Craving a yerba mate latte?
A couple of months ago my best friend Megan called and asked if I would be interested in visiting the Guayaki company headquarters in Sebastopol. I responded, “Sure! What’s a Guayaki?” The first thing you need to know about Megan is that she is truly beverage obsessed. She’s hip to every new drink trend that comes our way. No matter the supposed health benefits, Megan will most certainly give it a try. You may remember my recent Kombucha addiction? Well, I thank Megan for that. She is so cute. When leaving the house, no matter how brief, a few bottles of sparkling water, possibly a green tea or even an icy bottle of coconut water go along for the ride. A weekend trip requires a fully-stocked cooler with a multitude of hydration choices, just in case. Guayaki is the next big thing I’m guessing, even though it’s been around for ages. If Megan’s drinking it, it’s sure to be all the rage.
“Guayaki,” pronounced gway-uh-kee, is a small company which produces and imports yerba mate. And what, I can hear you begging, is yerba mate? Yerba mate is a drink made from the dried leaves of a South American holly tree. It has been sipped by rainforest tribes for centuries out of these cool, traditional, hollowed out gourds. We learned all about this interesting stuff while touring the factory, which if the gang working there is any proof, is not only tasty, but leaves you feeling super laid back. The company touts yerba mate as having “the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate,” dude.Craving a yerba mate latte?
My whole milk latte addiction is pretty fierce, although I have never been a big fan of the caffeine-induced jitters. The groovy list of virtues yerba mate boasts has left me considering ditching the lattes altogether. With a bunch of vitamins and minerals, a handful of amino acids, and abundant amounts of antioxidants yerba mate leaves the drinker feeling invigorated and surprisingly focused. Yerba mate is traditionally steeped in hot water and served simply, like tea. Guayaki has developed a whole collection of creative ways to enjoy yerba mate. The company packages the dried leaves in individual bags and loosely for brewing. Although the yerba mate-filled sparkling beverages infused with fresh juices and are sold in pretty little cans are easily my favorite. The company’s bottled choices come in a massive array of flavors, all blended with herbs, juices and other immune-building ingredients.
I cannot seem to be able to wean myself completely off the coffee, a Sunflower latte is a pretty hard habit to break, ya know. I occasionally opt for a cup of yerba mate and am definitely a fan. Megan continues to religiously sip it and it shows. She is noticeably more calm and quite a bit more relaxed, less stressed possibly. I could use a little less-stressing and more chilling out myself, so I will continue to incorporate this ancient, tasty brew into my life. Find Guayaki products locally at Whole Foods and Sonoma Market. Find more information about yerba mate online at guayaki.com.
I apologize for a mistake I made in last week’s column: Peter Smith is the new Executive Chef of the Lodge at Sonoma, who will be overseeing the new Bean & Bottle wine bar and the property’s catering events. Chef Andrew Wilson is still currently the Executive Chef at the Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar
On The Menu
Audubon Canyon Ranch hosts its “Second Annual Art of Eating” event this Saturday, June 3 at Glen Ellen’s Bouverie Preserve. This year’s theme is “Women who change the way we eat,” and will feature more than 16 talented local chefs, 14 vintners, and 60 unique auction items. The proceeds from this event will benefit the education programs of Audubon Canyon Ranch, which annually provides more than 6,000 grade students with the opportunity to experience nature-based educational experiences at no cost to the schools. Tickets can be purchased at egret.org or by calling 415.868.9244.
• The Sonoma Community Center presents their annual “Ox Roast” also on Sunday, June 3, beginning at 11 a.m. This is the largest and most delicious local barbecue event during the Sonoma event season. A full day of events and live music revolve around a massive meal of perfectly grilled slabs of beef, held annually in the Plaza. For more information, visit sonomcommunitycenter.org or call 938.4626.
• Ramekins is hosting a delicious, food and wine filled event on Thursday, June 7, coined “Taste Thursdays.” They will be firing up their wood burning oven for wood-fired pizzas and local wineries – including Ram’s Gate, Audelssa, Long Meadow Ranch, and Scribe – will be pouring. A small farm market will offer fresh goodies grown in the Ramekins gardens, along with live music, and cookie decorating for the kids, all on their pretty outdoor courtyard. For more information, call Ramekins at 933.0450.
• Lunita Farm’s CSA program has begun and includes weekly deliveries of freshly picked, sustainably grown vegetable and fruits from their small, local farm. Veggies boxes are delivered to Yoga Community, Sonoma Valley Hospital, and the Sonoma Developmental Center. Home delivery is available throughout the valley as well. Each weekly share includes 10 varieties of seasonal vegetables, fruit, and fresh herbs. For example, one week’s share might include strawberries, beets, carrots, kale, lettuces, arugula, bok choy, French breakfast radishes, garlic, garlic scapes, and a basil plant! To sign up, call Rachel at 494-9210 or visit their website lunitafarm.net for more information.
Orange Crème Mate Latte
Recipe from Guayaki Yerba Mate
This creamy sweet delicious recipe is light, fruity and minty.
2 Orange Blossom Guayaki Mate tea bags
1 Magical Mint Guayaki tea bag
Vanilla Rice Milk
Sweetener, if desired
Brew the orange and mint tea bags for 3-5 minutes, then add rice milk to taste. Add ice, sweetener (if desired) and serve immediately.
Kristin’s foodie event pick of the week:
This Saturday, June 2, the Ecology Center hosts their “Second Annual Tour de Coop.” From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. chicken owners in Sonoma are opening their “roosts” to tour ticket holders so they can visit with their chicken flocks and learn chicken keeping ideas. This is a self-guided tour which includes delicious refreshments along the way. This year’s Tour de Coop is a 17-mile loop and bicycling is strongly encouraged. All participants will receive a map of all participating homes and can tour the coops at their leisurely pace. All proceeds benefit Sonoma Garden Park, a working farm and model of sustainable agriculture, managed by Sonoma Ecology Center, located at 19996 Seventh Street East. To purchase tickets, visit brownpapertickets.com/event/244308 or call 996.0712, ext. 120.
Kristin Jorgensen is one of Sonoma’s most passionate, food obsessed residents. In this weekly column, she covers all the delicious happenings, foodie events and restaurants in Sonoma, the rest of Wine Country and beyond. Find her blogging daily as the Cook at thecardiganandcook.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.