Not My Cup of Tea

Mate is the gauchos traditional drink, and is drunk not only by them but almost by everyone in Argentina cold or hot.

Said to be a stimulating infusion it is made of yerba a locally grown herb that is not to our own personal taste

That said, Argentineans love it and seem to drink it at all hours of the day and night.

The term mate also ap­plies to the calabash from which it served.

To prepare the infusion, the calabash is stuffed with the yerba prior to adding water that is poured in while very hot but not boiling.

It is drunk with a bombilla, a kind of big metal straw that has a filter on the end.

After every sip or so, more hot water is added so the calabash is never emptied.

It is good manners in Argentina to share the drink with your friends and that means sucking it up through the same straw.

Be warned if you try to wipe the bombilla before you put it into your own mouth after being handed it by your friend – that can be considered very rude!