I had my first “maté” this morning at breakfast. It is a traditional drink, similar to tea, served in Argentina and several adjacent countries.
You start with a small gourd (this is the maté) which contains a silver straw (a “bombilla”) that has holes in the bottom to act as a sieve against the leaves. The maté is packed about 3/4 full with dried, chopped, yerba maté leaves, and filled with boiling/hot water. I tried to wiggle the straw to get an appreciation for how many leaves are actually in this thing and it would barely move as the maté is packed tight with the thick concoction!
The maté I received this morning was just the cutest thing with a little piece of native weaving around the outside!
It is strong!! When served, you also get a pot of boiling/hot water to keep topping up the gourd as you drink (just like in Ireland/UK!). As such, the flavor becomes milder as you go along. Also, after a while you begin to feel a bit like a gourd yourself due to how much liquid you have transferred from the maté into your belly! Hence, I am writing this post before I leave for today’s excursions so I have time to pass on the liquid! 🙂
Somehow the whole thing reminds me a bit of a hookah (I think because of the straw) and it feels a bit naughty to drink! I wonder if I could pass a drug screening after drinking this stuff?