Research points to the fact that there are many reasons to love yerba mate. Some people cannot live without it and yet for others it tastes too bitter. It's an acquired taste worth acquiring!
Yerba mate is an herb that grows in areas of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Chile.
Drinking mate with friends is a common social practice in these countries, especially in Uruguay and Argentina. Mate is consumed from a traditional hollow gourd (sometimes also called guampa). This is a metal container that is filled with hot water and the yerba mate herbs. The tea is sipped through a metallic straw (called a bombilla). In a social setting, friends pass the drink from person to person refilling with hot water from a thermos when necessary!
The drink is so embedded in the culture that when you’re walking the streets of Uruguay you can see people walking around drinking mate. There are even hot water stations on the road so that you can refill your thermal bottle when you finish the tea!
Yerba mate is also said to have amazing health benefits such as increased energy, concentration and mental focus. No wonder they make so many energy drinks using mate!