Almost completely unknown to European consumers, South American teas – which cannot rival the fine teas of India or Sri Lanka but boast similar characteristics – are just waiting to be discovered.
When talking about tea, South America is one of the last continents you would think of. However, it’s a home to many unique teas, both real and herbal. Some of them are grown exclusively on the South American continent, some are already popular worldwide, many contain caffeine, and some cannot be tasted anywhere except in South America. Read what are the top South American teas to try.
Ilex paraguariensis plant or yerba mate is a South American plant used for making popular herbal tea. However, Yerba mate is more than just a tea – it has a strong cultural and traditional importance and it’s a part of daily life. This traditional south American drink is a national drink of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.
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Cascara or coffee cherry tea is a herbal infusion made from the skin of coffee fruit. Although cascara tea is not exclusive to South America, it got its name from the Spanish word–husk. It’s produced and consumed in coffee-producing countries, such as Bolivia. Cascara tea contains caffeine and has a slightly sweet flavour, very different from bitter coffee beans. It may provide antioxidant activity, and a laxative effect.
Cacao husk tea is another husk tea specific to South America. It’s made from shells of cocoa beans. Cacao husk tea is one of the most delicious infusions. Flavor is similar to dark chocolate, but with a lighter texture. Cacao husks contain caffeine and theobromine, a compound that may positively affect the mood and provide antioxidant activity.