This national beverage with caffeine originally comes from Paraguay, South Brazil and Argentina. The tea comes from the green leaves of a type of holly that is said to have manifold good effects. Therefore in South America Mate tea is also called "Beverage of the Gods". Drinking Mate out of one cup was something ritual with the native Indians. Later Brasilian Mate became the most popular drink of the Gauchos, the South American cowboys. Mostly enjoyed outside at the campfire, it became the national drink in almost every country on the continent over the years. Its stimulating effect lasts longer than that of coffee. A short infusion time brings about a stimulating effect, longer weakens it.
The history and origin of mate are closely linked to the countries of Latin America. The green gold of the Indios is extracted from the leaves of the always green mate bush and is offered green as well as roasted. This tea-like drink has experienced its rennaissance, especially in Europe, as slimming diet in the last few years. It naturally surpresses feelings of hunger and thirst. Mate contains caffeine.
Like the black or green tea, mate is also withered and dried and its strength is determined by the brewing time. Shorter brewing time means stronger, stimulating effect, less strong taste. In South America, Mate is drunken from the Cuia (calabash). This original container made out of pumpkin rinds is filled to 2/3 with mate tea and then carefully filled up with cold or slightly warm water.
For the first infusion boiling water is never used. After the first infusion, the cuia is let to sit for a few minutes, before the mouth piece, the Bombilla (suction tube), shut with the thumb, is put into the Cuia and the infusion is sucked and spit out. The first infusion is never drunk because it is too bitter. After this procedure, the Cuia is filled up again with hot water. After drinking from the mate tea, you hand on the cuia to the guests according to an ancient Gaucho tradition. The bombilla must not be used to stir the tea.