Alternative Energy Drink, Certified Organic
CAPSULE REPORT: Launched as the world’s first certified organic sparkling maté energy beverage, tasty and refreshing Sol Maté harnesses the natural uplifting properties of yerba maté, a South American herb, in a lightly carbonated cold drink. It was one of our Top Picks from the Summer 2006 Fancy Food Show, where thousands of products were tasted. Those seeking an energy drink—or a refreshing drink in general—won’t be disappointed.
Yerba maté (MAH-tay) has for centuries been a mainstay in the diet of the tribe of Guarani natives of Paraguay since ancient times. From there it spread through South America. Today it is a cultural phenomenon, celebrated for its healthy and stimulating properties. People tote maté drinks around the way Americans tote bottled water.
The yerba mate plant is a species of holly native to subtropical South America in northern Argentina, southern Bolivia and Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. It grows as a shrub or small tree with serrated evergreen leaves, and will bear a small red berry.
Photo of yerba maté plant courtesy of Wikipedia.
Maté became the most common household cure of the Guarani, and remains so to this day. As in the past, in modern Argentina and Paraguay, maté tea is made from the leaves of the herb. It is also used as a cold beverage. It’s slightly less potent than coffee and much gentler on the stomach. Drinking maté with friends from a shared hollow gourd (also called a maté in Spanish, which is the word for gourd, or cabaça or cuia in Portuguese) with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish, bomba or canudo in Portuguese) is an extremely common social practice in the areas where the plant grows.
With increasing demands for both energy beverages and organic foods, Sol Maté has launched a lightly-carbonated beverage that provides the verve without the jitters. Looking like ginger ale but with the more sophisticated flavor of yerba maté—exotic yet enjoyable—the all-natural drink contains naturally-occurring caffeine plus theobromine, a known mood elevator also found in chocolate. The two compounds combine to provide a sustainable, longer lasting lift.
Naturally high in antioxidants, a bottle of Sol Maté is comparable to a cup of green tea or a 1/2 cup of wild blueberries.
Sol Maté is currently available in Original and Lemon Lime flavors. It is high in vitamins and minerals and is rich in antioxidants. At 90 calories per 16-ounce bottle, it is over 33 percent lower in carbohydrates and sugar than regular sodas.
Sol Maté is craft-brewed with roasted and green yerba maté that is steeped, filtered and sweetened using organic cane sugar. Made in Canada, it is certified organic by Quality Assurance International.
There are only six plants on earth that contain caffeine. You now know that yerba maté is one of them. Can you name the others? The answer is below.
Original and Lemon Lime
- 10-Ounce Bottle
Retail Price $1.99
Available at fine supermarkets and specialty stores including Whole Foods Markets nationwide.
Prices and flavor availability are subject to change.
It’s time to energize!
Answer to Caffeine Quiz: The six plants that contain caffeine are cacao (the cacao bean, which makes cocoa and chocolate), coffee (the leaves, cherries and seeds, the latter of which are roasted to become coffee beans), cola (the nut, which makes soft drinks), guaraná (the seed, which is extracted as a beverage ingredient), tea (the leaf, which is brewed into tea) and yerba mate (the leaf, which is brewed into tea).