It was 2008 in Philadelphia and started with a kiss on the cheek. I was starting a project with consultants from Argentina and really knew nothing about the country or the culture. The consultants walked into our office, the men and women gave a kiss on my cheek and said hello. I then knew their culture was slightly different from my non-kissing US culture. Pretty soon after the kissing, they pulled out a bag that looked like something Pablo Escobar would sell, poured something that looked like some form of weed out of it and into an odd vase shaped cup and put in a weird looking straw. They had now fully caught my attention. What is this mysterious weed tea contraption? They said the tea was actually “Yerba,” the cup was called a “mate,” and the straw was called a “bombilla”. I now also considered myself a fluent Spanish speaker after this lesson ;) They then proceeded to pass this cup between each other, drinking from the SAME straw. The US folks’ eyes widened as it goes against every germ guide we were taught in school. I was now fully intrigued. I am a man who enjoys a routine, so it took me a while to break my terrible “redbull in the morning habit”. It was broken via a type of exposure therapy to yerba mate. The Argentinians would constantly be preparing new mate at every point in the day that I craved some energy. I eventually started taking sips from the group mate and then got hooked on the routine and the energy it gave me. As I worked more with our Argentinian consultants (and now friends), I had the chance to travel to Argentina and realized I had landed in the home of Yerba mate. Everywhere I looked, yerba mate in hands, on tables, on the ground. I had reached a new level in my yerba mate life. I took a bunch of vacations all around Argentina and now every time I prepare my mate, it takes me back to all the great experiences I had there. I started Yerba Crew as a passion project to create a business that gives me an excuse to talk way too much about yerba mate and to spread the word to people that may not know it exists. The products I sell are the products I use myself and that I think others would also like to use. I love to see such a supportive global yerba mate community and hope to help contribute to its growth. Thanks for supporting us and let’s share a mateada in the future!