No, not ‘mate’ as in your Australian friend, ‘mah-tay’ as in the Argentinian tea. Everybody drinks it constantly here to the extent that water dispensers have hot water so you can top up your mate on the go. The Yerba Mate plant is a species of the holly genus and is a native of southern Brazil, and the tea drunk throughout South America. It is quite bitter – a herby bitter rather than a coffee bitter – although it can be served dulce, (sweet with sugar). To make it, you put the leaves straight in the cup and add water. I bought myself a little mate cup this morning at the street market (made from a gourd) with the obligatory filtering straw to sip it through.
By Amie Brûlée
Amie Brûlée is a musician, performer, teacher and researcher. She sings, plays piano, double bass and ukulele, unearths old songs and writes new ones. Amie also has a PhD in wine and anthropology and adores teaching wine tasting, gastronomy and song-writing. Amie lives in central Victoria with a house full of instruments, a head full of songs and a cellar full of wine.View all of Amie Brûlée's posts.