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Nativa Yerba Mate FAQ and Traditional Harvesting Images

Is it Air-Dried?

Nativa is 'Air-Dried' or 'Unsmoked' in that the modernized systems now used include methods to practically eliminate the direct contact with the ashes generated by the wood-burning fire oven used in drying the leaves.

Where is it from?

Nativa Yerba Mate comes from locally owned wild forests of yerba mate trees located in the sub-tropical rainforest in San Mateus, in the State of Parana, Brazil.

This region of Brazilian-Ukranian owner-harvesters has been teaching their ecological harvesting practices for several generations. Ilex Paraguariensis (Yerba Mate, Cimarrao) accounts for 85% of the local economy. San Mateus is a beautiful place to visit, with flower-filled streets, virtually no crime and a middle-class lifestyle.

Is is sustainably harvested?

There is a Museo del Mate to educate on the plant's properties, history and natural harvesting processes required by the State to employ for sustainability. This includes allowing the trees to fully mature and only harvesting them every four years. This ensures the yerba mate forests' natural vitality and resulting excellent flavor.

What is the difference between the Suave and the Traditional blends?

Yerba Mate is much like wine in that it can vary in strength, flavor, caffeine levels and other nutrients depending on where it is grown. Female plants tend to be milder in flavor, and lower in caffeine. They are also relatively scarce in the areas where yerba mate is planted and cultivated, not wild-harvested, compared to the male plants. Nativa is proud to offer both a Traditional and Suave (Mild) blend of pure yerba mate leaves.

Are pesticides used?

Nativa comes from wild forests. These environments use traditional forms of eliminating pests. This includes planting a complimenting pest-deterring match for the yerba mate tree. It also includes cultural traditions, such as asking the neighbor's sheep to come over to 'mow the lawn'.

After years of research, we have been able to confirm that there is no 'Certified Organic' and 'Wild-Harvest' yerba mate in Brazil. It is simply too cost-prohibitive to certify these forests versus the compact and efficient areas of plantation-grown yerba mate plants. The wild forests' are purposefully not contaminated with plantation (sun)-grown plants, which tend to be much stronger in flavor and have higher caffeine levels. Ancient trees naturally seed the new ones.

Below are images depicting the traditional steps in harvesting and preparing the leaves:

The road through yerba mate forests Wild yerbamate forests Ancient yerba mate trees 100-year old yerba mate tree yerba mate leaf
The earth is very rich in nutrients in the wild yerba mate forests. Here yerba mate has grown wild for centuries. 100-year old yerba mate tree. Younger trees sprout naturally alongside the ancient ones. The yerba mate leaf.
Demonstration of branch harvest Baskets used to carry the leaves Flash-dry demonstration Roasting room Getting rid of the stems
After the harvest Traditional leaf basket for carrying to the roasting facility. Traditional drying method to rid the leaves of impurities. Nativa's systems now protect the leaves from the fire and ashes. Traditional wooden drying room. Nativa's systems now protect the leaves from the fire and ashes. At Nativa, we discard the bitter stems (palos).
Different cuts of yerba mate leaves Our wild yerbamate forests Our wild yerbamate forests Organic fertilizer
We then grind the balance into the various cuts which comprise our terrific 100% pure blend of yerba mate leaves. Since the yerba mate trees are native... ...they require no pesticides or fertilizers... ...only what is already there!
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