In South America in particular, mate tea is much more than just a yellowish-green hot drink with a tart aroma that is enjoyed between meals. Mate tea has a drinking culture all of its own and this is peppered with numerous rituals. People have been drinking mate tea for centuries in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. We tell you what you need to bear in mind, which secrets you didn't know yet and how you can easily bring the mate tea drinking culture home. Let us surprise and inspire you!
Even before colonisation, the mate tea drinking culture was celebrated by the South American natives. Especially in the present-day countries of Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil and Paraguay, the benefits of tart tea enjoyment were discovered more than 5000 years ago. Mate tea had a great influence on the further cultural development of the continent. Not only were many plantations established where the holly was cultivated, but the drinking culture also took on a growing importance.
The Guarani Indians discovered yerba mate and over a long period of time perfected the cultivation and the process of consumption. In the beginning, a conventional gourd was filled with water and the leaves were put inside. A simple sugar cane became a straw. Everyone took turns drinking from the one vessel, which was passed around. Belief also played an overriding role. Thus, the Guarani thought that by drinking mate tea they could not only improve their health, but also that they would get the power of the jungle.
Through colonisation, mate tea and its drinking culture also achieved popularity beyond continental borders. In the meantime, the ritual of enjoyment has changed significantly. The gourd has become a calabash - a gourd-like drinking vessel made of leather, silicone, ceramic or stainless steel. A bombilla has since replaced the sugar cane. However, little has changed in the actual drinking culture. Conviviality still plays a major role.
Friends, families or work colleagues like to get together to talk about the day, celebrate birthdays or simply enjoy everyone's presence. Mate tea is a must in South America. For chatting, relaxing and taking a deep breath, the hot cup of tea is like a little wellness holiday. A typical picture also emerges in everyday life. It is not uncommon to see many people with a thermos flask in one hand and a calabash in the other. These accessories are indispensable for every mate lover.
At large gatherings in particular, a calabash is placed in the middle of the round. The host drinks the first infusion - consisting of the mate leaves and hot water - first, as it usually tastes particularly bitter. Then the calabash is infused again and passed around. This is how the mate preparation works for every guest. In Argentina, offering mate tea is considered an invitation to friendship. This is something you must never refuse.
Whether on the road, in the office or at a community gathering, mate tea drinking culture has a higher status in South America than the wake-up cup of coffee.
To rebalance your soul after a hard day's work, a cup of mate tea can work wonders. To ensure that you, too, feel calm and balanced, we have put together the ten most important commandments for you, so that you are guaranteed not to put your foot in it.
Now do you also feel like having a traditional yerba tea? With the right infusion and the appropriate mate accessories, you can create a drinking culture as it is celebrated in Argentina, Brazil or Uruguay. Serve with a few specialities from South America and you'll feel like you're on holiday.