Caffiend: Bomberos' Mate Latte

Bomberos Cafe and Wine Bar is easy to find -- the fire station-turned-hip eatery sits on Central, just a block south of Dunlap in Sunnyslope. The joint is a great place to start one's day, as the breakfast menu includes a variety of omelettes and breakfast wraps, as well as frothy coffees. But one thing you won't find on the menu -- but which Bomberos serves with pride -- is the "Mate Latte" drink.  

This drink is basically made by taking a bag of Yerba Mate, a species of South American holly, and steeping it in water and milk. The barista whips the milk into a frothy state and then pours honey on the top. It's a very sweet and creamy drink, much less earthy-tasting than the traditional Yerba Mate (which Bomberos also serves). There's a hint of herbal flavor, but the milk really takes over on taste, making this a filling drink, as well.

The caffeine content in Yerba Mate isn't as high as teas or coffees, but the plant does contain caffeine. The exact amount varies between 0.7 percent and 1.7 percent (that's less than the 2 to 7 percent normally found in Guarana, and the 3.2 percent in ground coffee). So the Mate Latte does provide a bit of an energy boost, but don't drink it expecting a big caffeine rush. It's more like a subtle perk to boost your breakfast.


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