Mate tea is brewed from the dried, finely chopped leaves of the South American mate bush (botanically: Ilex paraguariensis). Originally, mate meant the typical vessel from which mate was drunk. The crushed leaves are also called yerba by the indigenous inhabitants. It was probably at the end of the 16th century that the Spanish founder of Buenos Aires, de Mendoza, first reported on an indigenous drink: mate.
Today, mate is considered one of South America's cult drinks and is also increasingly found in German supermarkets. Mate is approved as a medicine in Germany, but is mainly sold as a tea.