Travel Photo of the Day: Maté in Argentina

What coffee is to the States, maté is to Argentina

Yerba maté is a common beverage throughout much of South America.

If you’ve done any traveling through South America, then chances are that you’ve probably seen locals sipping from a stout vessel with a filtered metal straw. Traditionally, this container is a hollow calabash gourd (sometimes also horn, wood, or clay) with a stainless steel straw. Although pretty much any beverage could be served from this charming cup and straw, it is almost strictly reserved for maté: an herbal tea infusion made from the leaves of a yerba maté plant. In general, it’s the South American (especially in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil) equivalent of coffees or teas..

Click here to see the Travel Photo of the Day Slideshow!

The yerba maté plant is actually a holly that has been harvested from the Parana-Paraguay river system since before colonization. It contains caffeine and is actually one of the many "New World" caffeinated beverages that were not largely accepted for consumption in Europe around the colonization period. Its consumption did spread throughout South America, however, and it became a popular beverage across the continent after 1700. River transportation running south of Paraguay eventually brought the drink to Argentina (see above), where its consumption remains a common and casual habit.   

These days, you can find the tea and its accompanying gourd worldwide, but why not get it from the source?

Do you have a travel photo that you would like to share? Send it on over to lwilson[at]

Related Stories
A Luxury Vacation in Argentina's Wine CountryA Wine Lover’s Tour of Argentina and Uruguay Drink Your Way Through an Urban Wine Tour in Argentina Just Released: Wines From Portugal and Argentina Papal Heritage: Prime Wines of Argentina

Follow The Daily Meal’s Travel editor Lauren Wilson on Twitter.