Drinking mate is not the same as drinking tea or coffee. It implies a ritual as important as the drink itself. Generally, we have mate with our family or with friends, at home or at a park but never at a restaurante or a café. If someone invites you to have some mates, it is always a friendly excuse to relax and share some time chatting.
While having mate, we usually sit in a circle. Only one person, the “cebador”, prepares mate and gives it to one of the people in the group. When you receive it, you drink it in three or four sips. Then, you give it back to the “cebador” and he prepares a new one for the next person.
The do´s and dont´s of drinking mate
– Don´t say “gracias” every time you receive it or give it back because, according to the custom, when you say “gracias”, it means that you´ve had enough mates and that you don´t want to continue drinking.
– Don´t touch the bombilla or try to stir the mate. Otherwise, the flavour will spoil and the “cebador” will get angry.
– Every time you are done drinking your mate, don´t give it to the person beside you in the circle. Hand it only to the cebador.
– If you had mate, try to avoid eating fruits, yogurth or milk if you dont´want to spend the rest of the day in the bathroom.
-Start drinking your mate as soon as you receive it. Otherwise, the flavour will be spoiled and the other people will get impatient.
– Drink it in three or four sips until there´s no more water left.
– Enjoy it! Mate is a healthy drink. Even kids and pregnant women are allowed to drink it!