Part of the uniqueness of Yerba Mate is the way it's traditionally prepared and served. Unlike the teapots and cups you may be used to, you'll need a gourd and a bombilla for your Yerba Mate. The little gourds are specifically designed as a drinking vessel, and the bombilla is a metal straw with a strainer built in to one end.
The cup or gourd is filled about three-quarters full of herb, then pour hot water over the herb until almost submerging all your herbs. Let is sit for a few minutes for the herbs to absorb the water, and add more hot water to keep it liquid. Stick the bombilla into the wet herbs with the filter end down. You drink your tea through the straw. You can add more hot water for repeated infusions, until the resulting tea has little taste left.
You can use regular tea brewing methods with your Yerba Mate, but it's fine texture makes it difficult to filter the herb from the tea. You might want to use coffee filter paper.
Some of the health benefits attributed to Yerba Mate:
- Improves energy levels
- Lots of antioxidants
- Aids in digestion
- Boosts immune system
- Relieves depression