I like the taste of coffee, I can’t deny it! How much of it I drank during the exams! It was always a good reason to meet in the kitchen, at a “break” from learning.

For some time, I struggle with this pleasant addiction, but it works out differently. The first day without coffee is a nightmare! My head hurts, I’m pissed and I still want to go to sleep. But it is enough to withstand this state for 2-3 days, and then enjoy the CAFFEINE FREEDOM!

Everything would be cool, if not for the fact that this shitty caffeine is what I need to live! And that’s when yerba mate comes to the aid. This herb contains mateine, which is a variant of caffeine, but its effect lasts much longer!

For the first time, I drank Yerby Mate from a colleague from Argentina, about 8 years ago. I totally didn’ like it! I felt like I was drinking an ashtray full of cigarette butts! Yuck! Later, I had a few opportunities to taste this drink, and each time I got more and more convinced.

1d3400c753982b930fff2864587c3465

One day, I decided to buy myself my own blend of Yerba Mate with gourd (vessel made of the Holy Trunk, from which you drink) and bombilla (tube ending with a spoon with a strainer). I changed my morning coffee ritual to something a bit more complicated. And it looks like this:

1. I pour boiling water into the gourd and wait a moment. I pour it out.
2. I put yerba in, 3/4 of the gourd’s height.
3. I screw a bombilla into yerba (it is best to move it later).
4. I gently pour the cooled water (approx. 75-80 degrees) into a thermos, wait a while and pour it (almost fully) into the gourd.
5. Magic happens! My yerba is drinked by St. Thomas!*
6. Again, I pour water (like 3-4 sips) into the gourd.
7. I drink it, and when I hear “slurping” in the tube I know I must add water again.

Frankly, I’ll tell you that I feel much more awake after yerba mate than after coffee. And so brisk, so lightly!

What properties has my morning tea?

“Yerba mate increases immunity, improves digestion, increases concentration, cleans the blood and removes the toxins, balances the nervous system, restore youthful hair color, slows down aging, reduces fatigue, stimulates the mind, weight loss, increases strength, reduces stress and combats insomnia.
It has stimulating, laxative, astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic and antipyretic properties. It contains vitamins and minerals: A, C, E, B-1, B-2 (riboflavin) and B-complex; carotene, pantothenic acid, biotin – or vitamin H, magnesium, calcium, iron, sodium, potassium, manganese, silicon, phosphates, sulfur, zinc, hydrochloric acid, chlorophyll, choline and inositol.
Coffee flushes various minerals out of the body, including magnesium. Yerba mate delivers them. ” (by Beata Pawlikowska).

In a word – a revelation! I will not convince you, that yerba mate is tasty, that it tastes better than coffee. But you can surely get used to it, and your body will be very grateful for this little change.

* St. Thomas, according to some beliefs, is one of the missionaries who converted India (though America was considered India), and who taught the Guarani people, who resided there, the cultivation of cassava and yerba mate. In that case, due to the fact that once it didn’t seem right to drink yerba mate alone, you could always turn to St. Thomas. And so it was.

Where can you buy good yerba mate?
Polish store online: https://yervita.pl/
Warsaw: Yerba shop – Terere,  Bartoszewicza 11, phone 510 029 076
Barcelona: Pampa Drugstore, c/ Carmen nº11, phone 933 026 014/ here you can also buy online

photos of Cortazar and Mujica:  www.pinterest.com

translation: Agnieszka Wawiórko