Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Yerba Mate Class




15 years ago I was in Argentina and I bought a mate and a bombilla to drink yerba mate. I saw many people drinking "mate" in the street and I really liked the look of the mate (gourd) and bombilla (straw), but I never used them. My husband was also presented a set a few years back, time that we learned what to do with it!

Until a week ago I thought that Argentinians were the biggest consumers of mate, but apparently the Uruguayans drink more of it. The kids and I took a class (offered by our Spanish language school La Herradura), it isn't a drink that children usually drink because it is very bitter, but it has no caffeine, and they could try a sip. In Uruguay they say that a kid becomes an adult when he/she brew his/her first mate tea alone. But is is mainly a convivial drink: everybody "sucks" the tea from the same straw, and there is a bit of a etiquette to follow.

After the class I went straight away to buy some yerba to take home (it is well packed so I guess that they will allow it into NZ), and now I just need to find a good thermos for the hot water, so I will be able to offer you a mate. :-)

Photos by Alessandra Zecchini ©

11 comments:

  1. Ciao Alessandra,
    vedo che la vacanza procede benissimo! scommetto che avete in programma anche una tango class...

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    Replies
    1. Ci sarebbe, ma i ragazzi non sono interessati. Io ne ho fatta una anni fa in Argentina, ma ero terribile!!!

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  2. Hi Alessandra!

    Great post :) I'm Mateo, pleasure to meet you. I actually run a Yerba Mate website, http://www.mateovermatter.com I'd love to feature your own Mate story on there!

    Shoot me an email if you're interested mateovermatter@gmail.com

    P.S. Mate does have caffeine in it :)

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    Replies
    1. Ah Mateo, thank you for letting me know this, good that the kids just had a taste in that case, and din't drink much (too bitter for them).

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  3. Nice article. Thanks for sharing. Mate does contain caffeine; roughly the same amount as coffee. Glad that you know about this magical herb. Salud! You may like our International Mate Community at http://circleofdrink.com

    Drink on!

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    1. Hi Dave, like for Mateo, thank you for letting me know about the caffeine, I will have to tell the people here who keep assuring me that it hasn't!

      Ciao
      A.

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  4. That is so neat, I love learning new things from other cultures. Thank you for sharing this : )

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  5. ciao Alessandra ^^ conoscevo la yerba mate soltanto di nome e leggere il tuo piccolo racconto è stata una scoperta! è sempre un piacere aprirsi nuovi orizzonti gustativi :D

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  6. I remember having a quick lesson on mate drinking! It was so fascinating and they seem really besotted with the stuff! :)

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  7. I hope that once you return to NZ, like a good Argentinean (Uruguayan), you will carry around your thermos wherever you go!

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