Yerba mate is a green tea-like herb that is made into an infusion and drunk from a hollow gourd using a metal straw. It is a popular drink in Uruguay, Northern Argentina, Southern Brazil, and Paraguay. Uruguayans are the largest per capita consumers of Mate in the world.
Yerba mate was first harvested and made into a tea drink by the indigenous Guaraní. Jesuits worked with the Guaraní to develop a domestic version of the plant and started a formal industry of growing, preparing, and distributing the herb.
Yerba Mate is made from the leaves of a type of holly tree. It is drunk from a hollow gourd also called a "mate", using a metal straw called a bombilla. Before it is used, a mate gourd must be cured, which is explained by Karin Ledl in the following video.
Drinking mate is often a ritual often shared by friends. In the following video Karin Ledl demonstrates how to prepare mate.