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The Man Behind the Mate

Published September 24th, 2012

Its hard to forget the oppressive summer heat in Paraguay. Terere, an ice cold tea made of Yerba Mate, was my only antidote. Circa 1990 while serving in the Peace Corps we visited a small, rural factory that processed Yerba Mate, the national beverage of Paraguay. In order to prepare the leaves for steeping like tea, they were baked over a wood furnace as they spun in a giant tub much like a clothes drier. This man's job was to to keep that furnace in the basement stoked red hot, like the Paraguayan sun.

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