🇦🇷 Happy Yerba Mate Day!
For those that didn’t know, and I admittedly needed a reminder, today is Argentina’s official Yerba Mate Day.
What exactly is yerba mate?
In Argentina yerba mate is their go-to “tea”… though it does not come from the camellia sinensis plant. However, it does however have similar properties to tea (antioxidants, polyphenols, etc.). Yerba mate is deeply baked into the Argentinian culture.
The tools: the “mate” or gourd (here it is glass w leather, not as authentic as the dried gourds, but it got the job done), the “bombilla” (pronounced bom•be•sha — double L’s are pronounced with a ‘sha’ sound in Argentinan spanish) or metal straw, a termo (out of sight) or thermos, and of course the yerba mate (plant matter/leaf).
The mate experience is a very social activity most often enjoyed amongst friends and family. It starts with the servidor (or sever) taking the mate gourd, filling it 3 quarters of the way full of yerba mate, placing the bombilla in the mate just right, and finally adding just enough hot water in which to bathe the yerba mate. They then hand it to each person in the group one at a time where the recipient takes a few sips until all of the liquid is gone and then gives it back to the servidor once they are finished. The servidor then refills the mate with water and the cycle continues as it travels around the group generally in a circle. This can go on for quite awhile.
It is not uncommon to see a group of friends sitting in the park chatting as they pass around the communal mate gourd. It brings people together and that is why I love it!
In case you wondered I like mine “amarga” or bitter. Others prefer their mate to be “dulce” by adding sugar.
There are a number of variations to try… one I particularly love is a
cold brew with ice and orange juice.
Now you know. 😊
If you have never tried yerba mate, I would highly recommend it!