I was introduced to Yerba Maté (pronounced YERB-ah mah-TAY) many years ago by an Argentinian friend and have noticed that most people have never heard of it.
To be honest, I like the way the beverage is served more than the tea itself because I generally avoid caffeine but it can be delicious in small doses. You can add honey or sugar to sweeten the otherwise bitter flavour and another nice addition is orange or lemon peel. The essential oils leach out of the skin into the hot water and impart a beautiful taste and aroma.
Whenever I drank maté, everyone sat in a circle and after you took a sip it would be passed along to the next person. It was a time to talk, relax and laugh together especially after asado (Argentinian barbeque) including morcillas (black pudding or blood sausage), pollo (chicken), papas fritas (hand cut potato chips) and chimichurri.
I love my gourd (wooden cup) and bombilla (metal straw) – there’s just something special about drinking out of this.
The preparation is quite specific so if you would like to know more please visit this website.
If you would like to buy yerba maté, gourd and bombilla, you can find it in specialty deli’s and gourmet grocers where South American ingredients are stocked. Otherwise you can purchase it online just like everything else these days.