The Culture of Yerba Mate

Yerba mate is more than a healthy tea, it’s a tradition that brings people together in friendship and harmony. In countries where yerba mate is widely consumed, it is normally shared in a circle among friends. It is not so much the actual drinking of the yerba mate that is important, but rather the conversations that take place while drinking it. This social interaction crosses racial, gender, religious, and socioeconomic boundaries, bringing people together in meaningful human interaction.

Traditionally, the same mate cup is passed around with everyone sharing the same bombilla (metal straining straw). The person in charge of preparing, refilling, and passing the yerba mate to each person is called the cebador. However, in cultures where sharing is not acceptable, each person can have their own mate cup, function as their own cebador, and still take part in the social interaction that yerba mate helps to create.

Anyone who becomes a yerba mate drinker will discover an instant connection to other yerba lovers known as materos. Especially in the U.S. where yerba mate is not common and well known, finding another matero is making an instant friend!

Connect with other materos and share your passion for yerba mate in our Yerba-love forum.