According to the South Americans, it’s a “drink of the gods.”
Made from the dried leaves of the evergreen holly tree, Yerba Mate is essentially a tea that comes everyone drinks here in Buenos Aires, at all times of the day.The history of yerba mate stretches back to pre -Columbia’s Paraguay. It was originally found in the wild, it has since been cultivated on plantations similar to those that grow and harvest tea. Widely used for its many benefits, drinking Yerba Mate is also a social event; it is shared from a traditional gourd, is considered a sign of bonding and friendship.
The cup that the herb is served in is also called a Mate – They are typically a gourd – but sometimes are made from Carob wood, a hard South American wood. They come in many shapes and sizes. The Mate container is filled with the loose Yerba mate leaves, and then hot water is poured over the leaves. – The stainless steel “straw” with a small holes like a strainer is called a Bombilla. – Drinking Mate together is a social thing – the host prepares the concoction and takes the first drink – refills the container and passes it around – It tasted kind of like green tea – but stronger – I am a coffee addict – so I enjoyed trying Mate, but fresh brewed strong coffee will be my preference in my morning routine.
These Mate gourd cups and bombillas are a popular item to buy here in Argentina to take home as a momento of your visit.