Taste mate, Buenos Aires
Everyone in Argentina drinks mate, and they even have a special way to drink it - from a hollowed-out gourd (though there are wood and fiberglass cups available too), with a metal straw that has a filter on the end. It tastes a little like green tea, though it's very bitter (it's an acquired taste). Every supermarket has a section with different types of mate (different brands, flavours, etc), and it's common to see people drinking it on the street.
There's even a specific way of preparing it - you need to put the loose mate leaves in the gourd in a certain way before adding the hot water, then the person who prepares it takes the first drink (it's the most bitter). Then, they pass it around, everyone takes a full drink, and it's refilled with water every time. If someone offers you mate, it means they like you (platonically, of course!) so it's best to accept it even if you don't like the taste. If you don't want another drink of it, simply thank them after (it's a way of saying you've had enough) and they won't offer again. Be sure to avoid moving the straw when it's already in the gourd/cup - it's considered insulting to the person who prepared it.
You will see people waiting at the bus stop with a thermos in their hand. You wonder if they are taking their coffee with them or something like that. It's totally common. It's usually people taking water for their mate. Coffee, though it is popular and common, is more expensive than yerba. You will not see too many people drinking their mate when they are out and about since it is does require some preparation and can leave some nasty stains if spilled.
Hola Napa :o)
You can find a good "Mate Cup" anywhere in Buenos aires...even in the Supermarket. They are made in several different material. Wood, Calabaza (which is NOT plastic, Plata...there are some in glass inside as well but they are not the classic ones...In San Telmo or at the Feria de los Mataderos (Sunday) they can personalized them with your name or something else. Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. The straw is called a bombilla in Latin American Spanish, a bomba in Portuguese, and a masassa in Arabic. The straw is traditionally made of silver. Modern commercially available straws are typically made of nickel silver, called Alpaca, stainless steel, or hollow-stemmed cane. http://buenosaires.giorgioshouse.com/b&b_buenos_aires_000011.htm Saludos y buon Mate ;o)
There is nothing that is more traditional of an Argentinean than the mate. It's the traditional tea and drink of Argentina and a huge part of their culture. Yerba mate is a herb with green leaves which are picked, dried and chopped into yerba. Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd, known as a mate. The straw is called bombilla and is traditionally made of silver. It has a filtering mechanism on the end. Each one of these items can be found from the simplest to the most ornate and stylistic one can imagine.
Mate is a medicinal and cultural drink of ancient origins. Introduced to the world by Guarani Indians of South America, mate consists ingredients that help keep its drinkers healthy and energetic. More than a drink, mate has become a cultural phenomenon throughout South America. Its benefits are obvious. Mate is traditionally drunk in a particular social setting, such as family gatherings or with friends. In Buenos Aires people carry their mate with them during the day. To the Argentineans it is more than an offer of a drink to quench your thirst, but also an offer of friendship.
The drink has a strong taste like a mixture of green tea and coffee, with hints of tobacco and oak. The type of yerba mate one uses can also vary. It can be a traditional bitter blend that is common among Argentine gauchos, a mixed blend with additional flavours such as lemon, orange and mint, or a sweetened blend that is favoured in the northern regions of Argentina. Best brands are Taragui, Rosamonte, Nobleza Gaucha and Cruz de Malta.
The Mate for the argentinians is like the tea for the british!
we drink it everywhere! at work, at school, at college, at university, in a park, at home, with friends, with work collegues, with family members, we share it with everyone who ask for it!
the mate is hot beverage that is serve using a mate (the cup that we use for drinking mate hs the same name that the recipient) and you use a straw. to drink. You fill the mate with yerba mate and some sugar and then you add hot water ( needs to be below boling point)
It's really common that when you meet someone to your house in the afternoon you invite the person for drink MATE and some "biscochitos" ( kind of salad biscuits) or any other sweet biscuit
If someone offers you to drink a mate, don't refuse, Argentinians may think you are being rude, they might think you don't want to drink it because you don't want to share the straw... Anything won't happen to you if you drink just a little :P
Some people say that you should drink MATE if you want to waste some pounds because you don't get hungry! And also if you are studing and you are falling asleep you can drink MATE and it will help you to don't get sleep :P
You didn't come to Argentina if you haven't taste a MATE!
This is a local tea like drink in Argentina, Uruguay and Southern Brasil. It is served in a gord most of the time with silver straw to drink it. I liked the drink but the taste is diffacult to explain. Yerba is a must try at least once while in Argentina.
Local drink by excellence is mater....argentinians, uruguayan and other use to drink it by its stimulants effects... thrice cafeine than not a simple coffee !! you will need a cup (called mate) a "straw" (called "bombixa") and the mate weed that is harvest in regions like corrientes or misiones ....then pour some water into the cup (not boiling water !! ) and you get it...the best advice is try to make local friends and they show u the way.. besides its a friendship drink....people gather together with this excuse ...take mate and talk back and forth !!
If you're wondering what mate tastes like, the best thing to do is to buy all the necessary things and do it on your own.
You'll need: a mate (container), a metal straw, yerba (many brands to choose from at the supermarkets. A not so bitter one is Cruz Malta), hot water (not boiling) and some sugar.
If you buy a mate made from mate (a kind of big seed which is emptied) then you'll have to cure it first: pour boiling water in it and take all the crust with a spoon. Do this 3 times and then it will be ready. If yo buy a wooden one, you don't need to cure it.
Now, fill 3/4 of the mate with yerba, add a bit of sugar (actually most people prefer it bitter, but that's up to you) and then pour some water. Now... sip! You may not like it at first, as you may find it rather bitter. I'd say mate is an acquaired taste.
If you do this with friends then one is the pourer and passes the mate around.
I've heard many tourists asking whether this drink makes you feel high or gives you energy, the answer is NO! It's just a drink, though sometimes it helps people to do number two, ha!
Well, there's been almost 11 years that I go to Argentina, so of course I have many friends in the country, and Buenos Aires is where I definitevely stop...And in Rome I do like the romans, it cannot be so different here, so I always go back to old custons, when I visited yesterday the house of Mariano's parents in the great province of Martinez, no far from the capital, this is where I am confortable, and this is where I relax with a hot MATE AMARGO n my hands. It is a very common costun among the argentineans, uruguayans and southern brazilians. Well I am part of tthe club as you easily can see. Right behind me, my great "cousin" and friend Gustavo, checking his internet.
Sep 18th, 2005
If anyone asks you to try mate, don't turn it down! It's a very popular tradition in Argentina (as well as Uruguay, southern Brazil, and Paraguay). It's a type of tea that comes from a tree grown throughout the Mesopotamia region of Argentina. The tea itself is called yerba mate, and it's placed in a container (sometimes a hollowed-out gourd) called a mate. You drink the tea through a straw, usually made of metal or bamboo, called a bombilla. There's a filter attached to the end so you don't drink any of the little leaves.
The cebador(a) is the person who prepares the mate. He/she will put the yerba in the mate and fill it with hot water from a thermos. It's then passed to another person, who drains the cup, and then gives it back to the cebador, who will then fill it up again and give it to the next person.
Some people say it's an acquired taste, some people just don't like it. I really like it, it has a refreshing taste to it. You can drink it with sugar if you don't like the bitterness, but I've heard that it's bad for your stomach (I also don't think it tastes that great).
Besides everybody kissing each other, the local custom that really set Argentina apart from everywhere else was that every Argentine household I've been in has what looks like a metal pumpkin and a special metal straw (bombilla) for which to drink an herbal tea called yerba mate. The tea itself comes from the leaves of an indigenous plant and mate is actually the pumpkin-shaped vessel. Just about every store down there sells yerba mate gear and you can even get it in Roxboro, North Carolina if you shop online. I regret not having tried the drink. I wanted to, but my good buddy Alex, one of the few Argentines who doesn't like it, recommended that I not try it because it would cause difficulties for those not used to it, the type which would eat into valuable touring time. Alex might not like it, but his mama and all his friends were sipping the stuff like it was going out of style. Against my sense of adventure when it comes to trying new food and drink, I turned it down every time it was offered to me. I took this picture in a Buenos Aires storefront because I had never seen such gear before and that, by itself, was a learning experience for me.
In many South American countries people enjoy a drink called Mate. This is a tea like drink made with herbs and hot water. The herbs almost completely fill the cup and the liquid is sucked through a metal straw.
The drink has been claimed to:
- Help Energize the body
- Stimulate mental alertness
- Aid weight loss
- Cleanse the colon
- Accelerate healing
- relieve stress
- calm allergies
- fortify immune system
- Increase longevity
In Argentina and Uruguay it is quite common to see friends walking down the street with their mate. One holding the cup while another carries the flask of hot water.
How could we visit without trying it out?
Sabrina_Florida was kind enough to prepare Mate for myself and vtnyc. Mate is a very traditional drink for Argentines. At the park, I even saw parents giving it to toddlers.
At first it has a similar taste to green tea but has a bit of a bitter aftertaste. The yerba is packed into the gourd about 2/3 full. Then hot water is poured in. After letting it sit for a bit the first person drinks through the metal straw. When that person is done, more hot water is poured in and the next person takes there turn and so on and so on.
It is not unusual to see people having their mate pots with them. I had the feeling that some of them were drinking litters a day of this typical South American tea :)))
Well, I had tryed it twice once from the pot of the driver of our bus and the other time in Teatro Colone. I needed to go to the bathroom, so I went but I had to wait my turn, there was a guard who was drinking his mate, so he offered to me and one other Bulgarian guy to try it :))). So, it has very specific taste but it is still nice. I would recommend you to try it :)
The picture is not mine, I took it from Yerba Mate Online website. If you are interested to know more about mate you will find quite a lot of info there. I could have my own picture but I forgot to take one before giving as a present the mate pot I bought in Iguassu :)
Argentinians are very friendly people who value friendship quite highly. So they -we- spend many Saturday or Sundays afternoons with their -our- friends having mate at a sunny park.
If you re friendly enough to have some local invite you on such outings, you must take with you cookies or bizcochos or facturas -pastries- or alfajores (like my vt friend Mcdomanski did).