Leão celebrates 122 years of history. And a story as old as this carries several curiosities that have marked their path to this day. But before talking about their history, let's talk about yerba mate, the herb that is typical of Leão: Did you know that it is a plant native from Brazil? When the Portuguese arrived in Brazilian lands, they already found the native indigenous people consuming a drink called 'caaí', the famous infusion of yerba mate. From this, the consumption habit also spread among the colonizers who settled in Brazil and the consumption of the drink spread over time. Over the years, yerba mate has become so important to the history of Paraná, for example, that it is even present on the State flag. Furthermore, iced mate is a heritage of Rio’s beaches. And if you thought matte, you thought Leo, right?

Now let's talk about Leão. In May 1901, Leão Júnior was born, a brand that would revolutionize the consumption of yerba mate and tea in the country. Agostinho Ermelino de Leão Júnior founded the company responsible for processing and exporting yerba mate to neighboring countries, says Hermanos!. But it was her wife, Maria Clara de Abreu, who was responsible for the great development of the business after taking over, in 1907, the management of the factory following the early death of her husband. Maria Clara was a personality ahead of her time and was one of the first women to assume leadership of an industry at the beginning of the last century, breaking paradigms, facing prejudice and marking the beginning of the Diversity & Inclusion journey at Leão. #girlpower #femalepower Maria Clara's leadership was responsible for the initial impulse of Leão's great successes. The growth in consumption of yerba mate was so great that it promoted the development of new infrastructures in the country, such as the construction of railways for its transport and other products. In the 1930s, Leão noticed Brazilians' taste for toasted mate. It was a tradition in Brazilian homes to toast the herb in frying pans to change its flavor and we, always attentive to the desires of our consumers, invested in the product, making it a great success, as the slogan itself suggested: “Matte Leão. Use and abuse, it is already burnt.” 

Thus, Leão continued to grow. During the Second World War, a period in which the entry of English teas into the country became very difficult, roasted mate in bags gained prominence in the famous tea houses of the time and became popular among Brazilians.

“Look at the mate!” In the 1950s, the famous cry of Rio's beaches emerged. The iced mate culture quickly spread throughout Rio de Janeiro, the country's capital at the time and an important cultural center, responsible for propagating this characteristic habit to this day. Visiting Rio de Janeiro and not drinking ice-cold Matte Leão on the Carioca’s beaches is not getting the full experience of the wonderful city.

And it’s not just its products and customers that Leão cares about. Responsibility for the environment has also always been essential for us. Did you know that yerba mate production favors family production and has a low environmental impact, since the leaves are removed without the tree needing to be felled, its production can last for more than 40 years? That's right! Since 1901, Leão has been collaborating with a more sustainable world and today they have the first LEED-certified factory, 100% of the energy used in our factories comes from certified renewed sources and, in 2022, Leão became a signatory to the Global Compact, the UN.

It is because of all this and much more that Leão completes 122 years of history, producing more than 1 billion sachets per year and representing 7 out of every 10 cups of tea in Brazil. And our story is far from over, we will continue to innovate and bring the best to you every day.

Kill the longing for Matte Leão products HERE

Source: Você Sabia Que A Leão Tem 122 Anos De História? Veja Curiosidades Do Fundo Do Baú! - Chá Leão® - Oficial (

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