Information collected from matefactor.com
The yerba mate plant, which is really a tree, is an evergreen from the Holly family that grows in the subtropical forests of South America. The yerba mate tree, from the Aquifoliacae family, stands between 6 to 8 meters tall, being able to reach even 15 meters. There are many different species in the family, the Ilex gender having more than 550, the holly plant included, 280 species found in South America, 60 of which occur in southern Brazil. Only 3 species though are used in the mate industry (I. paraguariensis, I. angustifolia, I. amara), Ilex Paraguariensis being the most important. The mate plant, due to the widespread genetic variety of the Ilex family, may have white or light purple stems, and thick waxy leaves that may present dented or smooth edges.
The amount of xanthene alkaloids in the leaves of maté is believed to be directly related to the quality of the soil. This influences the flavor of the yerba mate giving it a milder taste. This flavor varies from region to region, the soil of southern Brazil presenting drastic variations in mineral content, texture, and organic mass. The tendency though, is for the cultivated maté to have a stronger bitterness, and probably higher xanthene content. The native trees, which grow in the nitrogen-rich topsoil of the Paraná Pine forests, tend to have a milder bitterness, characterized by a stronger leafy flavor. Obtaining the right balance of these is the secret to having a stable, fresh tasting yerba mate.
Size and Shape of the Trees and Leaves
The factor that characterizes the size and shape of the yerba mate trees is the amount of sunlight received. In the dense subtropical forest, the fight for sunlight has developed the trees so that they have long slender trunks with a large leafy top. This applies to the native yerba mate trees, which develop a longer trunk, reaching 45 feet tall to reach the sunlight. The cultivated trees are pruned to spread, creating large bushes, which rarely develop large trunks. They are carefully harvested each season to maintain the bush-like shape which eases the labor in harvesting.
The leaves also present a difference in size and shape. The native leaves are usually smaller and darker in color. The cultivated leaves are larger, and occasionally, the serrated edge of the leaf becomes less evident.
Growing Mate Organically
One of the obstacles faced by cultivated yerba mate is the weeds. The use of herbicides is widespread in cultivated areas, therefore posing threats to the natural balance of the subtropical forests and grasslands. For this reason, we have also chosen yerba mate plantations that are surrounded by native forest. This avoids all possibility of contamination. The International Organic Regulations are followed in all of our certified plantations.
Native yerba mate doesn’t face the same challenge, as the weeds do not grow in the dense forest. Most native yerba mate is, by default, organic. We have all our native yerba mate areas certified though, and conduct extraction in a manner that doesn’t damage the other vegetation in the forest.
More Antioxidants than Green Tea - Antioxidants in Yerba Mate
Studies show Yerba Mate to be higher in antioxidants than Green Tea. Partially responsible for this is the high levels of polyphenols found in Yerba Mate. Polyphenols are indicated to perform similarly to the 293 natural antioxidant enzymes in the body, and are believed to support these natural health promoting systems.
Largely responsible for the high antioxidant value of Yerba Mate are the very high levels of caffeoyl derivatives found in Mate compared to other plants. These include caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, 3, 4-dicaffeoylquinic acid, 3, 5-dicaffeoylquinic acid, and 4, 5-dicaffeoylquinic acid.
The Healthy Energizer
The energizing effects of Yerba Mate are longer lasting than traditional caffeine beverages, and are found by most to be free from side effects such as, the jitters, mood swings, addiction, and post stimulation fatigue. The bottom line is, Yerba Mate gives you energy that really feels good.
Yerba Mate has 3 xanthine alkaloids, working together with a rich host of nutritional components, creating the unique healthy energizing effect. The xanthines are caffeine, theobromine and Theophylline. Mate is low in caffeine, and theophylline, yet high in theobromine, which has less effect on your nervous system than caffeine. A hypothesis exists that Yerba Mate contains its own unique xanthine alkaloid that hasn't been clinically identified yet.
Anecdotally, the overwhelming majority have reported that Yerba Mate does not give them the health problems they experience from coffee. Many who have had problems with caffeine and desire to get off of it, find Yerba Mate to be the answer they were looking for.
Yerba Mate & Weight Loss
Yerba Mate is believed to aid in weight loss and has growing interest in those studying obesity control. Studies cite Yerba Mate to potentially interfere with cholesterol metabolism and delay intestinal absorption of dietary fat.
Obese men and women consuming Mate tea have shown a decrease in respiratory quotient (RQ), indicating an increase in fat oxidation.
A study done in 1998 at the Foundation University of Rio Grande, Brazil, showed that Mate is capable of vaso relaxation of arterial beds, which that the it may be able to lower the risk for heart disease in the same way that red wine is believed to do.
The thermogenic effect of Yerba Mate has been the source of interest to both researchers and those desiring to lose weight.
Mate Factor Yerba Mate is Fresh
In order to preserve as many fresh nutrients as possible as well as the bright green flavor of the herb we do not age our yerba mate like other mate companies do. Most yerba mate sold in the USA is aged for 1-2 years before being packaged, according to cultural traditions from Paraguay, Uraguay and Argentina. However, in Brazil, yerba mate is commonly preferred as fresh as possible. The Mate Factor prefers this style, since it preserves the life-giving nutrients and the fresh green taste our customers love.
We have spent years perfecting the "art" of creating delicately delicious Yerba Mate. We have painstakingly learned the vast array of factors that control the final flavor and vibrance, in order to produce the best tasting, most nutritious yerba mate tea possible!
Processing our Yerba Mate immediately upon harvest, Mate Factor mate is vacuum packed into triple barrier freshness sealed bags. Onced the process is completed, our mate is trucked to port in order to be shipped out immediately. We do this because we love fresh Yerba Mate!
Processed in Low Heat with No Smoky Flavor
We cure our yerba mate using the CleanHeat® method we developed that keeps the Yerba Mate free from smoke, preserving the vital nutrients & natural flavor of our herb. Our process protects the natural enzymes that exist in Yerba Mate, insuring that the plant never reaches temperatures that would damage the natural constituents.
This careful process produces a bright, smooth flavor that makes Mate Factor Mate superb not only by itself, but as a base for blending your own drinks, hot or cold.
Generous Portions & Quality Ingredients
We offer generous portions in both our tea bags and loose teas. Our tea bags weigh 3.5 grams each DOUBLE the size of many tea bags on the market, producing a fuller effect.
Our loose teas come in a generous 12 oz bag, making approximately 4 gallons of organic yerba mate tea.
We spare no effort in finding the highest quality herbs and spices to use in our flavored mate teas.
100% Certified Organic Yerba Mate
We use 100% percent certified organic Yerba Mate, responsibly grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, preserving the environment where our Yerba Mate is grown. We gather Yerba Mate from different regions with specific characteristics to achieve our special green flavor.
Farmer Friendly - Fairly Traded
Our company was founded on helping the producers earn a fair wage for their labor. We enjoy a personal, mutually beneficial relationship with our producers and have worked together closely in promoting organics in both the United States and Brazil.