What to do in Buenos Aires – Mate

the mate

the mate, Argentina

What would Buenos Aires be without the experience of drinking a good mate? Have you ever tried the mate?  Let us explain it for you!

At the beginning the mate was considered to be a tradition typical of the “Gauchos”, term commonly used to describe residents of the South American Pampas, found principally in Argentina.


The mate is a common social practice and is prepared from steeping dried leaves of  “yerba mate” (herb) in hot water.


Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. The straw is called a bombilla and the gourd is known as a mate itself. Even if the water comes in a very modern thermos, the infusion is traditionally drunk from kettle. However, “tea-bag” type infusions of mate (knowns as mate cocido) have been on the market in Argentina for many years.


mate, buenos aires, argentina

set de mate moderno




* Characteristics

The straw is traditionally made of silver and the gourd is a hollow calabash gourd.


Modern commercially available straws are typically made of nikel silver, called Alpaca, stainless steel and the modern gourd are made of glass, porcelain, wood or cane.






The misterious mate code


Do you know what does it mean if the mate you shared is …. ?


Cold:  Look down on, snub, slight

Mate-pumping (without any taste):  appathy, indifference

Boil: envy, jealousy

Brew from the straw: hate

Brew from the left side: lack of respect

With “leaves of ruda plant”: love, fall in love with

Stuck straw: fall in love with

With bubbles: charm, cuddie

First mate: to the silly, fool (the first mate is always for the person who is in charge of brewing)

Bitter: royalty, faithfulness and frankness

… and remember, when you say “thanks” means that you are pleased, satisfied and don’t want to continue drinking mate.

We kindly suggest you to bear this key word in mind instead of  saying “it’s enough”!


amigos, mate

reunion de amigos, tomando mate


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