The legal Marijuana market is nowhere near as big as the other green market in Uruguay. . . Mate! However, at the rate that people here drink mate, we are beginning to wonder if Caa Yari (goddess of mate grass) is adding a little something more than just strong caffeine in the Uruguayan’s favorite drink.
Mate is a tea like drink, that to some could say that it tastes a lot like it has been made with dirt, twigs, and common grass. It is definitely an acquired taste, and locals of Uruguay seem to never leave home without it. Everywhere we went, people were holding a big thermos full of hot water under one arm and a small round mug filled with mate leaves and a long metal straw (bombilla) in their hand, it is definitely a most awkward setup to carry around all day, so some hard core folks have upgraded to the massive water/cup combo!
Since it’s more of a ritual to people here, you can’t just drink it out of any cup. One needs a fancy cup that is typically made out of a gourd or something wooden, but since they are usually not able to stand up by themselves, they come with a fancy little metal stand… but as you can see, there are many different options to suite your fancy:
Some potential issues we see with being addicted to mate:
1. one arm could become significantly out of balance form the other while carrying around a huge thermos in a tight headlock-like grip
2. half of your day could be spent in search of more hot water
3. your breath has a high risk of smelling like dirt and twigs
4. your lips could either blister badly or grow a huge callus from sipping boiling water out of a highly conductive metal straw
5. you need literally a full cup per serving so you’ll likely need to buy mucho mucho kilos!