The new brew on the block
If you’re looking for a midday pick me up that doesn’t come from an espresso bean, look no further than Yerba Maté pronounced Yer-bah MAH-teh.
Found in almost every café in Melbourne this drink of the gods has been hiding out in Newcastle’s West End for the past couple of years.
Hamish from Bank Corner Espresso shares a personal history with Maté.
“I lived with a Brazilian for a while, and she used to make this tea which was amazing, and I really enjoyed drinking it.
“It’s a great product and obviously Melbourne tends to follow things that are trendy, but it’s something I’ve always loved, and we are doing what we think is a very natural and healthy alternative tea and not just jumping off the back of what Melbourne does.”
Originally coming from South America, Yerba Maté, dates back to the Guaraní people of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina.
Brewed from dried leaves and twigs of the holly genus plant Ilex paraguariensis, Yerba Maté is associated with a timeless ritual to celebrate the brew. The practice requires a gourd, a bombilla, (a special straw for drinking that filters out the tea leaves), and a thermos.
During the drinking process, people sit in a circle, and one person (the cebador) will fill the Maté two-thirds the way with leaves, adding a little warm water before putting the bombilla into the Maté at an angle (to stop the leaves clogging the straw). Finally, it’s topped off with hot water (but not too hot as this will burn the leaves), then the gourd gets passed around, and everyone takes a sip through the bombilla.
Not only is this brew tas-tea but it comes with health benefits as well.
“It’s such a healthy alternative for coffee, the caffeine affects you in a very different way as espresso coffee is very powerful and tends to drop you lower than where you started whereas with Maté it is a very gentle caffeine and a great long-lasting energy booster.”
Bank Corner Espresso mixes mint tea and a bit of apple juice to make it a classic house tea.
“We don’t use any sugar, we do sweeten it with a bit of stevia, so there is no cane sugar in the drink at all. You can feel your body appreciate the lack of cane sugar because that tends to deplete your body as well.”
Just doing the one flavour, Hamish is in search of Roasted Maté from a supplier to create a winter brew, guaranteed to be the most amazing version you will ever try.
“My friend made it for me as well as the mint Mata tea and also the roasted Maté on milk with a hint of citrus in it, which was so amazing. Hopefully, I will find some roasted Mata so we can have two options.”
Pop on down to Bank Corner Espresso and see what the craze is all about.