Yerba Mate Tradition
Yerba máte is drunk anytime, everywhere by everybody! When an Argentine begins to partake in the yerba máte tradition it is said that he or she leaves childhood behind and starts one of the life long pleasures of adulthood. Thousands of people drink yerba máte everyday, including Argentina’s famous author Jorge Luis Borges, and even cartoon characters like Batman, Hijitus or Mendieta. Unlike coffee or tea, you can take yerba máte almost anywhere.
You only need a thermo with hot water, a gourd, straw and the loose-leaves. Yerba máte can be enjoyed alone or in a group. Traditionally, a ritual involves one person that serves as the host, preparing the yerba mate, pouring the water in the gourd and passing the gourd to each person. It is common to hear: ‘Shall we drink some máte?’ or ‘Come and drink a máte whenever you want!
These invitations have a social bonding, usually including conversation and sharing of intimate moments. For this reason, yerba máte is a social drink and a tradition that sparks conversation between family members, neighbours and friends. In the words of Lalo Mir, an Argentine journalist, ‘Yerba máte makes you share and chat if you're with other people or it makes you think if you drink it alone’.