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 specialised metal straw called a bomba or bombilla. Culturally significant as an energising 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 colourfully beaked birds more known for peddling fruit-flavoured breakfast cereal, 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 involves scarring the seedpods with sand to facilitate sprouting.