Disappointment from first sip
When I was a child, I saw my father warm the water, prepare the mate by putting the yerba in, the bombilla and then taking a long delicious sip of it. I eventually grew up, and while I never personally received a mate from him, my curiosity to discover new interests, what it tasted like and how to prepare it on my own led me to try it. I followed his steps: heated the water, took the mate, the yerba, the bombilla and did the famous shake in order to raise the polvo (dust or powder). After trying one or two mates, I didn’t like it, which left me disappointed. As a child, I expected something more “fun” in it, but it wasn’t like that.
Year later, when I was 17, I left home. Mate was the preferred drink of the place where I was going, so I decided to try it again. To prepare it, drink it, share it and feel it. It became normal for me to go out and tell friends, “I have the mate.”
Yerba Mate and the beauty of nature
I am a lover of nature. Whenever I can take a break, even if it’s just the closest part of the Sierras de Córdoba, I try to go out. For me, it’s a matter of chief important to not forget to bring the necessary equipment to prepare mate.
Once, in the middle of a mountain, I remember heating the water in a cup to make mate, but I had forgotten the bombilla. I didn’t know what to do! My entire plan was to have hot water, sit quietly on the riverside and enjoy mate; no more, no less. But, it was difficult to do without the bombilla. I dug my hand into my backpage, rummaging inside of it while sitting in my tent, and found a straw. Instead of giving up, I resorted to the first thought that came to my mind. I warmed up one end, burn it so that it closed, and then stuck little holes inside, so that I could drink mate by the river. At last! There we were, mate and me, alone, enjoying one another in another beautiful place.
Why do I drink Yerba Mate?
Over the years, I realized that taking coca leaves to stay active only led to me being bored by the end of it. I soon found that it was always better to put water in the kettle, prepare the mate and drink it, either alone or accompanied by friends. Nothing compares to drinking mate and being in motion; preparing another after another and not getting tired of it, preparing more and sharing with someone else. It keeps you awake, alert, thoughtful. This is because you have to ensure your mate doesn’t become clogged, watered down and lacking whatever flavor you prefer (sugar, citrus, honey, etc.). It has its own magic, because the person who prepares the mate is the one who gives a particular life to each moment that he enjoys it. When sharing it with others, one gets to know others more. He is friendly with his tastes, and thus, ends up being a participant in a beautiful experience that he has no way of explaining.
We drink mate when it’s cold or when it’s hot. When we’re happy or when we need to vent. When we’re alone or when we’re with others. When there’s something sweet to eat just as when there’s something salty. Mate is always present.
In my life, mate is synonymous with company, satisfaction and love.