Knowing to love Argentina’s yerba maté beverage

(VOVWORLD) - Yerba maté is the most popular beverage in Argentina, well above coffee and tea, according to the National Institute of Yerba Maté. It is becoming increasingly popular and can be enjoyed at any time of day, on its own or as a blend. The tradition of drinking this beverage every day and even several times a day is widespread throughout Argentina, regardless of socioeconomic status. This week, Argentina’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino shares with VOV5 more about yerba maté.
Knowing to love Argentina’s yerba maté beverage - ảnh 1The first shipment of seven tons of Argentine yerba maté, an herbal infusion, arrived in Vietnam in June 2021. (Photo courtesy: Argentine Embassy in Vietnam)

Bao Tram:  Thank you for joining us, Mr. Ambassador Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino. Yerba maté is known as the most popular beverage in Argentina What is yerba mate? Is it the national drink of Argentina?

Mr. Ambassador: The yerba maté tree (scientific name Ilex paraguariensis) is a species of plant that is widely grown in South America, including Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. Consumers can drink yerba maté either hot or cold, and often combined with other herbs from the region. In Argentina, the average consumption of yerba maté is around 6.4kg each year per person and more than 90% of households drink it. Although yerba maté is not Argentina's national drink (actually wine is the national drink), yerba maté is strongly ingrained in our culture and tradition. In Argentina, Uruguay, and the afore mentioned countries, its consumption is very very popular.

Knowing to love Argentina’s yerba maté beverage - ảnh 2Ambassador Luis Pablo Maria Beltramino (Photo courtesy: Argentine Embassy in Vietnam)

Bao Tram: It’s said that the more you drink yerba maté, the more addicted you get. Is that right?

Mr. Ambassador: People can drink yerba maté at any time, and it’s suitable for a wide range of consumers, regardless of age. With the health benefits of this infusion, athletes from different disciplines around the world are choosing the beverage. So, yerba maté is far from being a drug. It’s not a drug. On the contrary, it’s rated by consumers around the world as a very healthy drink for its health benefits. At the same time, it has theobromine and theophylline, which are only found in chocolate and regular tea and which help consumers feel comfortable and relaxed. Drinking yerba maté daily also helps to reduce cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby supporting weight loss if combined with a suitable and regular nutritional menu.

Bao Tram: What are other benefits of yerba maté?

Mr. Ambassador: Scientific studies have proven that yerba maté, due to its high content of polyphenol, has up to 60% more antioxidants than green tea. Yerba maté provides several types of vitamins, 8 of the 13 vitamins of group B needed by humans; minerals, of which the content of potassium and magnesium is high; and is a rich source of energy, with compounds that support the central nervous system and brain activity.

Bao Tram: How many flavors of yerba maté are there?

Mr. Ambassador: Currently the market offers a variety of brands and blends of yerba maté, from mild flavors to the most intense, with or without medicinal herbs, sweetened or not. There is one for every taste and for all occasions.

Bao Tram: Tell us how to make a cup of yerba maté in the Argentinian style!

Mr. Ambassador: It is not easy to explain in a few words how to prepare maté, but I could suggest some pages on the internet, where it is possible to find practical explanations. One of them is from the National Institute of Yerba Maté (INYM) web page, containing information in English. but you could go to Youtube and find several tutorials on making maté. Or you can check the following clip to learn how to make a cup of yerba maté in the Argentinian style.

Bao Tram: Where can I buy yerba maté in Vietnam?

Mr. Ambassador: You can find yerba maté in many places around the world: in Europe, in the United States, in the Middle East - Syria and Lebanon, and in Asia - in India and China. In Vietnam there are a couple of places that I know of. One, a pretty new one called Matéa Co. Ltd, is the first official and exclusive distributor of Argentine yerba maté of the Taraguí brand. And there is another in Ho Chi Minh City, a store called Del Plata. The product is available in various stores and supermarkets, as well as at their beverage outlet in Tay Ho, Hanoi.

Bao Tram: Thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for joining VOV’s Cultural Rendezvous today and sharing with us some interesting information about Argentina's yerba maté.

Mr. Ambassador: It’s my pleasure to be on your program for the interview. Thank you.