As universal as is the appeal of tea, there is always local competition to contend with – and we're not referring to a certain evil bean. You could say there are different turfs in the tea world, based on the favourite local infusions. Obviously, Asia is under the sway of Mr. Tea. Meanwhile, Roy “the Boss” Rooibos has got southern Africa covered. And South America is under the spell of the mighty maté.
Maté (pronounced ma-tay) is a type of holly. The plant is native to Paraguay and was originally drunk during social rituals, being passed around in a communal gourd and drunk through a special “bombilla”, or straw. Brewed in the traditional way, dry green maté leaves contain more caffeine than tea, making it a great natural stimulant.