Why Yerba Mate Works Better For Me

I’ve always been my own life hacker, long before the Tim Ferrisses of the world made it cool. Long before people were playing around with adding junk to coffee, trying to prescribe lifestyles for other people, long before internet marketers were making a bunch of money peddling their “one size fits all” solutions.

I’ve always done my life hacking selfishly – trying to find things that work best for me. And while I share many of my personal strategies with clients (when appropriate) and in my book, I have never sold the ideas I’ve worked out as a lifestyle that would suit others.

Does that mean the ideas I’ve come up with for me won’t work for you? Nope. It just means I’m not arrogant enough to tell anybody else how to live their lives. As my mom used to say (why, I’ll never know), “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”

And so, in my experimentation with coffee, tea, espresso, cappuccino, energy drinks, and yerba mate, what I’ve discovered is that the traditional way of drinking yerba mate doesn’t work for me. Most Uruguayans drink their yerba mate like this:


Actual yerba mate paraphrenalia belonging to my hubby.

Even with the bombilla, the traditional metal or wooden straw that is intended to filter out leaves, I find that this strategy of drinking yerba mate still brings a few leaves in, and is just a bit unpleasant for me.

It also took a bit for me to develop my palate to yerba mate. It’s a bitter tea, stronger than most. So I started with Guayaki tea bags, and worked my way up to my own version of a tea bag: a tea infuser. Today, this is what my morning routine looks like:

2015-12-01 12.05.40

That’s right, I bought a tea infuser from Teavana (though I don’t think they sell this one anymore, but I like it because it’s big andI don’t have to fuss with closing and opening it),and each morning, I fill it up with three spoonfuls of loose yerba mate leaves (loose leaves are also, in the long run, less expensive than teabags). I add boiling water and let it sit.

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