Mate, o more precisely yerba mate, is a national hot drink, that is drunk in Argentina even more than coffee. The plant itself is nothing extraordinary, the leaf is harvested in Argentine Northeastern region, and the provinces of Misiones and Corrientes are the biggest producers. When Spaniards ventured around this region, they started drinking mate because the guaraní aboriginal inhabitants had drunk it for a long time.
Jesuits were the first to become interested in the plant in the 17th century: they started to grow this plant in a more systematic way not so wildly to start marketing it. And, eventually, the consumption increased to extend geographically along Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, Southern Brazil and Paraguay, which has become a great producer. A peculiarity: after Uruguay and Brazil, Syria is the main importer of Argentine yerba mate.