MATE | For those that do not know this… MATE is the official national drink of not only Argentina, but also Uruguay. A common social practice, considered to be a tradition typical of the “Gauchos”. The drink contains caffeine. Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. The straw is called a bombilla. The straw is traditionally made of silver. The gourd is known as a mate. Even if the water comes in a very modern thermos, the infusion is traditionally drunk from mates. However, “tea-bag” type infusions of mate (mate cocido) have been on the market in Argentina for many years under such trade names as “Cruz de Malta”. As with other brewed herbs, yerba mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the brewed liquid in, but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture. A modern bombilla design uses a straight tube with holes, or spring sleeve to act as a sieve. The method of preparing the mate infusion varies considerably from region to region, and it is hotly debated which method yields the finest outcome. However, nearly all methods have some common elements. The gourd is nearly filled with yerba, and hot water (typically at 70–80 C [160–180 F], never boiling) is added. Try it and share your thoughts and culture. !!!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends
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