This month we’re visiting the Parana Tea Estate, a smallholding situated in the Alto region, close to Ciudad del Este, in Paraguay. The estate produces a yerba mate (pronounced matt-ay), which is as culturally entrenched in Paraguayan culture as tea is to the English.
Yerba mate is a herbal tea made from the leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, a type of holly. It is consumed in South America, largely for its health benefits, thanks to the antioxidants found in the tea. Some of the benefits include increased energy, a boost to your immune system and its protective elements against heart diseases. So, the perfect tea after over-indulging in December.
The Parana plantation exports very little of its tea, because it is consumed by the locals. The processing of the tea is time-consuming and complex; the leaves are harvested, double-dried, cut and sorted before being aged for nearly 2 years.
Traditionally, Yerba Mate is served in a dried and hollowed gourd. Sometimes the gourd is protected with leather or even metal. The gourd is then passed around and shared with a group of people. The drink is sucked through a straw, which has a built-in strainer at the base. These straws are often ornate and made of silver.
Why we love Parana Mate
Very little tea from this region is exported because it is valued so highly by the locals. So, we are very lucky at BRUU, to be able to share this tea with you.
We love that the ageing process has endowed the tea with a deeper, richer and more complex flavour. It’s smokey with a slightly bitter follow-through – it just works!
Location: Alto Paraná, Paraguay
Country: South America
Capital City: Asunción
Coordinates: 27°02′00″S 55°35′00″W
Elevation: 190m above sea level
Soil type: Terra Roxa- dark purple soils
Manufacture: Yerba mate
Season: Second Flush
Av temp: 26°C
Estate size: Smallholding
> Eye contact is a must during conversations.
> Population of 7 million.
> Paraguay River is the 2nd longest river in South America
> Some homes in Paraguay do not have doors due to the heat
> Guests do not knock but clap their hands to announce their arrival
PARANA MATE IS AVAILABLE IN OUR TEASHOP >>