For several years we have been fascinated with the history and culture of South America. We became seriously interested in the topic of yerba mate a few years ago, when we opened our first small online shop. At that time we did not have much experience, but today we can consciously call ourselves yerba mate experts. We know the yerba mate market and its needs very well. We noticed that there was a distinct lack of mate for real connoisseurs – strong, bitter, high quality. So we decided to create a brand combining all these features of ral, traditional Paraguayan yerba mate: strongly stimulating, full of natural caffeine, smoky, dusty, which kicks from the first sip.
We contacted a small company located in the south of Paraguay, in the department of Itapúa. We were keen to work out every detail of the new branding project, so we decided to make a personal trip to the country at the heart of South America.
In hot, steamy Paraguay…
Once there, we were struck by the country’s sultry and humid subtropical climate. Completely different from the one we know in Europe. We visited the headquarters of our contractor, located in a small town in the south of Paraguay, surrounded by lush vegetation. Right next to the office, housed in a magnificent colonial-style building, were warehouses, drying facilities and a production hall. A little further on extended a vast plantation of Ilex paraguariensis.
We met the owners and employees of the plantation, who welcomed us with great kindness. We tested the dried mate they produce and were delighted with the quality and potency of the caffeine contained in the dry leaves. We took a look at how yerba mate is produced. We were very impressed by the traditional Paraguayan processing of Ilex, how the plant’s leaves are dried over a live fire. Our fascination with this element gave rise to the idea for the brand name – El Fuego, which means “fire” in Spanish. Together with our partners, we decided that just as fire is the pure element of nature, our yerba mate would be pure, traditional, and free of unnecessary additives or flavourings. The small number of additives found in the flavoured variants of El Fuego are purely natural ingredients that only delicately enhance the taste of real Paraguayan yerba mate.
Why the name “El Fuego”?
“Fuego” in Spanish means “fire”. In many cultures, it is ascribed numerous symbols: life, vital energy, the male element, vehemence. It is also a symbol of dangerousness, madness, punishment and evil. Fire is an element, nature, strength, energy in its pure form, emotions, depth. This is exactly what El Fuego yerba mate is like – strongly energising, full of depth in taste and aroma, straight from nature, created from the best quality leaves of Ilex paraguariensis. The brand name is also a reference to the method of its production – drying plants over hot flames.