what is the cold herbal tea paraguayans drink

Traditional Paraguayans drink terere, a cold herbal tea made of herbs, fruits, and spices that is enjoyed chilled. Terere is believed to have many health benefits including improving digestion, increasing energy levels, and aiding mental focus; in addition, enjoying this beverage with friends makes for a social gathering.

Leaves and twigs of the Ilex paraguariensis plant (Yerba Mate) are used to craft this refreshing drink, native to South America and typically consumed as tea known as Mate in this region. Terere differs from Mate in that it’s prepared using cold water rather than hot, and served in gourd cups known as Guampas with metal straws known as Bombillas for ease of drinking. Terere has become an integral part of Paraguay culture and serves as a social activity where people meet to share stories, laugh togetherness, camaraderie and friendship among friends.

Yerba Mate can be made more appealing when added with medicinal herbs known as “yuyos,” chosen for their healing properties and energy boosting capabilities. Popular choices for Terere include lemon verbena which helps with digestion and sleep issues; mint; boldo; which has been said to reduce stress; as well as fruit such as orange, tangerine or pineapple to add additional antioxidants and flavor.

Terere is an integral part of Paraguayan culture and often serves as a popular beverage choice at special events and celebrations. While its health benefits may include headaches or stomach upset, those with preexisting health conditions should consult their physician prior to drinking this beverage.

Those wanting to sample Terere can do so at local markets and specialty stores that carry an array of herbal teas. Terere is most often served chilled as per Paraguayan tradition, though warm versions can also be offered upon request. Farmers’ markets and food festivals can also offer opportunities to sample this beverage while learning more about its history and traditions in Paraguay.

Paraguayans enjoy drinking cold herbal tea made of various ingredients such as lemon balm, chamomile and anise. Other tisanas may include fruits like berries and peaches that add sweet flavors. Infusions made from hibiscus flowers have anti-inflammatory properties which aid digestion while other varieties offer earthy grassy tastes from yerba mate infusions. You can find an abundance of herbal tea options online as well as specialty stores that sell South American goods.