I remember the first time I tasted yerba mate. A good friend of mine is originally from Argentina and had invited my family over to her house for dinner. Afterwards, as the kids played noisily, she pulled out a teapot and a cup that appeared to be made out of a gourd or something. She also came out with a straw that looked like it was made of bamboo and had tiny holes drilled into it. She called it a "bombilla" and said it was the traditional way to drink a tea called yerba mate.
Apparently yerba mate (or just 'mate') is a social drink. Friends gather and imbibe the strong, highly caffeinated liquid at any time of the day. One person pours the hot water over the mate leaves in the gourd. The straw's holes keep the leaves out and only let the liquid from the steeped leaves through. The drink is then passed around so that each person can have a bit, adding water to the leaves when necessary.
The resulting mate is amber-green in color and tastes like freshly cut grass (but in a good way). It's definitely a unique pick-me-up when you're just tired of plain old coffee. And the caffeine boost is EVERYTHING.
We use yerba mate in one of our soaps - Poppy Yerba. The mate replaces the water in the soap, and we add turmeric and a poppy seed exfoliant for the perfect morning pick-me-up. We also offer Poppy Yerba as part of our Teatime Mother's Day package, along with other tea-themed items.
Find Poppy Yerba soap only at Bark Soap Co.