People of Uruguay are passionate about two things — mate and football. No matter where you go, you will always find people discussing the latest game while drinking mate with a thermos tucked under their armpit.
This passion borders on obsession — 85% of Uruguayans drink mate daily and consume nearly 10kg of yerba per person per year — that makes Uruguay the largest yerba mate consumer per capita in the world!
Ironically, Uruguay doesn’t grow any yerba mate at all. Small area of this 3 million people country is occupied by livestock farming and other agriculture, so Uruguayan brands outsource their yerba mate to Southern Brazilian states — Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and Paraná.
Uruguayan yerba mate typically has a very distinctive powdery cut, similar to Brazilian erva mate. Also, unlike their Argentine neighbors, Uruguayans prefer bigger gourds, usually made from the top part of a calabash plant, also known as porongo.