Yerba Mate to the rescue


I heard about Yerba Mate many years ago. It must have been in a television program run by quite famous Polish journalist, writer, satirist and traveler Wojciech Cejrowski who is also a popularizer of this drink. However, it took some time until I decided to give it a try. Now it is one of basic "tool" in my developer tool box. Why? This post explains it.

Let's start with the quick remind of what is actually Yerba mate. It's nothing more nothing less than a plant that comes from South America and which is (its leaves) widely consumed in the form of a beverage called mate. Very characteristic are dishes that are used to drink mate i.e. a kind of a cup, the metal/silver straw (bombilla) and quite often also a vacuum flask (a thermos).

The preparation of the mate is fairly easy. Here is a simplified description:
  1. Add Yerba mate leaves to a cup. It should be filled in around 1/3.
  2. Cover the top of a cup.
  3. Turn the cup upside down and shake a little bit.
  4. Insert the straw.
  5. Pour hot water (~80 degrees Celsius) into a cup.
  6. Drink.
More complicated than making a tea but still feasible ;) After this short introduction I will describe pros and cons of drinking Yerba mate from my perspective. Besides I'll confront my observations with the former paper On the Importance of Yerba Mate in the Software Development Process written by Adrian Kosmaczewski.

  1. It actually works - We all drink coffee. I also but more for taste that for an effect. In comparison to Yerba mate coffee is like a juice for children. Yerba mate really gives me additional power. However, it works in a different way than coffee. Yerba mate requires more time to give you a boost, at the beginning it is more subtle.
  2. It gives a long-lasting effect - It's a second important difference. The effect of drinking Yeba mate last much more longer than in the case of coffee.
  3. Efficiency - One portion of Yerba mate and you can drink all the evening.
  4. It's a hipster drink.
The first 2 points are crucial from my perspective. If I know that I have to work late and hard, the first thing that I prepare is Yerba mate.

Advantages by Adrian
  1. Health benefits - I have no idea. But there are researches that seem to prove that.
  2. Prolonged working hours - Definitely Yes.
  3. Teamwork benefits - I drink Yerba mate on my own so here I also have no idea.
  4. Increased sensitivity - Yes but I'd rather say that Yerba mate helps fight fatigue.
  1. Troubles with sleeping - As I wrote you fill effect of Yerba mate much more longer. If you don't stop drinking it at proper time, you'll simply have a problem to go sleep.
  2. It makes me hungry - At least in my case I become hungry when I'm drinking Yerba mate. Taking into account that usually I drink it at the evening this is disadvantage because it's not recommended to eat shortly before going sleep.
  3. Costs - It's not extremely big cost but a cup, a straw and leaves are simply more expensive than an average tea or coffee.
  4. Leaves a taste in the mouth - If you drink Yerba mate for example all the evening, then you will a specific taste on your tongue.
  5. It's a hipster drink.
Disadvantages by Adrian
  1. Cold water effects - Not observed in my case. I like to use cold water in the summer.
  2. Bitterness - Yes some species of Yerb mate can be extremely bitter and not everyone will like them. However, there are also species which are much less bitter. From time to time my daughter takes a sip of mate and she says that it's good. So really it cannot be so bitter. I also recommended a flavoured Yerba mate.
  3. Mate lavado - Not observed. I drink it on my own so one potion of leaves is enough for the evening.
  4. "Matetiquette" - Again, I drink on my own so I don't care ;)


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