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Mate: The green gold of South America

Mate, often referred to as the “green gold of South America,” and Vietnamese tea may seem different at first glance, but they share some fascinating parallels and reflect the global connectedness of the tea community.

Community and sociability

  • Both mate and Vietnamese tea play a central role in social interaction and community building. In South America, sharing mate is a sign of friendship and community, similar to sharing tea in Vietnam, where tea is often offered as a sign of hospitality.

Tradition and ritual

  • Both drinks have deep cultural and traditional roots. In South America, mate is traditionally drunk in a common vessel, the calabaza, with a bombilla (metal straw), which is an important ritual. In Vietnam, tea preparation and presentation is also an artistic ritual that shows mindfulness and respect for the tea ceremony.

Health Benefits

  • Mate and Vietnamese tea both offer health benefits. Mate is rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and has stimulating properties due to its caffeine content. Similarly, Vietnamese teas, particularly green tea, offer a variety of health-promoting properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

Variety of flavors

  • Both mate and Vietnamese tea offer a wide range of flavors. Mate can range from earthy and robust to mild and herbaceous, while Vietnamese tea ranges from delicate green tea to bold black tea, each with their own distinctive aromas and flavor profiles.

The global Tea Community

  • The popularity of mate in South America and tea in Vietnam and other parts of Asia underscores the global nature of tea and mate consumption. Despite differences in regional practices, tea and mate drinkers worldwide share a common appreciation for these beverages, their cultural traditions, and the moments of peace and community they provide.

These parallels between mate and Vietnamese tea show that although each culture has its unique traditions and rituals, the love of tea (or mate) connects people across geographical and cultural boundaries. Both drinks are more than just a means of hydration; they are a window into culture, promote community and offer a moment of pause and reflection in our hectic everyday lives.

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