"MATE" Argentina Local Custom Tip by swesn

Argentina Local Customs: 99 reviews and 82 photos

  Mate-drinking by the park
by swesn

The typical drink of yerba herb of Argentinian gauchos (cow-boys) ? the mate (pronounced 'ma-tey'). It is served in special cups made from round gourds or a vase-shaped vessel.

The mate leaves are not just a couple of wimpy leaves swimming at the bottom of the cups. The leaves and sometimes stems are crushed up really small and filled to the brim of the cups. To drink it, one needed a bamboo or usually a metal straw with tiny holes at the bottom to filter out the tiny leaves.

One could only pour enough water into the cup for one suck. The water, and this is very important as imparted gravely by my friend, Pablo, must be about 80°C or so. Never boiled to 100°C. It's all alchemy.

You can always see the locals carrying their mates and clasping under their arm-pits, their precious flask of hot-water.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

Was this review helpful?

  • Written Jun 1, 2003
  • Send to a Friend
  • Add to your Trip Planner
  • Report Abuse



“Every second of every day you're faced with a decision that can change your life - make it!”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 6 6 8

Have you been to Argentina?

  Share Your Travels