Illustration of my grandmother's kitchen in Argentina

Drinking mate takes me back to the kitchen table in my grandma’s house.

It is a quiet afternoon, aproximately 2 hours after lunch. The city is a little bit quieter as it is siesta time. The sun starts to appear through the kitchen window bringing in a game of light and shadows and a warm yellow tint from the small stained glass.

She sits with the newspaper of the day, I sit with my the latest bookshop acquisition. We share with each other the things that we find interesting / funny / bizarre from what we are reading, while she as the cebadora (se.βa.ˈðo.ɾa) passes the mate to me when it’s my turn.

All of this, of course, with a pile of local sweet pastries which she never lets run out while I am staying with her.

Illustration of me saying hello while drinking mate

I am Lucre and as you can already tell, mate is a very special drink for me. Not only for the memories it evokes but also because most of the time I drink it while sharing it with others.

Everyone drinks from the same gourd, which translates to an attitude of respect. If you are the cebador, you are attending and providing others, making sure everyone had a turn before starting the round again. As the drinker, you are being taken care of, and you try to follow the drinking rules so that everyone in the round gets to drink too.

Mate is so embedded in the Argentinian idiosyncrasy that is funny. We drink it for breakfast, in the late afternoon, mid morning while walking around the park, while driving on a road trip (I know, I know) and you can easily find yourself in the office of a government public officer, chatting over some paperwork while they sip through their mate.

I am passionate about this drink, the ritual and the rules around it. I enjoy introducing it to the people around me and for that reason I wanted to create a this little space for anyone else who might stumble upon it, and hopefully find something valuable too.

I speak about mate from an Argentinian point of view.

However, mate is also drunk in Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Syria, Lebanon, Chile to name a few.  With time, I hope to expand the Mate corner to talk about the way mate is drunk in countries and cultures around the world.

If you would like to share your unique customs or first time experience, I would love to read about it!

Get in touch