<%image(20060304-mate.jpg|120|121|Guampa & Bombilla)%> Perhaps my blogging absence has led some to believe that I have completely buried myself in work and family life. You would be correct of course. I have made a new friend as of late, which I thought I’d share with the inamirrordimly family. This friend has certain medicinal qualities, similar to caffeine, which helps me accomplish my ridiculously busy schedule with aplomb and fanfare from onlookers. I am a “Maté Man”. A missionary friend from Paraguay (Don Loose) offered me a guampa(serving cup/mug) full of delicious maté and as I sipped through the bombilla(straw) I knew this was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Maté is a tea, of sorts, popular in Paraguay and other South American countries. It contains Mateine, which is almost exactly like caffeine, but for me at least seems to have all the good stuff with none of the bad. I’m not sure which part of Maté I like best…
– The taste: While bitter and strong, like black coffee, It tastes similar to a green tea
– The delivery method: The guampa doesn’t hold much water, maybe one large mouthful, so it keeps you going back. And the bombilla/guampa combo feels much like a pipe
– The energy: increased focus, no shakes(yet)
– The community: Culturally, you’re supposed to share one guampa/bombilla combo among a group of people… passing it around the room/table
– The smell: I’ve got a palo santo guampa(“holy wood” which smells similar to ceder), which, when mixed with the maté, leaves an incredible aroma near you while you’re sipping the maté.
So… if I’ve whet your appetite(thirst?) for maté, I purchased my paraphernalia at goyerbamate.com. I would try one bag (500g) of Selecta Maté, one Palo Santo Guampa, and one small bombilla. Enjoy drinking Maté with your Mate!