I was at the flower show on Thursday and wandering through the marketplace section, looking for
free samples new and interesting things, when I came across a tea merchant stall. Ever since I taste tested fresh, exotic, blended loose leaf teas, I have been unwilling to go back to the store brands. Last summer I was introduced to Yerba Mate tea. It has more antioxidants than green tea and has many health benefits. But mostly, I liked the taste.
But then I saw the display of gourds and metal straws, I immediately thought of Betty in Paraguay. Betty had casually mentioned in her blog about having tereré. Then she had to explain what it was, which you can read here. (Or you can check the link above for Yerba Mate).
Anyway, I thought this was pretty neat to learn about the South American way of drinking this tea out of a gourd with a straw (bombilla) last week, then to actually find them. And I love meeting people who are so excited about their product. He happily opened as many jars of tea to let me smell as I wished all the while sharing information about the flavours and differences and benefits. And he was excited that I had just learned a little about these strange cups.
It was just too interesting to pass up, so I had to buy one. I was instructed how to 'season' the gourd (fill with hot water and let it sit overnight), how to fill the gourd with the tea leaves and how to drink from the metal straw. That metal straw had me a little worried.
I bought a Mango Yerba Mate and a Lemon Rooibos tea to try. One teaspoon into the cup. Fill with hot water. Let it sit - keeping the metal straw out of the hot water!
My gourd has been seasoned and the tea steeped...
It is difficult to get around the idea of drinking something hot through a straw. This is not meant for fast consumption, but for savouring.
The straw makes for a more intense flavour.
Almost in the same way that drinking through the little hole in the takeout cup lids will do.
This might take a bit of getting used to.
I wish I had a bigger gourd...