Soul Mate

By: Joel Marino

We’re big, big fans of yerba mate. Like, religiously devoted to the stuff.

If we could seriously dedicate our lives to chatting about the South American tea, taking Instagrams while drinking it and spreading the gospel of its bitter goodness through some sort of online community, we totally would...

Except someone’s already beat us to it. The site’s called MateOverMatter, and it’s a deliriously metaphysical portal exploring all aspects of yerba mate fandom.

The community’s founder, New Yorker and self-described “mate evangelist” Matéo Askaripour, launched the project late last year. Since then, he’s amassed a steady following of young, like-minded yerba mate aficionados who host tea-drinking parties, post pictures of themselves enjoying the caffeinated brew and share inspirational stories about their mate consumption. One early blog post’s headline declared, “Mate has changed my life and it can do the same for you.” Other mate tales are pretty much in the same vein.

Sure, the site veers toward the slightly obsessive at some points, but we don’t mind. In fact, we’re on board with what these guys are doing. Drinking yerba mate is a highly social activity in the Southern Cone, where the tea is prepared with a ritual-like intensity. We can see the appeal of a carefully prepared beverage shared among friends, since there’s nothing quite like that in the US. The brew’s also a natural, sugar-free energy boost, giving us one more reason to ditch those Red Bulls.

So bravo, MateOverMatter. Looks like you’ve earned a few new disciples.

Joel Marino is a NYC-based freelance writer and editor who enjoys traveling and saying “I told you so” as much as possible. When not writing, he spends his time on a never-ending quest to find the perfect empanada.