Yerba maté is without doubt one of the most popular South American beverages. It is prepared from leaves of Paraguayan yerba maté, which is an evergreen tea with a height of 10-15 m. Maté contains alkaloid caffeine (sometimes called matteine), mineral substances, vitamins A to E, a range of antioxidants and last but not least beta carotene. Drinking of Yerba maté has become a ritual in the culture of the original inhabitants of South America. It is traditionally drunk in groups, within the family or at meetings of friends, during which the group frequently shares both the calabus (a vessel traditionally made from pumpkin) and the bombil (a traditional straw). At present the largest producers of maté are Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Maté supports the function of the kidneys, strengthens the immune system and stabilises blood sugar levels.