The beginning of Dobre Ziele
As it often happens, everything began with a big passion for a special drink, yerba mate. Dobre Ziele is a Polish yerba mate store. The shop was not founded simply for profit, it’s more of an evolution of a passion for sharing yerba mate. Everything started during our studies, when we would order yerba mate for friends. Everyone knows of mate’s stimulated properties, which are very useful, specifically for pre-exam learning. But, at that time, there weren’t many shops selling mate, so the easiest way to find it was by ordering it online. Bigger orders meant better prices, and that how the circle of interest in drinking mate started to grow. A normal room was no longer suitable for holding all of our orders, and we knew we needed a special place for people to drink mate. In the beginning, we only had a shop in Krakow, but later we started to also sell mate online. We’ve sold mate for 6 years now, connecting with enthusiasts in Poland, and eventually internationally.
At Dobre Ziele, we believe that yerba mate is for sharing. There is no other drink that has as many special symbols as mate. In South America, and beyond, mate helps you express a variety of emotions. Properly preparing a mate can mean admission into a circle of friends, declaration of love, acceptance, warning or evening exclusion. But, beyond all of this, the meaning of mate is rooted in the nice, small gestures that we can show one another every day. All you need is to share a mate (drinking vessel) full of yerba mate. And while you can easily become addicted to its taste and positive influence on your body, don’t worry! It’s the healthiest and best addiction which you can possibly imagine.
Dobre Ziele means “Good Herb”
In Polish, Dobre Ziele means “good herb,” because yerba mate is the best herb in the world! The name is a little bit of forced translation of yerba mate, since in Polish slang the world ziele means “weed,” as in marijuana. Because of this, policeman used to be frequent guests in our shop, but in the end they understood that yerba mate is something completely different than marijuana. Today, some policeman still visit Dobre Ziele, but as regular customers, which we’re proud of!
Our logo is of a smiling gourd. We call it “Mr. Siorb,” because in Polish, siorb means “slruping,” which stands for the characteristic sound that is inseparably bonded with the act of drinking yerba mate. Without a doubt, each mate drinker is familiar with it. We created the logo during some boring lecture Nowadays it is a full-size character. We even help him find a life companion by advertising a reality show contest called “Mr. Siorb is looking for a wife.” Participants sent us handmade candidates for marriage.
Yerba Mate wrapped in the Polish flag
In can be confusing as to why and how yerba mate has gained popularity in Poland since it is so far away from South America. In the 19th century, a Polish family went to Argentina. Jan Juan Szychowski started a plantation in La Cachuera known for producing the Amanda yerba mate brand. Up to now, packages of Amanda con Palo are wrapped in red and white colors, which isn’t a coincidence. These are the colors of the Polish flag, just like packages of Amanda sin Palo bear the colors of the Argentinian flag. So, Poland and yerba mate are not so far from each other, even though it may look like it from a first glance.
The more people who drink mate, the better
Dobre Ziele is something more than a store, it’s also a cooperation between people passionate about yerba mate. One unique company within this cooperation is Meta Mate, a transnational collective, which specializes in the production of organic, fair trust yerba mate. It’s harvested by a family business. One of their blends of mate is even specifically harvested under the full moon.
Our store is also a place where you can spend hours talking about mate. We are involved in different projects with the aim of presenting yerba to a broader audience. This is why we are preparing tutorial videos about different ways of brewing yerba mate, writing articles about it and, among other things, organizing mate workshops. We are sure that the more people who drink mate, the better the world will be.
We are constantly striving to diversify our assortment as we look at yerba through the eyes of the consumer, not just the seller. We like to test to blends, brewing and drinking them using different vessels and bombillas. Some of our gourds and palo santos are engraved with folk designs. We partner with local craftsmen and, by doing this, we support development of artists and other small businesses like ours. Each country has their own way of producing different types of mate, different ways of preparing it and different accessories to aid in the sharing of it. And, this is beautiful!
One of our recent projects was a computer game in the spirit of old school arcade games. We call it, “Pan Siorb – The Way to Awakening.” The game consists of collecting leaves of ilex paraguariensis (scientific name for yerba mate) in order to brew a nice gourd of mate. You can try it out here.