Mate is essentially a herbal tea made from the leaves of Ilex paraguayiensis— otherwise known as Argentinean holly. It is found growing naturally in Brazil and Argentina. Once the leaves are harvested,they are processed swiftly and are quickly heated over fire in order to preserve the green colour of the leaves and add a smoky flavour. The next step in the process is to dry and crumble the leaves. The end result is Mate Tea or Yerba Mate as it is also known. Whilst not a ‘tea’ in the traditional sense, mate has been shown to contain tannins and has a caffeine content similar to black tea, around half that of coffee. As far as a health drink, science continues to assess yerba mate’s health benefits but to date it’s benefits have been reported to aid weight loss, digestion, immune system, anxiety and provide an energy boost.