The sweet treat includes not only a delicious cake, but also a cup of hot infusion or another drink. In Poland we usually drink coffee or black tea. And what does it look like in other countries? Which drinks are equally popular and have spread all over the world? In this article we present some of them.
Yerba mate – an infusion of holly leaves
This drink has been known in Poland for many years and is gaining more and more fans. What is the origin of yerba mate? It was discovered by Jesuit missionaries when they reached what is now Paraguay in the 17th century. They were the first in the world to establish holly plantations - an evergreen wild plant whose leaves were chewed by local natives or made an infusion from its dried leaves. The Jesuits noticed that this plant has stimulating properties, supports concentration and reduces the feeling of hunger - all thanks to the caffeine content. For a long time, Yerba Mate was known only on the South American continent, and in Europe it began to appear on a more mass scale only in the mid-19th century.
How to prepare and consume this drink? We need special accessories: a brewing vessel - matero and a drinking tube with a strainer called a bombilla. Pour the specified amount of herbs into the infuser and pour water at a temperature of 70-80 degrees. After 2-3 minutes, yerba is ready to drink! One portion of the leaves is suitable for repeated brewing.
Yerba mate has a very positive effect on the mental and physical condition of the body, which is confirmed by numerous scientific studies. Its regular consumption supports the immune system, cleanses toxins and prevents many diseases. Yerba is rich in vitamins, minerals and polyphenols, i.e. antioxidants that prevent cancer. Moreover, this drink contains the already mentioned caffeine, so it adds energy, improves well-being, increases concentration, but at the same time it does not have the negative side effects that we may feel after drinking coffee.
Matcha – powdered green tea
Matcha is popularly called Japanese tea, although it actually comes from China. However, in Japan, its consumption is associated with a traditional ceremony and a specific philosophy of life related to the Buddhist religion.
How is matcha produced? This green tea is obtained from the leaves of shrubs ripening on plantations that are specially shaded with bamboo structures. Thanks to this treatment, the leaves gain even better properties. They are then left unrolled, i.e. tencha tea, which is then ground into powder using a burr.
Matcha has unique health properties. During its brewing, an important ingredient L-theanine is released, which has a calming effect, stabilizes mood and affects well-being. This green tea can be consumed as an excellent replacement for coffee because it also contains caffeine, but it adds energy gradually, which helps to avoid a sudden loss of strength. In addition, matcha is a rich source of antioxidants, i.e. substances that reduce the risk of cancer and atherosclerosis - it has up to 137 times more of them than regular green tea! Due to the high content of vitamins, minerals and catechins, matcha strengthens the body's immunity.
In Japan, preparing this infusion is accompanied by special rituals, as well as specific accessories for brewing and frothing the tea. However, it can also be prepared at home, using ordinary equipment. Pour a teaspoon of green powder into a cup and then pour about 100 ml of water at a temperature of 80 degrees. Then mix the solution using a milk frother. Depending on our taste preferences, we can add some water.
Bubble tea – Taiwanese bubble tea
Bubble tea is a colorful, sweet drink based on herbal infusion. The original version contains green or black tea, milk, tapioca balls and ice cubes. However, nowadays bubble tea is served in many ways, including warm and with various flavors.
This drink has gained popularity all over the world, in the United States there is even a national Bubble Tea Day, but its homeland is Taiwan. It was there that a tea shop owner combined tea, milk, tapioca balls and ice cubes for the first time - to encourage his children to drink herbal infusion, because this combination of ingredients is much more interesting than the classic version of tea. And it was a real success!
Does drinking bubble tea have a beneficial effect on our health? Yes, if we drink it in its original version without any additives - green tea, milk and tapioca provide the body with valuable vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Unfortunately, many modern versions of this drink contain large amounts of sugar, artificial colors and processed ingredients, such as jellies or whipped cream. Therefore, in this version it is not recommended to drink bubble tea every day.
You can find recipes for bubble tea on the Internet or go to a café where this type of drink is served.
Finally, we would like to mention chocolate drinks, which go perfectly with sweet treats. Classic drinking chocolate is served hot, but the cold version also has its supporters. According to the traditional recipe, it is prepared from dark chocolate with milk and sweet cream.
This drink was already known in ancient Latin America, where the local people prepared an infusion from cocoa beans. Drinking chocolate came to Europe in the 16th century thanks to the Spanish conquistadores who brought cocoa from the New World. Only after a long time did Europeans find a way to produce a hardened version of chocolate, i.e. in the form of our modern bar.
Drinks made from real chocolate have valuable nutritional properties because their basic ingredient is cocoa - already appreciated by the Aztecs and Mayans. Cocoa is a source of many vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium, as well as healthy fats and polyphenols that prevent cancer. Moreover, regular consumption of cocoa strengthens memory and stimulates the production of endorphins, which are responsible for reducing stress levels and overall improving mood! However, the caffeine it contains gives you energy to act! So reach for this healthy drink and life will be more beautiful!