Fresh From Origin
A species of holly, the leaves, and twigs of the South American Yerba Mate plant have long been enjoyed as a steeped beverage traditionally brewed in a hollowed-out gourd called a cuia or guampa and sipped with a specialized metal straw called a bomba or bombilla.
Culturally significant as an energizing social drink, Yerba Mate' is often shared at gatherings with family or friends, passing the gourd from person to person, no doubt ensuring lively conversation.
Toucans, the colorfully beaked birds more known for peddling fruit flavored breakfast cereals, long played a significant role in the dispersal of mate plant seeds. The seeds have a hard husk and needed a ride in the Toucan's digestive juices to sprout. Modern cultivation involved scarring the seedpods with sand to facilitate sprouting.