After arranging the yerba along one side of the gourd, the mate is carefully tilted back onto its base, minimizing further disturbances of the yerba as it is re-oriented to allow consumption. In Uruguay and Argentina (especially in the capital, Buenos Aires) the mate is small and has a small hole, and people sometimes add sugar for flavor. [26], In Paraguay, western Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul, west of São Paulo and Paraná), and the Argentine littoral, a mate infusion, called tereré in Spanish and Portuguese or tererê in Portuguese in southern Brazil, is also consumed as a cold or iced beverage, usually sucked out of a horn cup called a guampa with a bombilla. The infusion may also be prepared with cold water, in which case it is known as tereré. Friends and family members share from the same container, traditionally a hollow gourd (also called a guampa, porongo, or simply mate in Spanish, a cabaça or cuia in Portuguese, or a zucca in Italian), and drink through the same wooden or metal straw (a bombilla in Spanish or bomba in Portuguese). Wetting the yerba by gently pouring cool water into the empty space within the gourd until the water nearly reaches the top, and then allowing it to be absorbed into the yerba before adding the bombilla, allows the preparer to carefully shape and "pack" the yerba's slope with the bombilla's filtering end, which makes the overall form of the yerba within the gourd more resilient and solid. Once the hot water has been added, the mate is ready for drinking. Drying methods vary. Developed in Cuba in 1920, and produced since the 1960s in Miami, Florida, it is a staple of the Cuban culture in Miami. Each gourd holds only a small amount of liquid and is repeatedly refilled with hot water, usually about 10 times. Traditionally, natural gourds are used, though wood vessels, bamboo tubes and gourd-shaped mates, made of ceramic or metal (stainless steel or even silver) are also common. The ritual proceeds around the circle in this fashion until the mate becomes lavado ("washed out" or "flat"), typically after the gourd has been filled about ten times or more depending on the yerba used (well-aged yerba mate is typically more potent, and therefore provides a greater number of refills).

It is traditionally made of silver. [46] Another study determined that mate reduces progression of arteriosclerosis in rabbits but did not decrease serum cholesterol or aortic TBARS and antioxidant enzymes. The most common way to make mate involves a careful arrangement of the yerba in the gourd before adding hot water. [medical citation needed] Amongst a group of Ilex species, the antioxidant activity of Ilex paraguariensis was the highest. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Then the mate is turned upside-down, and shaken vigorously, but briefly and with gradually decreasing force, in this inverted position causing the finest, most powdery particles of the yerba to settle toward the preparer's palm and the top of the mate. [24] The amount of herb used to prepare the infusion is much greater than that used for tea and other beverages, which accounts for the large weights. Now the mate is ready to receive the bombilla. Most people colloquially address both the plant and the beverage by the word mate. Mate is a traditional drink in some countries in South America, especially in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, Bolivia and Brazil. Soul Maté® is a new kind of energizing and refreshing drink created in Finland which contains maté, antioxidants and natural caffeine. In Uruguay and in the northeast of Argentina it is not uncommon to see people walking around the streets toting a mate and a thermos with hot water. Mate was first consumed by the indigenous Guaraní and also spread by the Tupí people who lived in that part of southern Brazil and northeast Argentina, including some areas that were Paraguayan territory before the Paraguayan War. Finally the gourd is scraped out, emptied, and put in sunlight until completely dry.