Kraus, the story of a Local Producer of a Traditional Argentine Tea that became a World Exporter
Immigrants and Farmers
The Kraus family comes from immigrants of different European countries that established in Las Misiones, Argentina in the late 1800’S. Francisco Kraus was born and lived in Austria until he emigrated to Argentina and set up his life in the middle of the Paranaense jungle. Francisco had 10 children, and one of them, Francisco José Kraus, started the cultivation of yerba mate and tea. He established with his family among the areas of Oberá and San Ignacio Misiones, along with two of his children, Román and Juan. They cultivated and sold their crops to cooperatives in the area, which allowed them to develop, buy more land and increase their production. Over time, they built drying sheds to avoid transporting the harvest over long distances and manage better their time.
You can read more about the history of the Kraus family here.
New in Buenos Aires!
Just as his ancestors did when they first arrived in the new lands of Argentina, Milton Kraus, one of Juan’s sons, decided to seek new horizons. He sought new markets to sell their products and decided to follow ethical and sustainable principles of agriculture. Milton dreamed with revaluing the product of his family’s labour and market it to the world. He realized that all along, his grandparents cultivated the land with traditional farming methods without using agrochemicals and following organic principles. So in 1997, Milton began to certify his family’s plantations and production systems in order to ensure they were of the highest organic standards.
You can read more about Kraus’ organic certifications here.
A jump to nature
Once Milton obtained the organic certification, he believed that the brand should be an original, distinctive sign for the products they sold. Something that comes from nature and is alive and can act as a symbol for even a small part of the environment where mate is produced. He remembered that when he was a boy, living in an area surrounded by Yerba Mate and tea plantations, there was something that really caught his attention and admiration: grasshoppers. As he accompanied his father while doing chores through the secadero (area where the tea and mate was stored to dry), he would observe grasshoppers trapped by the tea buds and, once they opened the bags, they would jump and escape into the field.
With this as his motivation, Milton turned to a friend, an expert in graphic design, with the idea that they would draw the best green grasshopper. It took weeks of work to create the authentic and original design that would identify the company and eventually the grasshopper took its first leaps.
You can read more about the story of Kraus’ logo here.
Importers of Kraus and Ecoteas Yerba Mate in North America: More info here
Organic Green Tea from Argentina!
Kraus was the first company in Argentina to produce green tea for the domestic market, as well as having an organic certified product for export.
As we entered a new millennium, things were starting to get interesting. Kraus offered new products in the domestic market, and consumers began to discover them, such as the first organic green tea, which was produced nationally and made it to the shelves of the best shops and supermarkets in the country, competing against high-quality teas imported from Europe and the U.S.
Yerba Mate Without Smoke!
Our Yerba Mate is made by a unique drying system, created and implemented by Juan Kraus; a system that uses gas and hot air from a boiler. In this way you get a smoke-free product with a mild flavor and delicate aroma.
You can read more about our innovative, smoke-free drying process here.
Those who try Kraus Mate Sin Humo discover a new class of mate, which certainly isn’t the one that they’re used to. Most people are so surprised by its fruity and aromatic flavor, that when they first taste it, their taste buds always ask for more. At the time of national distribution, inquiries for our mate were arriving from more remote places and abroad, and, at the time, it was honestly difficult to imagine all of the places who asked for our mate.
These people were so excited about the work we were doing in South America, that they started to take trips to visit us. In 2001, the first foreign buyer arrived in Argentina in search of organic Yerba Mate for his startup, located in Ashland, Oregon. This company would go on to be one of the most successful in the USA, ECOTEAS Yerba Mate.
This foreign buyer was Stefan Schachter, and both he and Milton shared the same principles and objectives when it came to mate. In addition to tereré, they soon began to imagine the future market for organic yerba mate in North America. Within a month of Stefan’s visit to South America, Kraus made it first export of organic Yerba Mate to the U.S.A. That same year, Kraus also exported to England, and with each new year, more countries joined the company’s demand for organic, unsmoked Yerba Mate.
Today, Kraus is a small family business that produces certified yerba mate and organic, fair trade tea. It markets in Argentina and around the world through its network of friendly distributors, as well as its international website.
Kraus’ main market is natural and healthy products. Currently, Kraus’ yerba mate is the main ingredient of the finest drinks made in both Europe and the U.S.A.
For more information, please visit our website.