Ok, not my usual blog post about cakes and veggies but equally informative I hope. I wanted to send out a great big thanks to Florencia and Marina for hooking me up with my morning “fix”. No, it’s not coffee or tea, it’s called Yerba Mate, or you can just call it “Mate”. It shares more of the physical qualities of tea in how it looks, and it offers increased energy and mental alertness, while aiding in digestive health. A nice alternative to your usual caffeine hit. I love it, and you can catch me many mornings having this hot drink instead of my usual black tea. I sit and sip while writing this blog and catching up on the morning news.

The caffeine content is less than both tea and coffee, and it may offer more antioxidants than green tea. It seems to be all the rage these days and can be found in most health food stores and supermarkets in the traditional packages of loose leaf tea as well as non-traditional forms in tea bags and even a powdered “instant” form (the latter two frowned upon by traditional mate drinkers). The customary method of drinking requires the loose tea leaves in a mate cup, covered with hot (never boiling) water and sipped through a mate straw (usually made of metal) with friends. It’s a social drink, with one cup/straw shared among friends. There’s usually one person who is the “pourer” (i.e., person who fills the mate cup with hot water) and then it is passed to a guest. That person drinks the entire cup, which depending on the mate cup size, could be anywhere from 3-5 sips on the straw. It is then passed back to the “pourer”, refilled and passed onto the next guest.

So, there you have it…something new to try next time you reach for the coffee beans. Thanks again to Flor and Marina back in Miami!!! In the meantime, enjoy and be on the lookout for my next post…Cheers!!!