Yerba mate (pronounced mah-tay) is cultivated in South America, where its consumption is comparable to that of coffee in the United States.
In its traditional form, the coarsely chopped, dried leaves and stems of the yerba mate tree are placed in a hollow gourd called the “mate”.
Then the mate is filled with hot water. The “bombilla”, a metal straw with a filter at one end, allows the extraction of the tea while leaving the yerba mate behind.
The water is replenished, and the mate is passed in a circle and shared with others in a communal fashion. The mate ceremony has been an integral part of South American culture for hundreds of years, bringing family and loved ones together.
Widely regarded as “nature’s most balanced stimulant”, yerba mate is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Many prefer the gentle stimulating effects of yerba mate over coffee.
Read more about yerba mate on Wikipedia.