Tonight I spent the evening sharing stories with friends about Spain, Uruguay, Argentina and Germany. We traded Spanish music and listened to some Manu Chao & reggaeton. Ronaldo, from Buenos Aires, taught us how to make empanadas and Molly shared her maté with us.
It was a little slice of international heaven.
Matí and Pablo, my Argentine friends from Santa Fe, introduced me to maté while I was in Madrid. It is a very strong green tea with a whole culture behind it. I love the rituals behind this drink. You don't say thank you until you are finished, which may take awhile because it is meant to be shared with friends. You drink maté out of a gourd with a metal straw called a bombilla (bom-bisha). It is delicious and has a lot of téina (caffeine).
Molly added sugar to it, which I hadn't seen done before. Yum! Ronaldo told me that some people drink maté with cold orange juice instead of hot water in the summer.
The video is of my silly Czech friend Adam (wearing a Spanish fútbol jersey) teaching everyone how to drink Argentine tea in Aluche, Madrid. Unfortunately for most of you, it is in Spanish. But you may be able to get an idea of the drink by watching it.