Drinking mate together is a an authentic South American way to bond. Some people claim to have mastered the “art of mate making” by adding their own unique touch to the infusion. These personal ways of preparing mate often convey hidden meanings that have become popular in South American culture.

Below you will find a list of the hidden meanings behind the most common ways to prepare a mate infusion. Enjoy.

Bitter mate (mate amargo): Symbolizes strength and huger for life.

Sweet & foaming mate (mate dulce y espumoso): friendship, affection.

Boiling mate (mate hirviendo): hate.

Very sweet mate (mate muy dulce): when prepared by a women and given to a man, it means love and intention towards marriage. It’s time to meet her parents.

Very sweet and hot mate (Mate muy dulce y caliente): when prepared by a woman and given to a man, it means passion and lust.

Washed mate (mate lavado): Indifference.

Mate with cinnamon (mate con el aditivo de canela): conveys interest; thinking about you.

Mate with orange peels (mate con cáscara de naranja): if served before a journey, it means that the person is awaiting your return or wishes for you to come back for him or her.

Weak mate (mate largo): A weak mate is a mate with too much water and little yerba. If someone serves you a weak mate, it means they have lack of interest for you or are not worried about you at all.

Strong mate (mate corto): Contrary to the weak mate, a short mate lacks water and is not enough for several rigorous sips. This means that the person serving you will need to tend to your gourd more frequently. This usually means they want to see you more often.

Cold mate (mate frío): Contempt

Mate with melissa buds (mate con torongil): disgust.

Mate with brown sugar (mate con azucar quemada): sympathy.

Mate with tea (mate con té): indifference.

Mate and coffee (mate con café): offense forgiven.

Mate with molasses (mate con melaza): compassion.

Mate with milk (mate con leche): esteem.

Mate with cedrón (mate con Cedrón): acceptance.

Mate with honey (mate con miel): marriage.

Mate with embú (mate con Ombú): embú is a natural laxative. Mate with embú means the person who prepared wishes to get rid of you.

Sparkling mate (mate espumoso): exaggerated love.

Mate with lemon (mate con limón): the person does not wish to see you again.

Clogged mate (mate tapado): If someone serves you a clogged up mate and they are an experienced matero,  it usually means rejection.