I started drinking mate in my adolescence with my friends and we would just sit around and share the mate while talking and enjoying the feeling of closeness. In my opinion , the mate makes moments more special and is a strong symbol of thogetherness.
This infusion is very traditional in Argentina , prepared by steeping dry leaves of yerba mate in hot water. You drink mate from a shared hollow gourd (called mate in Spanish) with a metal straw.
The flavour of brewed yerba is strongly herbal. Some consider the flavour to be very agreeable, although it is generally bitter.
Every time I travel I bring the mate kit with me, I just cannot live with out it!