Argentina Epilogue - Yerba Mate
Having cured my gourd, I finally tried this stuff out today. I don't even know if I got the whole procedure right as one is apparently supposed to invert the gourd cup, tilt the tea leaves to one side, insert the bombilla straw, pour a little cold water in first, and then finally pour in hot (not boiling) water.
Well, basically this did have a rather strong taste...kinda like a dark Chinese tea, but also with a very "green" taste, if that means anything. It was bitter, but it had a hint of sweetness in it too (apparently one can also add sugar if he really wants to). Actually, I'm pretty sure that I didn't do this perfectly as I still got some particles coming through the straw, the elimination of which was one of the objectives of that whole ritual.
I don't know if I put in the correct amount of yerba in either, as I filled it up quite liberally, and thus leaving me with very little room for liquid to brew (and hence requiring frequent refills). It sure was a lot stronger than that toasted mate tea bag stuff that I had one morning in Brazil. Well, hopefully I can figure out how to do this correctly.