My first Mate tea was quite a long time in the coming. 10 days in Argentina without drinking Mate. Insane. As much more we made my first time to a remarkable one. A real tea ceremony with special tea leaves, which are actually not available in the supermarket. Furthermore we prepared Chipas, an Argentinian cheese bread formed in little balls. Cheese balls more or less. They told me Mate and Chipas are the perfect match. Alrighty.
I don’t know if my expectations have been to high, but the Mate didn’t convinced me that much, although I’m pretty sure it was the best one I could have for my first experience. It has actually absolutely nothing to do with my beloved Club Mate. No. It’s supposedly the same like a cigarette or a coffee for the first time. You have to get used to it before you start loving it. Means many Mates to come for me the next time.
Anyway. Much more important than the taste itself was the whole happening. The way we enjoyed it. The difference between drinking tea and a real ceremony. As serious locals the whole group shared the cup. Not one cup for each of us. Once you finished your cup, the Mate wanders to the next one in the round. Round by round, as long as you like. I started with one. I want to get slightly used to it. I have time.