Today Orlando — tomorrow the world!
On my latest trip to Florida, I scheduled a site visit and an interview with the country’s newest yerba mate entrepreneur. John Guerra is the self-described “owner and janitor” of the Yerba Yerba Cafe and Workshop. He has focused his considerable exuberance on creating an exciting new yerba mate business in Orlando and his goal is to make the yerba mate experience more user friendly for the U.S. market. By the time I left, I had concluded — If you could make money by selling enthusiasm and innovation, John was destined to become a millionaire.
Today Orlando — tomorrow the world!
Cigars and pipes upstage yerba mate!
A few weeks ago I saw an early screening of the newest movie about an Ernesto Che Guevara starring Oscar winner Benicio Del Toro. In the movie Bernicio was smoking either the stereotypical Cuban cigar or a pipe in almost every scene. Meanwhile, yerba mate was only granted token acknowledgement just two scenes out of a total running time of 257 minutes. That’s a butt-numbing 4 hours and 18 minutes and there was a half hour intermission to boot!
Yerba mate is just one of many jewels found in the treasure chest of the South American rainforest.
Leslie Taylor, ND has earned many titles, but none seems to give her more delight than her moniker “White Witch of the Amazon.” The dynamic Texan tells a fascinating story of fighting off death with the help of a secret weapon – herbs from the South American rainforest. I found Leslie’s story so compelling that I doggedly pursued her for an interview for more than a year and a half. This post is about more than yerba mate; it’s about the benefits of all rainforest herbs.
Imagine this: You’re sitting in a garden patio in the Sunnyslope suburb of Greater Phoenix. You can hear birds chirping in trees that provide a welcomed shade in Arizona’s notorious Valley of the Sun. You smile to yourself. This is not the region’s traditional cactus garden; it’s an unexpected oasis. You sip your yerba mate from a leather covered gourd and occasionally pour a little more hot water from your thermos so you can sip – and smile – some more. You’re at peace. Life is good.
Ian Dell’Aquila is a Porteño at heart. A Porteño, literally a “port person,” is from the Rio de la Plata region of South America. This includes a large area surrounding the ports at Buenos Aires and Rosario in Argentina and extending across the river to the port at Montevideo, Uruguay. Almost all Porteños drink yerba mate. Yerba mate is as much a source of identity and pride to the Porteños as their unique Castellano Rioplatense dialect of the Spanish language.
On Sunday, October 5, 2008, I will be conducting a seminar on yerba mate in downtown Long Beach, California. Don’t miss this chance to learn more about yerba mate.
The following story was originally posted on March 17, 2008. When I learned that it contained a factual error, IÂ immediately took itÂ down.Â The story has now been corrected. Please accept my apology.
Materva (a contraction of mate and erva) just could be the original yerba mate soft drink. TheÂ origin of Materva reportedly dates back to the 1920′s. This unique, carbonated beverage was marketed by LaPaz, S.A., a bottling company in Cuba, but following the Cuban Revolution in 1959, LaPaz was nationalized as part of the Communist movement. The popular yerba mate drink could have disappeared forever, but thanks to another Cuban company, itÂ became available in the United States.
Last week while traveling in Northern California my wife PattiÂ and I made a stop in Sebastopol. Sebastopol is one of those sleepy little towns that people in the big city dream about. It’s in the heart of the wine country region of Sonoma County where the fresh air, nearby redwood forests, terraced vineyards, lush green scenery and a slower-paced lifestyle beg city-dwellers to come visit.
Just a few blocks from the center of this little town is the brand new Guayaki Yerba Mate Bar. At last, a yerba mate bar that unabashedly sells yerba mate any way you want it. There is no hiding behind a long list of coffees and teas; this is the real deal. The place sells healthy organic food, snacks and yerba mate — just like mate bars in South America.
Santa Barbara, California is gearing up for the Santa Barbara Writers Conference in June 2008. This annual event has attracted an impressive following since its inception in 1973 and more than 400 “wordsmiths” are expected to attend this year. You ask: “What do writers have to do with yerba mate?”