Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Saddle Up & Ride With Guayaki Yerba Mate

Ever since 2006 when Guayaki launched the first bottled yerba mate drinks, sales of the company’s ‘loose’ traditional organic yerba mate has experienced explosive growth. The new ‘mainstream’ bottled drinks have provided a convenient gateway for people to experience the sustained energy that rainforest yerba mate provides and many of the bottled drink customers have been seeking out the legendary format embraced by South American culture: “loose” yerba mate served in a hollow gourd. Guayakí’s Gaucho Gourd Gift Pack provides the ultimate tools and advice for enjoying and sharing organic rainforest yerba mate.

The Gaucho Gourd Gift Pack includes a unique handcrafted gourd, a bombilla and 6 ounces of 100% organic loose yerba mate. Each beautiful gourd is a dried, hollowed-out vegetable that has been hand-carved by a fair-trade artist. The bombilla is a traditional metal straw that filters the beverage and provides the user with a direct herbal infusion. The SRP for the Gift Pack is $24.99. Inside the gift box, there is detailed information about the mate ritual, preparation and sharing, and an interview with the artisan that creates Guayakí’s Gaucho Gourds.

The Gaucho Gourd Gift Pack celebrates the rich culture of yerba mate in South America, which includes the past and present enjoyment of mate by gauchos - adventurous ‘cowboys’ in Argentina that toil in the great outdoors. The gauchos are notorious for drinking yerba mate as their "liquid vegetable," relying on its vast array of nutrients to power them throughout the day.
A Gaucho and His Gourd

Organic Yerba Mate: A Nourishing, Green Source of Energy
Of the six most common caffeine beverage stimulants (yerba mate, coffee, tea, cola, cacao and guarana), yerba mate is the only one balanced by powerful nutrition and a natural blend of stimulants. Guayaki’s organic yerba mate offers caffeine comparable to coffee and energy drinks; however, the caffeine is balanced by mate’s content of theobromine (the euphoriant in chocolate), another stimulant named theophylline, and pantothenic acid (which prevents over-stimulation of the nervous system). Yerba mate is also a rich source of magnesium, which has been proven to ease anxiety. Many caffeine-sensitive people that drink yerba mate gain vitality and clarity of mind, but don’t experience the jitters, stomach discomfort and headaches that are common complaints among consumers of coffee and energy drinks.

“The unique combination of robust nutrition and balanced stimulation from the brewed leaves of the rainforest yerba mate tree make Guayakí Yerba Mate the healthiest source of energy on the planet,” notes Guayaki co-founder Karr. Revered for centuries as the ‘drink of the Gods,’ yerba mate contains 196 active compounds including 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, 11 polyphenols (powerful antioxidants) and saponins - phytochemicals that bolster the immune system.
It contains more active compounds and higher polyphenol and antioxidant counts than green tea, black tea and blueberries and is considered to help slimming diets due to its antioxidant, thermogenic and fat-burning properties.

A Gift Pack that Embodies The Holiday Spirit of Giving
A key aspect of Guayaki’s mission is to be humble and charitable. The Gaucho Gourd Gift Pack and its organic fair trade contents exemplify this spirit of giving back to society and to the planet that sustains all of us. Guayakí is an award-winning company that uses a triple “bottom line” to measure success: Economic Viability, Social Justice, and Environmental Stewardship. David Karr and Alex Pryor founded Guayaki Sustainable Rainforest Products with a mission to generate consumer demand in the U.S. and Canada for healthy products cultivated sustainably in the natural rainforest. By successfully introducing the traditional South American beverage called yerba mate into the North American marketplace, Karr and Pryor believed they could create viable economic alternatives to the destructive practices that plague the rainforest. Guayaki’s mission of Market Driven Restoration leverages consumer purchasing power to drive positive social and environmental change. Each person that drinks 2 servings per day of Guayaki Yerba Mate helps protect approximately one acre of rainforest every year.

The Gourd Ceremony – Hospitality and Goodwill
The gourd ritual for enjoying yerba mate, established several centuries ago by indigenous people in the South American rainforest, is a symbol of hospitality. Tomando mate (drinking mate) inspires openness between those in the drinking circle, and this communal spirit allows the mate to do more than just nourish and energize bodies and minds. As the mate gourd is passed around, a sense of connection emerges. Typically, the cebador (mate server) prepares mate for a friend or a group of friends. The cebador drinks first, testing the waters to ensure that only a smooth running mate is shared. Then the gourd is refilled with water and passed counter-clockwise with the bombilla (straw-filter) facing the recipient. Each person drinks the entire gourd. After the last sip of mate is gone, the gourd is returned with the bombilla facing the cebador. The gourd is refilled with hot water and follows the circle, continuing until the mate is lavado (flat).

Founded in 1997, Guayakí is the leading provider of organic, fairly-traded, rainforest-grown yerba mate in North America with products sold at thousands of natural foods stores, cafes and supermarkets. A vertically integrated company, Guayaki sources, imports, distributes, markets and sells yerba mate. In addition to the new Gaucho Gourd Gift Pack, Guayaki offers 7 varieties of bottled Organic Yerba Mate Drinks, six Yerba Mate Tea Bag Blends, Traditional Yerba Mate Tea Bags, two varieties of Mate Latte Concentrates and loose traditional yerba mate and accessories. For more information, visit www.guayaki.com or call 1-888-GUAYAKI.

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