I am from the UK. I first discovered Mate when I saw a forum post about it on a site I frequented which recommended it as a coffee replacement. I wasn’t really drinking much coffee at the time but I recalled when I got an espresso machine a year or so beforehand and was addicted to double espressos all through the day for a few months. I liked the sound of how Mate provided a buzz of energy but without the crash that I was familiar with from coffee and other caffeinated beverages such as energy drinks full of crap.
I ordered my first batch of Cruz de Malta sin palos Mate and a bombilla from Urushop.co.uk (which some of you may be familiar with as a primary supplier of mate in the UK) in late 2010 and I was blown away by it’s effects. The muscle relaxing effects reminded me of the ‘body high’ I had previously experienced only from marijuana/cannabis/psychoactive hemp and the state that my mind travelled to was one of energetic tranquillity accented by the lifting of the weight of anxiety that I so often felt on my shoulders.
This was new for me. I was not used to this feeling of energy without the heightened anxiety that coffee so often brings to the table. There was no crash. I felt calm for the rest of the day even for hours after the Mate would have been processed out of my system. I couldn’t tell when the effects were gone.
I began consuming Mate when at work at my part time technical support job and noticed that it also significantly alleviated my usual social anxiety and enabled me to be more relaxed than usual and have meaningful and positive exchanges with others often involving the exchange of jokes and laughter. This was living.
I’ve been consuming mate ever since I discovered it apart from a gap of a few months when I decided not to order a supply to conserve my finances. I feel I’ve learnt how to replicate the relaxing feeling that Mate has given me time and time again without consuming it however I still cannot resist at least a single serving, refilled multiple times, per day.
Unlike many others I’ve read about I do not find Mate to help with studying. I find it mostly relaxes me too much and I become very easily distracted so I tend to leave it until after studying as a relaxation aid.
Favourite variety (I change my mind a lot on this as I tend to try new kinds every time I order):