Mate Tea and Chocolate Submarines in Buenos Aires

Despite experiencing scorching temperatures while in Buenos Aires last year, our guide, Pablo (aka Your Friend in Buenos Aires), was eager for us to try a pair of traditional Argentinean hot drinks.

He took us to Café La Biela, near the famous Cementerio de la Recoleta, to introduce us to the better known of the two, which is called mate.

A Mate kit

Pronounced maat-A, mate is a tea-like beverage popular throughout this part of South America. In fact, it’s considered the national drink of not only Argentina, but also Uruguay and Paraguay, although ironically Brazil is its largest producer.

The server, in this case Pablo, always tries the mate first

Mate is a very slow and social drink, and there is a time-honoured ceremony that revolves around how it’s prepared and shared.

To be honest, though, I found mate a little bitter. And while I enjoyed the unhurried social aspect of drinking it, I much preferred the flavour of the other hot beverage to which Pablo introduced us.

Mate is a bit bitter for my taste, even with sugar agdded

Across town in Café Tortoni, Pablo ordered each of us a Submarino. A few minutes later, several mugs of hot milk arrived at our table, each accompanied by a small bar of milk chocolate shaped like a submarine. The submarines were then ‘sunk’ in the milk, where they slowly melted to create warm, sweet, satisfying, chocolaty goodness!

Dive, dive, dive!

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This post was inspired by the photo themes of Tea and Satisfaction from The Daily Post, and Slow from Paula of Lost in Translation.


About Jaspa

Star of my own award-winning adventure novels, Jaspa's Journey. Geocaching addict & F1 fan. Adventure Journeyer & blogger extraordinaire. Check out my website: And don’t forget to download the books and see what the buzz is all about!
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13 Responses to Mate Tea and Chocolate Submarines in Buenos Aires

  1. Jesska says:

    I haven’t been to Argentina, so I haven’t tried either, but I can almost definitely say I’d prefer the submarino…. What a cool idea for the chocolate to be shaped like a submarine 🙂

  2. The submarine looks like fun. 🙂 I’ve had mate before, so my thought was that maybe it was over-brewed. I worked at a tea shop and the five kinds we brewed, including the original were never bitter.


  3. Pingback: Satisfaction: Offspring | What's (in) the picture?

  4. Pingback: WPC: Satisfaction | Lillie-Put

  5. Pingback: THURSDAY’S SPECIAL: SLOW | Lost in Translation

  6. Paula says:

    Delicious post, Jaspa. Congratulations on your books! 🙂

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