:

Asthma... fat fingered that.

Dark chocolate is an effective cough suppressant due to theobromine content, not theophylline.
no stress buddy
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Old 11-14-2008, 03:44 PM   #6
MithShrike
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Default Re: Yerba Mate, My Experience

OK so, on to preparation.

The traditional manner of preparation is very well summed up in this YouTube video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNlV1cQ3I4M

Now there is also the matter of drinking it with your friends. I don't know anyone locally who shares my passion of drinking mate so I can't elucidate much about this. Apparently though, there is a mate server and he or she prepares the mate. They take the first draw because it is stronger and some people think it is too bitter. It is passed around a circle and friends share. Once someone is done they say 'Thank you' and they no longer get any more mate. A good server makes a smooth sipping mate. A good server also encourages his friends not to move the bombilla in the gourd.

French press is great for coffee and mate but I recommend having one specifically dedicated to mate because it is very difficult to clean away the mate taste to use it for coffee. I always use a large French press, like 8 cups or so when making mate. Basically fill the mate to about half a centimeter below the bottom of the plunger. Then make a paste with cool water and the mate. Pour your hot water over this and stir like hell. Let it sit for about three minutes and plunge. The plunger should take all the plant matter down like it does coffee. If it doesn't then you've probably got some mate that's to finely processed to be used well. Normally the styles that are con palo or with stems work best in a French press. You can keep pouring the hot water into the French press until it is no longer flavorful. I like a bit of lemon and honey with my mate when I drink from the French press.

I don't recommend a drip coffee maker. Way too much chance of scalding the mate and making a bitter brew. Yech.

Vacuum coffee makers work so long as the mate is a paste made with cold water first before it is put in the top chamber. I don't recommend it though, you have to change the cloth filters a lot. I haven't tried the glass rod but I imagine there would be issues with that style of vacuum pot.

Cold mate is also called terrere. Traditionally consumed in Paraguay because of the hotter temperature it is often just cold water, mate, and some mint or lemon juice. Very refreshing. A little spin I put on this that is a personal favorite is using the French press to make iced mate. I brew it up like normal and then pour into a large pitcher and refrigerate. You can mix it with different juices. Orange juice is good about half and half. I really like guava nectar though, that combo is incredible.

Some people like sugar, honey, milk, lemon, or mint in their mate. More power to them!

That's all for now folks. Hope that's helpful.
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