Before I came here to Argentina, I'd honestly never even heard of mate (pronounced MA-te, with "ma" as in "muster", and "te" as in "test"), let alone been aware that it's the country's most-prided national beverage. But now that I'm here, I've quickly become educated about it; and to visit Argentina without trying the famous drink would be nothing less than sacrilege. So, when I was offered a cupful today, I gladly accepted. It is quite a bitter tea — but it's not that bad, and I think that LP's description of mate-drinking as being akin to "ingesting horse $hit" is a bit harsh. However, I can see that, to put it mildly, mate is an acquired taste.