Pronounced "Yerba MAHtay." Popular name of the sub-tropical shrub "Ilex Paraguariensis." South American herbal tea consumed mainly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil. National drink of Argentina. Contains a caffeine-like xanthine that produces pleasant coffee-like stimulation and relaxation, without the jangliness of caffeine.
Yerba Mate is traditionally consumed by sucking the brewed tea out of a small dried gourd (the Mate) through a metal straw called a bombilla (bomBEEya).