The familial atmosphere of Yerba Mate
The story of mate in my life begins in adolescence. In fact, it was my brothers, Rocío and Daniel, who got me to first drink yerba mate, at the age of 16. We were in the yard, Daniel playing the guitar and Rocío singing. My dad, little sisters and nephews were closely listening to the music, and I sat by them all, serving and drinking mate as if I had always done it. From them on, drinking mate became a staple of every summer afternoon outside, which I loved because drinking mate meant that we gathered around music, singing, talking and laughing together.
College and Yerba Mate
While I was in high school (liceana), I didn’t drink mate too often; it was more of something I did during the weekends and holidays. But when I went to college, I became more dependent on it, since I had to study for evaluations and keep active and awake. At the time, I lived with two friends from the north of the Chile. When I would drink mate around them, they would often, without asking, pour sugar into my gourd, causing me to laugh because I don’t like it sweet. But, it was nice to be able to speak with them and take a break from all of the chaos of school.
The perfect brand of Yerba Mate for me
Until a few years ago, the only type of yerba I consumed was Taragü. Then, I began to suffer from acid reflux, so I searched for alternatives until I came up CBSé. It was perfect for me because it’s smooth, contains different flavors and is very rich in strength. Although, I still do have the smooth version of Piporé at home, for when people come to visit. People here, in Cochrane, generally consume stronger-flavored brands. Taragüi dominates the market, with Piporé following it.
My daily routine of Yerba Mate
I generally drink mate all day; I have a thermos at my desk, which I refill throughout the work day. After leaving work, I typically meet up with my friend Alex, who works with the law, and we drink mate together, often discussing the day. Sometimes, after leaving Alex, I meet up with my brother and we drink more mate together!
On the weekends, I wake up later than usual, but the first thing I do is to put the pava (kettle) on and matear (drink mate) with some cookies, jam and cheese. If I don’t do that, I typically just meet up wherever Alex is, and we drink mate together.
Yerba Mate, the ultimate travel companion
Mate is my travel companion. I like to drink it while driving, on the beach in the summer and on walks, so I always have to have my mate equipment in order to stop and brew up a bitter one.
Mate is the companion of solitude, friendship and family. I’ve always said that I don’t know why I love it so much when it’s so bitter, but, in fact, it is also the taste that contributes to the beauty of Yerba Mate; the environment it generates, the relaxation that ensues when people share it, the fact that in order to truly enjoy mate, you have to stop what you’re doing. To drink mate you must be patient, yes, but what I love most is that you never actually need a reason to drink it, for drinking Yerba Mate just for the sake of drinking it is reason enough.