Fritz Mate - Don't call it Tea  
 

One could say after conversing over countless cups of tea we decided to get to the heart and root of the matter, but the story really goes something like this:

After planning and replanning our lives and journeys over countless cuias of chimarrao, we decided to retrace our gaucho roots up to the Ilex Mate tree and park our kettles on the hearths, roll up our sleeves and harvest our own mate.

 
 

 

 

The Lorenz family in San Martin, RS has been carrying on the tradition for three generations of collecting erva mate from trees in their old growth forests and processing the leaves manually producing the highest quality erva Mate.

Having drunk their Mate from the heights of the Himalayas to the freezing winters in Berlin we can attest that the spirit of Caayari, the goddess of the Erva mate flows through our veins every time we take a sip of their mate.

 
  Caayari, an 80 year old tree in the forest
 
 

Lorenz Farm in San Martin and producer Ricardo

 
  Fabricio and Ricardo harvesting branches and leaves from a tree. The trees need to grow in the company of other trees not be raised as bushes in mass plantations.
 
  Ricardo bringing coals from the house to start a fire
 
  Raven praying to the fire to bless the erva
 
 

Sapeco to remove the benzyne from the leaves, a very important step that most producers today leave out.

 
  Taking the leaves into the Barbaqua where they will be dried
 
  Raven helping Ricardo mount the branches in the Barbaqua, the temple of Caayari to dry them
 
  Starting a fire for the barbaqua, the smoke travels through a brick tunnel under the earth from the fire-place to the room to dry out the leaves.
 
  In the meanwhile, the fireplace is a cozy place to sit with a cuia and warm up from the chill. Winter time is the main season for harvesting mate
 
  Once the leaves are dry we take them out with the Barbaqua, crush them a little with our hands (giving them Reiki) and then hit them with a wooden sword in a process call cancheamento.
 
  After this they are pounded in the Pillon whose rhythmic beat of 1-2-3 could keep time for a waltz
 
  And take out the cuia and bomba and serve up some fresh powerful mate