Mate is much more than a drink
Mate is much more than a drink. For me, mate has always been connected to friendship. It’s shared with friends and it witnesses stories, talks, whether it is with music playing in the background or in absolute silence. It always leads to laughter, confessions, emotions, and generates moments both unique and unforgettable. It is a tradition that I brought from my country, Argentina, to Miami, where I’ve lived for many years. During this time, mate has always brought that feeling of nostalgia and happiness to my life.
My first memories of mate were seeing my mother, and even grandmother, with her friends, drinking mate, as well as with my family. I watched them closely, maybe wondering what it was. And while I don’t remember the first time I tried it, I remember the feeling of wanting to drink it. When I finally did start drinking regularly, it was always with friends, during periods of study, or whenever we got together to have a good time. Talks, mate, music, all the memories I have with the beautiful drink that is much more than a drink!
My home away from home
When I moved to Miami, I came alone to study at the University of Miami. My parents and brothers stayed in Argentina. The reason I decided to go away to study was that I have always liked Miami and dreamed of studying here. Throughout my career, I’ve met many Argentinians and Uruguayans, and we’ve enjoyed a lot of gatherings with mate. I also had friends who didn’t know what it was. Some curious people would ask me about it, and while some were encouraged to try it, others weren’t! The funniest question someone ever asked me was, “But is it legal?” I still remember it to this day and laugh about it. Mate has always been my companion!
I have a very active and healthy lifestyle. I exercise, follow a vegan diet, and mate is a great complement to this. I also drink other natural juices and teas, such as matcha, which I find has a very similar taste to mate. And the best part is that I don’t take one to replace the other, I just drink everything because I am always looking forward to drink natural infusions, both cold and hot.
Mate can be taken at any time. I personally like to drink it in the evenings, while I work or right after I finish working. During those moments, I drink it alone, because although it’s better enjoyed with friends, there are also times when I’m alone that it helps me to both relax and concentrate. It also, of course, raises the spirits! Now, while I am writing this article, I have to confess that I’m drinking a delicious mate! I love writing, it’s a hobby I’ve enjoyed since I was very young, and even my grandmother said I’d be a writer when I grew up. I remember Sundays at her home writing stories and reading them with her. I’m not a professional writer, but I enjoy writing poems and short essays; when I write, I almost always have a mate by my side.
I don’t know if I’ll ever publish my writings, but even if I don’t, I’ll always be my “grandmother’s writer,” who always joined me with her own mates while I wrote.
Yerba Mate anywhere, anytime in any place
Nowadays, the market offers many mate options. There are different flavors, types of packaging and yerba is processed in a few different ways. I believe that the market is growing so quickly because more and more people are getting to know mate, and encouraging themselves to try it. And when they try it, they realize that they like it more. I have to admit, it’s beautiful to see how a tradition is being adopted by more people from different places around the world. I hope mate continues to reach everyone and that each person can both enjoy it, and share their own stories!
Some people enjoy mate sweet, others bitter. I can take it in any way, but my favorite is with a packet of stevia just one time, and then, nothing else. Regardless, there’s no right or wrong way, it’s just a matter of personal taste!
The greatest thing about mate is that it can be enjoyed anywhere. In a quiet or noisy park, on the beach looking at the sea, in a house playing cards, on a court watching a game, at work. It’s a truly fulfilling experience to visit a friend and have him/her greet you with mate, or vice-versa. Mate unites. Mate is much more than a tradition. Mate is the meeting of hearts and minds. I am always ready for a mate, whether if it’s cold or hot outside, if I’m happy or sad, super busy or have anything to do. Mate is beautiful and rich in flavor, which is why I invite everyone who hasn’t tried it yet to do so, and tell me about your experiences. If you want to share a mate with me, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask! I’ll always be ready for a mate anywhere, anytime, and at any place.
Write your own story, and I’ll be here to read it!