The chimarrão (or mate) is a characteristic drink of the culture of southern South America. Is a legacy of the first nations Guaraní. The term mate is used in Castilian language countries (Uruguai, Argentina, Chile…); the term “chimarrão” is used in Brazil, although it is a term derived from the spanish word cimarrón, which means the domesticated cattle returned to the wildlife. The chimarrão was prohibited in the south of Brazil during the XVI century because the Jesuit clericals considered erva mate as the “devil herb”. From the XVII century, they began to encourage its use in order to pull people away from alcohol.

Chimarrão is the symbol of hospitality and friendship of the gaúchos (people from Rio Grande do Sul). The chimarrão is the inspiration of warmth , is the democratic spirit; it is the habit that, hand – in – hand, keeps the flame of tradition and affection; is present in the most remote places of our lands. The man of the field passed the habit for the city, until becoming a regional habit. The Chimarrão is a habit, a tradition, a kind of spontaneous cultural resistance. Chimarrão is composed of a stainless steel straw, a gourd, grinded erva mate and warm water. It tastes sour, and be called as a “Community drink”, although a lot of people will take it all day, even alone. Gaúchos are used to drink chimarrão especially when the family gets together, but you must to offer to visitors or guests when they arrive in your home. The water may not be boiling because it burns the erva mate (herb) and modifies your taste. Should just get hot enough to “sizzle” in the kettle. While the water gets warm, the owner of the house prepares the chimarrão. Drinking chimarrão is like a ceremony. As you pass the chimarrão for the next person beside you, it gets better. This is interpreted poetically as: if you wish something good for the next person, consequently the others will also receive, because they will drink the chimarrão too.

Chimarrão has a lot of benefits:

CSLI Student Manoela from Brazil

CSLI Student Manoela from Brazil

  1. Eliminates fatigue: The mate has alkaloids Eliminate fatigue, both physical and mental.
  2. Digestive: Yerba mate has digestive, laxative properties, combating constipation.
  3. Diuretic propieties
  4. Contains minerals: Yerba mate has minerals: iron, phosphorus, potassium and manganese, supplementing the diet.
  5. Contains antioxidants: Yerba mate has phenolic compounds that combat cell aging.
  6. It helps in cell regeneration: Bioactive mate tea, help in maintaining our cells.
  7. Stimulates physical activity: In addition to heat and eliminate fatigue, will provide more energy in time to face a physical activity.


By Manuela from Brazil

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  1. Maurício says

    In Porto Alegre is very nice to drink a ”chima” seated in the grass in on of the parks of the city or in front of the Guaiba river.

    When you come to POA let´s drink a chima!

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