Mr Georg Latteier had been running a small beverage company in Dietenhofen since 1898.
At an exhibition in 1924 he discovered the then so-called “Sekt-Bronte”. He acquired the licence for production and distribution of this beverage in our region.
“Sekt-Bronte” was an alcohol-free beverage made from mate tea with various ingredients. The mate tea leaves come from South America. There the Indians had already recognised mate’s value centuries ago.
The production of ‘Bronte’ did not cause any difficulties. But substantial problems emerged with bottling: because the beverage bubbled very strongly it was initially very difficult to fill the bottles completely. This problem was also solved through tedious experiments and considerable work effort. The popularity of the beverage also increased at the same time.
It was touted as “healthy, stimulating and full-bodied with a taste like wine”. It was also considered to be helpful in the treatment of ailing kidneys. The Latteier firm supplied the guesthouses in Dietenhofen and in the vicinity of about 10 km; yet there were also localities where Bronte could not gain a foothold. Many people also picked up their favourite beverage by the case from the company.
The production of Bronte came to a standstill due to World War Two. But after the end of the war Bronte was still so well-known that production could soon be started again.
Mr Hans Sauernheimer married the daughter of the Latteier family and joined the company in 1957. A fully automated bottling machine as well as a bottle capping machine were purchased. The company was able to experience a great upswing due to the personal commitment of Mr and Mrs Sauernheimer. The distribution area could be expanded; customers were also supplied after hours or on Sunday as required. The beverage came to Ulm, Aschaffenburg or Hamburg through self-collectors.
Club-Mate: tangy and alcohol-free
Mr Sauernheimer sold the licence for production of Bronte to Loscher Brewery from Münchsteinach in 1994 for reasons of age.
It is still sold on the market under the name “Club-Mate”. So in the future we also do not have to do without our beloved Bronte!
Mate is a word that stems from indigenous South American Indians and means “gourd”. Yet the tea is not brewed from pumpkin leaves, but from holly leaves, of which there are about 15 different species in America. In indigenous Indian medicine the leaves are utilised against gout, fever and jaundice.
The dried leaves are ground into powder. The powder is brewed with hot water in a hollow bottle gourd (“mate”). A straw with a sieve hangs at the bottom end of the bottle gourd. The mate tea is sucked from the gourd through this straw. The mate beverage contains 0.3 to 1.5% caffeine.
The Spanish conquerors who occupied the land on the River Plate from 1536 on became acquainted with mate from the Indian peoples: the Jesuits began cultivating mate as early as 1610. At the end of the 18th century, mate tea was distributed in North America and Europe as “Jesuit tea”. Argentina is the largest consumer of mate today. In Europe, mate was extremely popular around 1930.
The Indian peoples of North America called their tea from holly leaves “Yaupon” or “Black Drink”. The Franconian ‘tribe’ living around the Bibert River referred to it as “Bronte”.