You’re My Cup of Tea card and an Intro to Yerba Mate

Good afternoon! I’m back with my post for International Tea Day. Yep, there’s a day for that, too. Not to be confused with National Iced Tea Day which falls June 10. I reckon they’ll soon come out with World Tisane Day. lol!

If you haven’t read my previous post with Tea Party Tips, you might enjoy it it has some bonus info on preparing tea and tea bag uses at the end. Click HERE to see it. Also I did a post on making Peppermint Spoons, which are great with green, black and chocolate teas. You can find it HERE.

Today, I’d thought I’d talk about an international way of drinking tea you might not be familiar with. Brace yourself, you can already tell this is one of my more long-winded posts. I won’t be offended if you scroll on down to the card if you don’t have time to travel internationally right now. : )

To introduce this foreign tea method, lets first talk about infusers. For you poor souls who have only had tea made with tea bags, the tea bags serve as infusers, keeping the tea leaves out of your cup, but letting them infuse the water with their flavor. If you buy loose leaf teas, you will also need an infuser. Either making your own tea bags, or, perhaps, something like these:


First, one of my favorites, the Bodum Shin Cha tea press with a stainless steel filter. What’s nice about this is that once your tea has steeped for the proper time, you can seal off the leaves in the filter with the plunger to prevent further infusion. You can also remove the filter and have a nice clear teapot for showing off flowering teas. : ) And I couldn’t resist putting the cute little Beatrix Potter set I found at Tuesday Morning in the picture… It will be a perfect decoration for the next tea party!

20151215_140726WOr, you might have a strainer that you submerge into your cup or an infuser that rests on your cup, or even some fun ones like a floating duck or a TARDIS. For all of these, you put the tea inside the infuser and pour your water over it or into your cup.

The and cups used with it on the right are different. They are common in Paraguay (where these are from), Argentina and Brazil. They are used for drinking yerba mate. It’s not pronounced as it looks in English: mate as in ‘G’day mate!’ Rather, it’s pronounced MAH-tay. (Not mah-TAY, which means ‘I killed’!) Originally used by the indigenous Guarani people, there is no custom more deeply ingrained in Paraguayan society than sharing mate with friends and family. Wherever one goes, the ubiquitous nickel plated strainer/straws (bombillas) can be seen peeking out of hollowed gourds or bull horns, called guampas.


Yerba mate comes from a tree (Ilex paraguayenis) that is native to the rain forests of South American and is a member of the holly family. The dried leaves are packed in the bottom of the guampa with the bombilla in it, filling it about 3/4 full. A tea kettle of hot, not boiling, water is kept nearby and hot water is poured over the leaves and the guampa is passed to someone in the group of friends and family who enjoy visiting over mate. When empty, the guampa is handed back to the server who pours more water over it and hands it to the next person in the group. The round continues until one-by-one people drop out saying, ‘Thank you.’ The routine is performed several times a day and promotes a relaxed camaraderie. Argentinians will usually wipe off the lip of the straw with a rag after each use.

Because the water is hot and the bombilla is metal, you must be careful, as you can burn your lips easily. The locals often have a callous on their lips and even a worn notch in their teeth from the regular use of the bombilla. Yerba mate has about twice the caffeine as tea and tends to help things pass rather quickly through the intestines, so go easy if you decide to experiment with it. : ) It is a bitter herb, and I learned to enjoy it only with sugar or cooked with sugar and milk and then strained.

In the summer, ice cold water, perhaps with lemon, is poured over the yerba mate and it is called tereré. With both mate and tereré, medicinal herbs are often added in.

Ok, basta (enough) with your lesson on international teas for today. : ) Let’s move on to the card. I couldn’t resist picturing it with this adorable individual teacup/teapot set. : )


Yes, it’s a winter card because pansies and violets do grow inside in the winter – even in teacups!

The pansies and violets needed a little something extra, so I gave them a brush of Wink of Stella and just a pinch of flocking for their fuzzy, pollen filled centers:


I used Taylored Expressions’ Share Joy Challenge #14 sketch as a basis for this card:


I don’t have any modern shape dies, but it was easy enough to made these shapes with a corner rounder punch:

20151215_141426WMaterials used:

  • Taylored Expressions Teacup Bouquet stamp set
  • Copic Markers: BV00, 02, 04; V04, 06, 09, 12, 15, 17, 25; Y13, 15, 17; YG 61, 63, 67
  • Memento Bamboo Leaves dye ink
  • Ranger Inkssentials Glossy Accents
  • Hampton Art Sprinkle Flocking Set: yellow and yellow-orange
  • Tsukineko Zig Wink of Stella clear
  • Tombow Xtreme & Mono permanent adhesives
  • Therm-o-web Zots 3d clear adhesive dots 1/2″
  • Core’dinations cardstock, green, white
  • CraftSmith Flutterbloom paper pack
  • Meaking Memories Meg Narrow Stripe paper
  • EK Success corner rounder punch
  • DCWV card
  • Misc. ribbon

I’m playing along in the following hops and challenges:

I hope you enjoyed your international travels today. Next posts will be shorter! : )



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21 thoughts on “You’re My Cup of Tea card and an Intro to Yerba Mate

  1. Beautiful card with the violets and pansies. Love the “pinch” of velvety pollen for the SSS challenge. Great take on the TE sketch. I love the rounded corners to make the modern shape.

    Thanks for your helpful, interesting, and informative posts on all things “TEA” this week. We have some Yerba Mate and I thought i had known how to say it….but I was killing it!! lol… I haven’t been brave enough to try it a second time since it was soooooooo bitter. With milk and a lot of sugar, I might like it! Thanks so much for your wonderful posts!!!
    ❤ J

    jwoolbright at gmail dot com


    • Oh, you’re too funny, Janis!
      In case you ever get brave again, my roommate used to almost caramelize the sugar, then add milk and the yerba mate and bring just under a boil, then strain out the leaves. Or you can make some, then pour out the first water, which is the most bitter, and go for it the second time around with sugar. I have some hysterical pictures of my family trying it… the faces!!!
      Thanks again for all your positive encouragement!


  2. My mom loved violets and she had them on any shelf that she could put them on, my dad even made her special shelves just outside the window for the summertime. And she had every color she could get. Your card is beautiful and it reminds me of my mom’s plants.


  3. This was very interesting! It would seem that you are a tea aficionado! Thanks for all the info! I enjoyed looking at your photos too! Your card is adorable! I used this sketch too and – yikes! – I had better join the challenge or the deadline will have passed!


  4. Thanks for sharing your beautiful card and that oh-so-informative introduction to yerba mate. I have to say that I’m not the adventurous type when it comes to food and drink so I’ve never tried it…and from the sound of it I never will..! But I do love to learn anything new so this was just fascinating. Good thing you explained how to pronounce it or I would be “killing it” along with Janis in Idaho!


  5. I forgot to say how much I love that little pinch of flocking that you added to the center of those violets…what a great way to add extra detail! I have flocking but never think to use it so this is something I plan to try soon!


  6. I do love learning about other cultures, so thanks for sharing a bit about the Paraguayan yerba mate tea custom. Beautiful pansies in that teacup, too! What a sweet card. Just love how happy it is!


  7. What a beautiful card! Stamps are perfect and you’ve painted them in an incredible way! Thanks for joining us this week on Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge Blog! Barbarayaya


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