Mi Yerba Mate


Known as Argentina´s national drink , yerba maté is consumed all over South America,
much as coffee is drunk by Americans and tea by the English or Chinese.

The plant

Yerba Maté or Ilex Paraguariensis is an evergreen bush from the holly family that can reach a height of 10 to 20 meters. Maté grows only in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, where it thrives on fertile soil and a subtropical climate. From tree to package: How yerba maté is prepared  

The young leaves and terminal buds are collected from the trees at harvest time in the fall or winter.

They are roasted briefly over direct fire. This inhibits the enzymes that produce fermentation and prevents the leaves from oxidizing. Immediately afterward, they are dried in a hot air current, then ground into a course mixture and packed in 50kg jute bags.

Maté leaves remain in storage for at least nine months. Like a fine wine, they age during this period and develop their distinctive bouquet. Finally, when the leaves have reached the pinnacle of flavour, they are crushed and mixed to obtain exactly the right blend.

This blending is considered an art form and is done only by highly trained specialists.

Benefits of Yerba Maté

Maté is best known as a coffee substitute that provides energy without the jittery side-effects of coffee.

It does not interfere with sleep, like caffeine does; if anything, maté seems to promote a deepeer and more refreshing sleep.

It is not addictive and does not produce a depressing letdown, like coffee.

Maté also energizes the body through nutrition. It contains significant amounts of :

Vitamin C Calcium Arginine Palmitoleic
Thiamine Iron Methionine Strearic
Riboflavin(b2) Phosphorus Tryptophan Oleic
Choline Sulfur Cysteine Linoleic
Inositol Manganese Histidine
Pantothenic acid Potassium Isoleucine Omega-6
Beta-carotene Magnesium Aspartic acid Fatty acids)


11 other vitamins and minerals 7 other amino acids

Altogether yerba maté containes 196 active compounds, compared to only 144 for green tea.

Researchers at the Pasteur Institute concluded “ maté contains practically all the vitamins necessary to sustain life”.

Maté is strong in polyphenols. It contains 11 polyphenols and has a higher percentage of polyphenols than green tea.

This gives maté a strong antioxidant action. In fact, a study by the Pasteur Institute in 1994 showed yerba maté to be a more potent antioxidant than ascorbic acid or BHT in inhibiting LDL oxidation.

What else is yerba maté known for? It works with the nervous system, the gastrointestinal system and the immune system to achieve the following:

  • Clears the mind
  • Enhances alertness, memory, concentration
  • Improves mood
  • Acts as a depurative
  • Reduces fatigue during exercise
  • Increases the supply of oxygen to the heart
  • Helps the body use carbohydrates as fuel
  • Boosts the metabolic rate by 10%
  • Suppresses the appetite
  • Modulates the immune system

A Comparison between Green Tea and Yerba Maté

Components Green Tea Yerba Maté

Polyphenols 1.3% 2.0%
Total Active components 144 196
Caffeine per cup 30mg 17mg

A Comparison between Coffee and Yerba Maté

 CoffeeYerba Maté
Caffeine per cup90mg17mg
StimulatesCentral nervous systemWhole body
Jittery Feeling?YesNo
Interferes with sleep?YesNo


LA MERCED Yerba Maté

La Merced yerba maté is produced by Las Marias, a family owned business in northeastern Argentina, that is the world´s leading supplier of premium yerba maté.

Las Marias has its own certified organic maté plantations and packaging facilities, which allows the company to ensure the highest quality maté. For 75 years, the company has carefully supervised the cultivatioin of yerba maté to produce the best plants varieties. Emphasis is given to plant selection in the nursery and in the fields, so as to obtain the most premium plants.

In the field, only the most ecological methods are used, including soil conservation, zero use of pesticides and herbicides, and the protection of the local flora and fauna around the plantations.

All the plantations and production processes for La Merced are under strict supervision of Organización Internacional Agropecuaria, a member of IFOAM and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

La Merced organic maté comes in the following varieties:

Original Maté in teabags Mandarin Orange

Original Maté, loose tea Stawberry Vanilla



Las Marías

Today Las Marias is the leading producer of premium yerba maté in the world and the company remains a family-owned business.

Las Marías´ brands are South America´s favorite matés and La Merced is the only maté sold in US health food stores that is fully South American owned.

Las Marías has shown leadership in many areas besides the popularity of its products, including the following:

Leader in quality

Las Marias is known for the premium quality of its yerba maté, developed from half a century of careful selection of the best plant varieties combined with constant care of its maté plantations and cultivation of the art of yerba blending.

The company controls every aspect of production from planting to packaging to ensure the highest quality.

Leader in innovation  

  • Las Marias is the only company that has most of its yerba maté harversting fully mechanized which machines 100% developed by our engeneers.
  • The company also pioneered the technique of “zero tilling” in yerba maté cultivation to avoid altering the soil´s natural balance.
  • Las Marías was the first company to package maté in teabags.

Leader in protecting the Enviroment

  • Las Marías maintains and replants native forest around the maté farms, restoring thousands of acres of forests in the region.

This supports the return of a variety of birds and animals that once lived there.

  • Organic farming methods are used in the production of La Merced yerba maté, including zero tillage and zero used of herbicides and pesticides.

Leader in supporting its workers

Las Marias sees its people as the moving spirit of the company. Here is how Las Marias´ employees are valued and empowered:

  • They are paid above average wages
  • They are provided with free medical care
  • Las Marias maintains an elementary school for the worker´s children where 750 students attend classes every day.
  • Technical training is available by the Instituto Agrotécnico for Forestry students . This is funded 100% by Las Marias.
  • The company sponsors sports teams and recreation facilities
  • Free housing is supplied for a third of its staff
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