Did you know about all different ways of drinking Mate?

Did you know about all different ways of drinking Mate?


Exploring the world of our versatile amigo Mate: Tereré, Mate cocido and traditional Mate 🧉

Mate, the iconic South American drink, has captivated people worldwide with its unique flavour, cultural significance and communal ritual. While it's commonly associated with Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil, its popularity has spread far beyond those borders. What makes Mate truly fascinating is not just its taste, but the myriad of ways it can be prepared and enjoyed. From the traditional hot Mate to the refreshing Tereré and the comforting Mate Cocido, each variant offers a distinct experience that reflects the diversity of Mate culture. Let's delve into the different ways of drinking Mate and discover the rich tapestry of flavours and customs associated with each.



Traditional Mate

Traditional Mate, often simply referred to as "mate," is prepared by steeping dried leaves of the yerba mate plant in hot water. The process involves filling a gourd - also called a mate - about two-thirds full with yerba mate leaves, inserting a filtered straw known as a bombilla, and pouring hot water - not boiling - over the leaves. The resulting infusion is then sipped through the bombilla. Traditional Mate is known for its earthy flavour, with subtle herbal notes and a slight bitterness that aficionados cherish.

The act of sharing Mate is deeply ingrained in South American culture, symbolizing friendship, hospitality and camaraderie. Passing the mate gourd around in a circle, each person takes turns sipping from the same vessel, creating a sense of unity and connection among participants. The ritual of preparing and sharing mate is as important as the drink itself, fostering social bonds and strengthening relationships.


In contrast to traditional Mate, Tereré is a cold-infused version that originated in Paraguay and has gained popularity in other South American countries, particularly in warmer regions. Tereré offers a refreshing alternative to hot Mate, making it ideal for hot summer days or outdoor activities. To prepare Tereré, yerba mate is placed in a gourd and cold water or juice is poured over the leaves. Some people also add herbs, citrus fruits or sweeteners to enhance the flavour.

Tereré is typically enjoyed in a group setting, with friends and family gathering to share a round of cold Mate. The relaxed atmosphere encourages conversation and leisure, providing a welcome respite from the heat. Like traditional Mate, Tereré is passed around in a circle, with each person taking a sip before passing it along. The communal aspect of Tereré reinforces bonds within the group and fosters a sense of community. 



Mate Cocido

Mate cocido, or "cooked mate," offers a comforting twist on the traditional beverage. Instead of steeping dried leaves in water, Mate cocido is made by brewing yerba mate powder or tea bags in hot water, similar to how one would prepare tea or coffee. The resulting drink is smoother and milder in flavour compared to traditional Mate, with a comforting warmth that makes it perfect for chilly mornings or evenings.

Mate cocido is often enjoyed as a standalone beverage or accompanied by pastries, cookies or other snacks. It's a popular choice for breakfast or afternoon tea, offering a caffeine boost without the intensity of traditional Mate.

Mate is more than just a beverage; it's a cultural symbol that embodies the spirit of friendship, hospitality and shared experiences. Whether you prefer the earthy richness of traditional Mate, the refreshing coolness of Tereré or the comforting warmth of Mate cocido, there's a Mate preparation to suit every taste and occasion. So next time you're looking for a drink that's both flavourful and meaningful, consider exploring the world of Mate and discovering the unique rituals and traditions that accompany each variant.

*Follow this link to know how to prepare Traditional Mate with our easy step by step: How to prepare a good Mate? – Hispanic Pantry - Salud!

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