What is mate?
Have you ever seen someone walking around drinking from a strange cup with a metal straw and wondered, what’s that? Maybe you were too curious and asked that person about their drink, but most people don’t do that. We have the answer, mate is the answer! But, what is mate?
Originally from South America, mate is part of the culture of several countries, but mainly of Argentina, the south of Brazil and Uruguay. It’s a hot infusion whose main ingredient is yerba mate, highly beneficial to our health. Before moving on, a pause. If you really wanna know what benefits i’m talking about, you better go to this link. But then come back, we haven’t finished yet!
As I was saying, apart from being a fundamental element of the culture, mate is a hot and tasty drink similar to tea and coffee, but much better. The cup is made of gourd, sometimes recovered with leather. It is necessary also, to use a high quality straw due to the high temperature of the water, to prevent any burn. Stainless, silver and alpaca metal are the most common.
Although the differences between them seems to be little. they are substantial in terms of flavour.
The mate in the first picture is the real “traditional uruguayan mate”. The one chosen by the whole country. Just like wine, as time goes by, the flavour gets better.
The one in the second picture, it’s called “imperial mate”. The most premium and fancy mate ever. Just like the previous, it’s made of gourd but leather lined and with elegants designs. Do you wanna know the best part? Every mate is unique. Like really unique. No two mates are the same.
The last two mates are only ones that don’t let you live the authentic uruguayan mate experience. Due to the material, the flavour is completely different. Both are practical, but there are tons of likely mates. The yerba mate taste is less durable than the rest (and they’re not uruguayan).
So next time, not only you’ll know what a mate is, but you can identify them all! And remember, if you wanna live the mate experience, you better live the uruguayan one!