History and origin of mate
Oct 31, 2018
The history of yerba mate goes back to the origins of the discovery of this plant by the Guarani people . Throughout history, this energy drink has crossed the oceans to conquer many countries and cultures such as Syria or the Druze , a Lebanese community.
The story of mate
The beginnings of yerba mate plantations
The history of yerba mate begins in South America , in the heart of the Guarani people , an Amerindian population group that extends over the regions of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.
According to Guarani tradition, yerba mate leaves were chewed or infused in a calabash. The natural virtues of the plant allowed its consumers to resist the harsh climate and fatigue . It was used in particular during long journeys through the Andes, or during transhumance.
More than a simple beverage, the yerba was a real ritual in the Guarani culture. The tree was sacred and considered a gift sent by the gods. Beyond the many nutritional and medicinal benefits, it was a spiritual element of the Guarani culture.
Mate or "Jesuit tea"
It was in the 16th century, with the arrival of the Jesuits , that mate tea took on a whole new dimension and opened up to the rest of the world. Its production is organized and intensifies under the control of the missionaries , which allows them to enrich themselves.
Thereafter, the Jesuits extend its use throughout the territory of the conquistadors, but it is in the form of small sachets that they consume the mate leaves. This is why it is often given the name of Jesuit tea .
The legend of the Guaranis
Many stories contribute to forging a solid reputation for yerba mate. Moreau de Tours , then famous doctor throughout Europe, relates a story that contributes to this legend: explorers would have survived more than a week in the forest by feeding only on yerba* leaves.
Back on the European continent, the Jesuits extolled the merits of mate as a miraculous drink that could banish fatigue and bring good humor throughout the day.
They also embarked on extensive research on the plant. At the end of this research, the secrets of the culture of Yerba mate appeared. Unfortunately, they just as quickly disappeared.
It has been found that mate the can only flourish in certain regions of South America . It was only later, in the course of the 20th century , that new techniques appeared, which made it possible to adapt the cultivation of the shrub, as we know it today.
*Source: “Le Mate, historical, chemical and physiological study. » A. Moreau from Tours - 1908
Mate, the emblematic drink of South America
Ilex paraguariensis or mate
Coming from the holly family , yerba mate is an endemic plant of the central region of South America. To complete its development, this shrub needs high humidity, a particular altitude and very fertile soil, which is why it is grown mainly in Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil.
The extraordinary properties of this infusion and its role as a vector of social ties make it popular well beyond these 3 countries.
Indeed, yerba is very popular in Syria and Lebanon (especially in the Druze community) with a cumulative consumption of 42,000 tons . The consumption of the plant spread and became popular in the 19th century with the numerous emigrations to Argentina, Bolivia and Uruguay.
Today, this plant is widely consumed throughout the world both at home and in the workplace.
We are committed to the cultivation of an organic mate in order to offer you the best quality of infusion!