Yerba Mate in Dorset

foodprod-teatonics2A SHAFTESBURY couple have launched a new range of healthy teas, inspired by their travels in South America. Teatonics has been founded by Charles Grummitt and Rosie Marteau with the aim of creating new, healthy and exciting blends discovered in these lesser known tea drinking cultures.

After quitting their city jobs to travel around Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, the young couple decided to share their discovery of “yerba mate” (pronounced mat­ay), a type of tea hugely popular across Latin America.

They began blending with premium whole flowers and leaves, and the result was Teatonics, a perfect partnership of two blends specifically designed to help provide pep and focus in the morning, then relaxation and calm in the evening.

The two teas are Mind­Awakening Yerba Mate blend, which includes yerba mate, grapefruit, citrus peel and peppermint, and Laid-Back Botanicals, based on green rooibos, hops, elderflower, chamomile and lavender flowers.

Charles Grummitt, who is a biochemist by training, explains the attraction of the South American ingredient: “Yerba mate has been consumed for thousands of years by the indigenous Guaraní people, and has remained hugely popular across Latin America; Che Guevara, Maradona, Messi and the new Pope are all well­known fans! It is used to boost metabolism and mental alertness, as well as to soothe indigestion and other ailments. Yerba mate has a fantastic grassy, smoky flavour ­ reminiscent of a full­bodied green tea. It contains all the stimulation of coffee, tea and chocolate, but with none of the jitters.”

foodprod-teatonics4Rosie, a Spanish translator, Latin America enthusiast and tea fanatic says: “The energy-­infused mate, citrus oil and peppermint morning blend is just about as far from your average insipid herbal teabag as you can get (we like to think even coffee drinkers will be converted), while the evening blend offers a complex palette that includes rooibos, elderflower and lavender to soothe mind, body and taste buds at the end of a busy day.”

foodprod-teatonicsThe yerba mate plant (ilex paraguariensis) is a member of the holly family and hugely popular in South America. In fact, today every Uruguayan drinks over nine kilograms of yerba mate every year. That’s five times the amount of your average British tea drinker! In South America they drink it in loose leaf form using a specially carved gourd, known as the mate, and a perforated metal straw called a bombilla.

Teatonics can be bought at Indulge Cafe and Bakery in Shaftesbury, Udder Farm Shop at East Stour, Olives Et Al at Sturminster Newton, Semley Village Stores and Washingpool Farm Shop near Bridport.

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