Larger-than-life gauchos are folk heroes in Argentina and Uruguay. Prizing their independence as they roamed the South American pampas (mid-1700s to mid-1800s), gauchos subsisted on game and wild cattle. Unparalleled horsemen, they traveled lightly—with bola and knife as weapon and tool and with woolen poncho as coat, blanket, and protection. And they drank maté.

Maté, or yerba mate, has three naturally occurring stimulants—the same as found in tea, coffee, and chocolate­—as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Processed from a type of holly found in the subtropical rain forests of South America (Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil), maté has been enjoyed for centuries. Spanish yerba means "herb" while mate derives from Quechua mati, meaning "small cup," as the brew is traditionally sipped from a hollowed-out gourd, or cuia, using a filtered metal straw, the bombihla.

TeaHaus' green Maté from Brazil has grassy, herbal notes.

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