Today, we decided to make things interesting.
In our office, most of our staff are from other countries or have visited other countries for long periods of time.
So we decided to ask them about their drinking habits that aren’t so American.
Although most of our staff drink the usual water, coffee, and tea, they often have a twist.
For example, Turkish coffee and Turkish Chai tea are very popular in our office for their high caffeine levels.
But there are two beverages that are consumed in this office that are unlike anything in America: Mate, and Nomi Basra.
Our new paralegal, Laura Clark, has been making this drink since she started with us.
She lived in Argentina for 20 years, just recently moving back to the United States.
Most of us were intrigued by it, bombarding her with questions like “What is that?” and “What does it taste like?”
She explained it was an Argentine “tea” called mate. It is made from a plant, Yerba Mate, which is then dried and poured with near-boiling (but never boiling) water.
It creates a sort of tea in the cup, although the leaves are floating loosely in the water rather than in a teabag.
The cup, also called a mate, includes a bombilla, a metal straw with a strainer at the bottom for the leaves.
Laura says it tastes bitter, similar to the way natural green tea tastes, but it can be sweetened with sugar.
The coolest part? Mate is traditionally a social drink, meaning one cup is brewed then passed around a social circle.
Learn more about Mate here.
Marwan Hameed has been at the Hacking Law Practice since 2015, but he was born in Iraq and lived there for the majority of his life.
When asked what his most common international drink of choice was, he responded with “Dried lime juice”, which was met with “how do you drink a dried juice?”.
In Iraq, and other Middle Eastern countries, a common drink is Noomi Basra.
Noomi Basra is made from limes that were dried in the sun, crushed, then made into tea with hot water, then chilled overnight.
Its almost like lemonade, but according to Marwan, “much tastier than lemonade”.
Noomi Basra also has health benefits and is a common household cure for stomach aches or digestion problems.
But it is also has a cultural connection.
Marwan says it is a very common drink when fasting for Ramadan, as it quenches his thirst much more than water.
It is served chilled, and it is common to put sugar in it to make it sweeter.
Learn more about Noomi Basra and the health benefits here.
Do you have a favorite international drink you would like us to try? Send us a recipe and a description of the cultural significance if the drink and we will try it!