This national beverage (loaded with caffeine) originally comes from Paraguay, southern Brazil and Argentina. The tea comes from the green leaves of a type of holly that is said to have many beneficial effects. Drinking Mate out of one cup was a ritual and sometimes had the function of a peace-pipe with the natives. Later Brazilian Mate became the most popular drink of the Gauchos, the South American cowboys. Mostly enjoyed outside at the campfire, it became the national drink in almost every country in the continent over the years. The caffeine is bound to tannic substances and is set free in the body very mildly. Hence, its stimulating effect lasts longer than that of coffee.