I didn’t first encounter Yerba Mate on a backpack holiday, nor in some other spectacular circumstance. It wasn’t through a friend who just returned from a trip, stumbling upon it in a book, seeing someone drink it in a park, or any of the dozens of ways people first become acquainted with Yerba Mate. So, with that said, how did it start?
But, where to begin? Ah, that’s simple. I bought my first package of loose-leaf Yerba Mate in a tea shop, where it was sold in 50 or 100 grams amounts. I grabbed one of the packages that said it had lemongrass in it, and when I opened it up for a smell, I knew that it was one the one for me; love at first sniff, if you will.
After running back home, I realized there was a problem; I had no idea how to drink the Yerba Mate I purchased. So, I did what I thought made the most sense, which was to brew it like black tea. I used boiling water, and only two teaspoons of Yerba Mate. Upon taking my first sick, I screamed! It was incredibly bitter, but, I didn’t give up; thank God!
For my next brewing attempt, I used a strainer, which wasn’t all that effective. But even though I was brewing it incorrectly, I couldn’t stop drinking it. The bitter taste grew on me, and I was hooked! It was delicious.
I headed to Google, and began researching all I could about Yerba Mate. Afterwards, I ordered my first Yerba Mate gourd, which was made out of clay and 350 milliliters large. “Whew, I won’t have to keep topping up,” I thought to myself, believing that 350 milliliters was an appropriate size. Boy, was I wrong. I also purchased my first bombilla, which I think is hidden somewhere along with my very first 500 grams of Rosamonte.
We started to roll together. “We,” being Yerba Mate and me. As time passed, I asked one of my classmates to drink Mate with me; cheers, Rafał! At that point, I had only experienced one type of Yerba Mate, which wasn’t enough for me. So, I went back to Google, and searched for every rand of Yerba Mate available in my hometown.
Eventually, I learned how to prepare Yerba Mate correctly, how to make tereré, Mate de ruso, Mate cerveza, Mate de leche and more; I tried them all. I also joined a few groups connected to Mate. But, as you can imagine, I continued to crave for more information about this drink that was quickly becoming more than a drink for me; it was a lifestyle.
I moved to a bigger city for university, and I had a hunch that it would have more places with Yerba Mate and Yerba Mate accessories, like gourds, bombillas, etc. And then, I found it. My Yerba Mate paradise on earth. It was a magnificent store with everything I was looking for, and had very experienced and helpful assistants.
There were new gourds, bombillas, and a variety of Yerba Mate brands, but I still wasn’t satisfied. And then, I discovered chimarrao, which caused me to, of course, go to Google again. After that, I decided to try some and my taste buds went crazy, and that was it! I fell in love with chimarrao.
If there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s that I fell completely in love with Yerba Mate. So much so that I honestly can’t live without my Yerba Mate gourd with tereré inside.
So, here I am. I’ve become a member of an elite group of Yerba Mate lovers in Poland, which is full of amazing people who love to share their Yerba Mate experiences and opinions. And now, it seems that I also have a bag of experiences, myself, which I love to share.
Yerba Mate is an integral part of myself. My colleagues call me “Matero girl,” and I simply like the way it sounds. Mate works great for me, not only because I feel more energized, but also because I can brew it in every and any way I want; because it touches my heart and motivates me every morning to wake up, even if it’s just to brew some of it.
I wish for everyone to find such an amazing passion in life, like Mate. Fortunately, my boyfriend isn’t the jealous type ;)
To grab some Yerba Mate, head to Yerba Mate Land and use the code, “mateo10” for 10% off of your entire order.