Mate time!


Mate is a traditional beverage in Argentina and other parts of South America. In fact, it is considered Argentina’s national beverage! Mate has a bitter flavor. The first time I drank it, I didn't like it at all! But then I became accustomed to the taste, and now I enjoy mate almost every afternoon. Mate is more than just a beverage here. It is a tradition and a cultural experience that is part of daily life for most Argentinians. 

What tradition did I learn about?:

I learned the traditionional way to pepare and drink mate. It is very specific! 

To make mate, you steep leaves of yerba mate in hot water. It is similar to making tea, except you do not use a bag. Instead, you place the dried yerba mate leaves directly into a special cup, which is called a mate. Mate is the term used for the cup and the drink. Mate cups are traditionally made from hollowed out gourds, but you can also find modern mates made of ceramic and other materials. People drink mate through a special straw called a bomilla (pronounced bom-bish-ah). Bombillas are made of metal and they have a filter at the bottom, which strains the water through the yerba leaves as you sip. 

My favorite thing about mate is that people share it. In indigenous folklore from the Guaraní people, mate is considered a drink of friendship!