Thursday, March 02, 2006

Yerba Mate Question.. and then his brain is off like a wild horse..

So I received an email from a friend the other day asking me about where I get my Yerba. The following is my response.

Hi Jason!
Thanks for the encouragement.
About the Yerba question. I haven't ever purchased Yerba goods online. I usually make my purchases at a Laminate Flooring/Importer in Abbotsford. If you could find an importer near you it may be better for you to buy through her/him.
It may be however that you'll need to use the internet for you purchasing.
Most of the people at Camp drink Pajarito but I've also enjoyed Cruz de Malta. To start you'll definitely want to buy a bombillia and a guampa (or matero depending on what they call it). A themos is very helpful. I have two. One has a pump top on it, like a large coffee pump, the other I bought at Mountain Equipment as it is more secure for travelling. If you're interested in drinking it cold (terere) then you may want to think of getting a large container that can accommodate ice as well. Add a little lemon to the water and it's very good.

Anyways.. I hope you have a good day and many enjoyable yerba mate experiences. And I look forward to the when next we meet. May the Mate flow. ;)

Your buddy,

Speaking of Mate it's always interesting going into a new situation where people aren't familiar with the customs or appearance of Mate. The usual questions arise. Is that a bong? What are you smoking? (Being from BC people of course assume that I smoke pot) What are you doing? Is that some form of sex toy? (I've actually gotten that one once. I'm not really sure what they were thinking and I don't really want to know). I find many things amusing about these situations. There are the people who come out and ask you straight up, and then there are those who observe from a distance but don't ask.

But not all the people you meet are unaware of the Mate goodness. Usually there are a couple people who respond with "you're not a part of that cult too?" or something along those lines. I could respond by directing their attention to the number of people who daily offer their sacrifices and pay their tithes at the Church of Coffee. And of a sudden I suppose, in this culture, in this part of the world, that is the orthodox faith. The morning cup all prepared and presented before you. Instant gratification. Pay money. Get coffee. Throw out the cup. Repeat. Of course there are some who still grind and brew their own and take a travel mug. Perhaps they're more a "reformer," back to the basics.

I enjoy the ritual of putting the mate in the guampa, shaking, settling, soaking, preparing, inserting the bombillia while boiling the water and filling the thermos. Perhaps it's similar for the coffee brewers. I suspect it may be. Daily rituals the bring some form of comfort and continuity to the day. If only for this time everything is going as planned. The spiritual act of imbibing. Taking the time to do it right. And that's something I've discovered about my spirituality. My journey. Taking the time to do it right is difficult but rewarding. Sure people can just go buy a cup of coffee. There's instant mate and prepackaged mate tea bags as well. And I could go this route and sacrifice something else in the name of progress and expediency. But what a sacrifice that would really be. It seems to me that it isn't how many things I fit in a day that brings me peace, joy, contentment, but rather knowing that I've done the things I've done well. Like taking the time to prepare, pour, and partake.

And in the meantime and inbetween times I'll remain doing the different thing, walking a slightly skewed path, trying to live my life as best I'm able, and being thankful for the friends along the way.

Thank you all for your friendship,

Hmmm... perhaps I should look at the benefit of Mate friendships as well.

An addendum: I hope that this in no way is seen as a coffee vs mate battle. I believe that there is beauty and joy in each. My desire is that people would be introduced to the joy in process that can play a wonderfully rewarding role in our lives. What I am against is the lie of instant gratification that much like westernised Chinese food fills you momentarily but leaves you hungry in a short time. So we have instant everything and it's consuming our resourses and filling our dumps. How much is "convenience" taking from us?

Nor am I refuting the enjoyment people get from the coffee prepared for them by someone else in the store setting. I just think that perhaps their is a deeper element awaiting behind. Perhaps peeking out. OK OK. I like simplicity and being frugal. May you just enjoy what you do. At least enjoy it. Please. This is what I enjoy. ;)


Anonymous said...

Hey jordan, it's jordon, what's the location of that importer in abbotsford, i've been meaning to get my hands of a guampa and bombilla for a while now, had it all set up with the deej until he disappeared upto vancouver. Figure if i don't get one now i never will, and its a good drink / random conversation starter. Anwyays hope all's going well with you friend, God Bless.

Jordon Prokuda

Jordan said...

Hey Barracuda!
Thanks for the email. It is going well for me. The importers in on George Ferguson Way in a plaza on the right (if you're coming down from Clearbrook). It's the plaza before the Shell Station. There's a soccer west in their too I believe. Anyways.. have a gooder.