Coffee, Tea, or Something New?
If you’re an eco-conscious consumer looking for something new, look no further then your morning routine. While coffee is a delightful treat, and tea can be soothing and delicious, there are other natural drinks to be investigated. These luxurious alternatives are exotic and exciting. Yerba Mate: the What This hot drink is a delectable alternative to coffee or tea. While traditional in South America, yerba mate is a relative newcomer to American markets. The online Yerba Mate Café has a wealth of information about yerba mate and is a very helpful resource. Mate is made in a similar way to tea, by soaking the mate herb leaves in hot water. Traditionally, the mate is served in a hollowed out gourd with a special metal straw that acts as a filter. The gourd is what gives it the name mate, and the straw is called a bombilla. Yerba mate is easily made at home with the appropriate supplies. Yerba Mate: the Why Yerba mate has a wonderful bitter flavor, but beyond that, there are many health benefits to drinking it. According to the Yerba Mate Café, yerba mate is very high in antioxidants, even higher than the famed green tea. Mate is also a source of caffeine, with levels equivalent to that of coffee. Minerals, such as potassium, zinc, and many more are abundant in yerba mate, and it has even been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory due to the saponin compounds present in the yerba mate leaf. Available in some grocery stores, especially those with a well-stocked South American section, or online at many online retailers, yerba mate is a natural treat that will shake up your routine while still providing you with the health and wellness that you seek. So, look for a mate and a bombilla (gourd and special straw) and find out for yourself what yerba mate is really all about. Kombucha: the What According to Kombucha.org, kombucha, which is also served in the form of a beverage, refers to a colony of good yeast and bacteria which is both probiotic and symbiotic. Kombucha tea mixes this colony with sugar and black or green tea and is fermented for about a week. According to Gunther Frank, a German kombucha expert, the historical roots of kombucha are in East Asia. It spread to Europe around the turn of the century, and has since made its way to the United States. Kombucha: the Why The process of creating kombucha releases many important substances such as lactic acid, amino acids, antibiotic substances, and vitamins. While the official jury is still out on whether kombucha can be considered a “remedy for everything,” thousands of testimonials suggest that the interesting substance is doing something positive for the consumer. While the technology exists to make the culture at home or to have a pre-made kombucha culture mailed to your home, I would recommend trying a bottle bought from a store first. There are several brands of kombucha drinks (think bottles of iced-tea with a kick), and my personal favorite is the Wonder Drink brand, available in some gourmet grocery stores or by order online. So when it comes to a beverage that will rejuvenate and energize, look beyond coffee and tea to the wide world of other natural options and kick start your day with something new. Image Credits: Wonder Drink, Diamond Organics, Kay's Deli Winnipeg, Pura Vida Buenos Aires