Yerba Mate Ilex Paraguariensis, is a shrub when young and a tree when adult, and grows up to 40 ft tall. The leaves are evergreen, with a serrated margin. The leaves are often called Yerba (Spanish) which mean "herb". Yerba Mate contain caffeine and related compounds and are harvested commercially in countries in South America. The infusion, called Mate is prepared by steeping dry leaves the Mate plant in hot water, rather than in boiling water. Drinking mate with friends from a shared hollow gourd with a metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish), is a common social practice in Uruguay, Argentina and southern Brazil. The flavor of brewed mate is strongly vegetal and herbal. Another version of Yerba mate is the Roasted Mate which is dark in color, unlike the Green mate which is green in color. This herb is also mixed with other herbs such as Peppermint or Citrus to produce variations in taste. Our Carnival Mate is a favorite among young and old.