Meta Moment

This generation today spends more time communicating with people in far off lands than any of our ancestors. Many rely on their digital devices as a main source of entertainment and education as we grope our ways through the intangible world wide web

Real life mates are a luxury, in the post pandemie drinking a mate together is as endangered as the forests where these leaves originate from. Rituals are a memory of the past like ancient civilizations. And our thirst to consume can never be quenched. 

In 2010 internationally acclaimed digital artist Michael Saup illustrated the magnitude of our internet consumption by juxtaposing a pyramid made of coal bricks next to an image of the pyramids in Giza. Pyramid Niger, or the avatar of the internet, according to Saup, would have a base of 1422 metres and height of 905 meters. This black pyramid towers over and proportionally illustrated the size the CO2 footprint of our energy consumption of the internet in 2009 101

It is alarming to imagine what that image would look like today as we continue to burn fossil fuels and destroy our forests to sustain our modern way of life with all of its conveniences. The so-called ‚last generation‘ in Berlin has resorted to annoying actions to draw attention to this matter as of late. And while we applaud their attitude, as mate activists we advocate alternative methods. 

In 2012, Saup created a minature mate mountain which provided a strong contrast to Niger, illustrating the amount of renewable forest green energy needed to sustain communication and connection over a Meta Moment. 

These days we are overloaded with endless options and especially those in urban settings often find themselves caught up in the constant stream of social media meet ups…..We often forget to take the time to stop, take a deep breathe, fill ourselves up wiht gratitude and share these feelings of joy with those around. 

At the core of our Meta Mate Mission lies the belief that if everyone were to engange in the daily or at least weekly practice of drinking a mate alone or with others we as people and our planet would be a happier and healthier ecosystem. 

A little bit of Mate goes a long way

It’s not about the quantity but the quality

23g MetaMate + 1LH20 = 1 meta-moment

69g of MetaMate + 6L H20 + 3 ppl = 1 ∞moment

We invite you to give it a try. 

And for those of you in Berlin, Michael Saup’s Avatar will be exhibited from 12 May – 16 July 2023 at. Uferhallen – Uferstraße 8 – 13357 Berlin Wedding

The time is now…..

Sometimes it falls upon a generation to be great. History is calling from the future, a hundred years from now. Calling the conscience of humanity to act with the fierce urgency of now. This is the time. 

The third world war — of profit versus life — is already underway. Humanity itself is on the brink of the abyss: our potential extinction. We face a breakdown of all life, the tragedy of tragedies: the unhallowed horror. 

Time is broken and buckled, and seasons are out of step so even the plants are confused. Ancient wisdoms are being betrayed: to every thing there was a season, a time to be born and a time to be a child, protected and cared for, but the young are facing a world of chaos and harrowing cruelty. In the delicate web of life, everything depends on everything else: we are nature and it is us, and the extinction of the living world is our suicide.

Something in the human spirit, too, is threatened with extinction. Many feel exhausted, ignored, lonely and anxious. Humiliated by poverty and inequality, crushed by debt, powerless, controlled and trapped, many feel defrauded of what should rightly be theirs. Societies are polarised, people estranged from each other and sundered from the living world.

Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars, and they are lining up now to write rebellion across the skies. There is no choice.

This is a rebellion for the young people and for the ancestors.

This is for the forests and the forest medicines, for the trees of wisdom, the trees of life and the living waters of the Nile and the Yangtze, the Tigris and the Ganges. This is for the seven seas, in seven directions, down to the seventh generation.. 

The world’s resources are being seized faster than the natural world can replenish them. Children can do the maths on this, and know they are being sent the bill. 

Worldwide, the heaviest emissions have been produced by the richest nations, while the heaviest consequences are being felt by the poorest. Reparation is needed. So is recognition: that Europe stole its wealth through its imperialism, colonialism and slavery. 

Indigenous cultures have suffered the devastation of their lands, the extinction of their languages, knowledge and wisdom. And in their rebellions they have long evoked an Earth manifesto, saying we are the land: as earth-guardians, we are nature defending itself; land is alive, unfathomably deep, and there is intelligence within nature, thinking, spirited and alive.

Extinction Rebellion is a rebellion against the heartless, loveless and lifeless delusion of seeing Earth as dead matter; against patriarchy’s domination and control of women and the Earth, against the militarism that destroys living lands, wages war for oil and kills those who protect the green world. 

This rebellion uses the finest weapons: peace, truth and love. It is strictly non-violent as an active stance — Ahimsa — preventing violence. For this, it is willing to take disruptive, loving and effective direct action, thinking big. Take the planet off the stock market. Make ecocide law. Rebel with cause. Rebel with creativity. Rebel with compassion. Rebel together because together we are irresistible.

With serious, clear-eyed urgency, we have to mobilise now for deep adaptation for what is inevitable. Humans are by nature cooperative, and times of crisis can be times when life is lived transcendently, for a purpose beyond the self. No individual alone is fully human, as the African concept Ubuntu shows: our humanity results from being in connection with each other. Believing that there is no Them and Us, only all of us together, 

This is life in rebellion for life.

– curated by Jay Griffiths with XR UK Vision team

Bio for the Butterflies!

Pesticides? No Thank you! Together with the Alliance for a Grandkids‘ suited Agriculture we are providing a model for biodynamic sintropic reforestation. The reforestation project was relaunched in January 2020 to prepare the ground for planting a project that will bear fruits for future generations.

In February 2020 we were joined by Stefan Voelkel, (organic juice producer) to explore the benefits of planting Biodynamic Mate. Together with Voelkel Juice from Germany we want to ensure that there are organic mate forests for future generations#mate#reforestation#demeter#drinkrenewableforestenergy#butterfly

Mate drinking is about cooperative connections. Biozisch – von Baume zum Brause. We are happy to co-create projects with our partners #reforestation#drinkrenewableforestenergy#metamate#corporateresponsibility#sintropia#ackergifteneindanke

Plan(t) ing our future! We 💚 our mates and want to make sure that younger generations can enjoy this euphoric drink around the world. Drink Renewable Forest Energy! Von Baum zum Brause!  #biozisch#reforestation#greenenergy#demeter#ackergifteneindanke

We want to one day see Mate forests with beautiful butterflies flying around! And thanks to the reforestation project with Voelkel Juice this will one day become a reality. Here in this video Stefan explains the significance of the reforestation work we are starting.

4 Generations & Further – Family Gehm

The Family Gehm – Felipe, Ticiano & Simone Gehm. Fabricio do Canto. Vilsom & Salete Gehm, Leticia & Raven, Tiago Gehm.
Photos by Victor Hugo Cecatto

Autonomous farmers like Family Gehm are now officially permitted to produce organic craft mates. Although they are not yet officially Demeter certified, the practices and values of those families goes beyond, and normally agencies and university teachers come to learn about mate and forest agriculture from them. They are pioneers!

20 years ago Vilsom Gehm transformed soya monoculture into mate forest. Meta Mate’s Moonshine Mates are harvested in the twilight under the full moon, processed before sunrise, using aromatic medicinal wood to dry the leaves. The Family Gehm is the very first and still the only family in Brazil allowed by law to harvest and process mate in traditional small scale model.

Since 4 generations the Family Gehm has been producing Mate and are still going strong. Felipe Gehm says when he grows up he wants to help his dad make mate and we look forward to enjoying future harvests.

The January 2020 harvest will be available soon at

Drink Renewable Forest Energy

Committed to protecting climate creating forests, but also bring the highest quality of nourishment to men, animals and for the forest itself, Meta Mate has embarked on a regenerative agricultural project with German drink producer Voelkel.

The area that will be reforested

Before one can harvest the fruits, or in this case leaves, one has to plant, and before one plants one has to ensure that the ground is fertile. And this is what we are currently doing, preparing the soil to convert 3 hectares of what was once Soya monoculture back into forest over the next 5 years.

The pH in the soil was balanced with pineapple and then Manioca was planted to create the shade that the mate tree will need. The nitrogen levels in the soil were regulated by the planting of high and low beans and larger branches were placed around the area to physically protect it and aid the accumulation of water in case of a drought.
Syntropy instructor and Campense Farmer Pedro Paulo Barros Lima, guided us in the the system of Ernst Goetsch.
We are thankful to count on our friends at Creluz once again for the support by the donation ofnative trees and medicinal herbs saplings

In addition Creluz willbe growing some new mate saplings for us in their nursery from

Creluz Nursery where our Mate seeds will sprout.

Since the very beginning Meta Mate has been committed towards restoring the forests where our mate comes from. This is a continuation on the same piece of land which we started in 2015 with the support of Club Mate


Mate is the fuel that keeps the congress going. For those who attended Mate Making workshops or drank Mate with us at the 36C3 you can FIND THEM HERE

We all drink lots of Mate at the Congress. Pur your bottle aside and let’s try the real thing! Besides the mind awakening and muscle relaxing effects, mate drinking fosters communication

We will combine these aspects in hands on workshops and tasting sessions where participants will be guided through some simple exercises to envigourMATE their daily routine. WE WILL BE DRINKING IN TRADITIONAL STYLE SHARING OUR STRAWS!!!!

The Mate Making Sessions are divided up into 3 parts DAY 1 – We will try a range of standard different mates, pure and learn about how to make, drink and share as well as talk about the health benefits of Mate. DAY 2 – This is not for the purists, we will mix our Mates with different herbs and go through the Rainbow Mate Range, so that you can learn how to play with your Mate. DAY 3 – And now it is time to make your own Mate, learn how to prepare and serve. 

We’re going to get you on your feet to take a deep breath of fresh air, teach you how to take a huge slurp of wild mate and how to communiMATE

There are also Mate Tasting Sessions at the Tea House every Afternoon Day 1-3

Lunar Legacy

An eclipse is a time of introspection....a time to go inside and reflect. Without sounding to esoteric, this is also the function of a good mate, to take the time alone, or together with someone to share a moment. The Guarani were said to sit under the stars and have visions while drinking a mate....
It is easy in our modern day and age to forget about these primeval connections that we humans have with the world around us as we quickly prepare our mate to get that morning fix of energy. But perhaps glimpses of this come in a momentary flash while sipping on one of Meta Mate's lunar legacies.

There are rational explanations to ancient superstitions. Although the mate is an evergreen (meaning that the leaves do not fall in winter) the tree like most life goes into a state of hibernation in winter. If one does not wait for the first frost, the fragile sprouts of a freshly cut mate tree will freeze if the temperatures fall below 3°C having fatal effects. Similar to the moon's magnectic affect on the ocean which causes high tide during full moon, the force of the moon pulls the saps of the upwards, thus concentrating all of the healing properties of the mate tree in the leaf. Inaddition, the full moon lights up the forest making it possible to harvest at dawn before the sun rises without any need for external light.

Lucid Dream Harvest.

It is true that every harvest that we do is unique with it’s fresh flavors and wild energies and. Meta Mate’s July 2019 Moonshine Harvest is certainly no exception.

The moon was shining brightly in the forest as Tiago and Ticiano Gehm together with a couple of helpers (including Fabricio) moved amongst the trees on the Family Gehm’s property. There had been a partial eclipse spanning a few hours the night before, the temperatures had already hit zero a week ago, we could not have had more perfect conditions for this harvest. In order to ensure that this would be a memorable mate, we selected the same piece of forest where three years ago the legendary leaves from the Dream Harvest were collected.

The only sound to be heard in the stillness of the night in the forest was that of the knives slicing the tender branches of the mate trees, the leaves illuminated by the moonlight. As Tiago, Ticiano and Tiaginho wove through the trees, climbing up with knive in hand, Fabricio dragged the cut branches towards the dirtroad so that could be later loaded onto the truck.

We lit and incense and drank a mate and gave thanks to the forest spirit and ancestors who made this harvest possible

As the first sun rays pierced through the horizon, the last branches were carried out of the forest.

Everyone gathered to drink a Mate prepared by Salete Gehm. Sir Vilsom walked through the forest to inspect the cutting done to the trees and gave pointers of what could have been done better.

It was time to separte the leaves from the branches (with knife or hand) and load them onto the truck.

An hour and a half later the truck was loaded with about 750 kg of green leaves which were driven a few meters away to the pass through the flames and undergo the sapeco.

Driving the morning’s harvest in for sapeco.
Sr. Vilsom unloading the truck.

The crackling of the leaves intermingled with the rythmic rotation of the wheel as sparks as leaves exploded in this intermediatry Sapeco process of Opening the Eyes.

The first batch of leaves were then layered onto the racks of the barbaqua to dry (with heat travelling through the hole at the bottom of the barbacua (this connected to a fireplace some meters outside the wooden structure.

While the collection was an average of 3 hours, the separating the leaves from the branches another 2 hours, the sapeco one hour, the mate leaves spent about 40 hours in the Barbacua drying.

Two days after harvesting the Barbaqua was opened up and the leaves were sent to ‚canchear‘ (a coarse cutting). In former times this was done manually, however during the legalisatoin process of the barbaqua, Tiago Gehm had to create a ‚hack‘ to please the local authorities and consructed a machine where the leaves could travel directly from the barbacua to the milling facilities and be coarsely cut on the way.

Traditionally after this the Mate is put in the Soque (a mill) where over the course of 6 hours the wooden pillars pound down upon the mate leaves to create a fine powder out of this. Normally about 120kg can be milled at a time. However, in the case of this July harvest the leaves were just cut one more time and then vaccum packed for our leafy cut fans.

This mate arrived in Berlin in October 2019 and we look forward to the lucid light that it will spread amongst our materos.


Although Meta Mate specialises in hand made mate coming from biodiverse forests, we do see the value of working hand and hand with the industry and value all technological innovations that add to the variety of mate production.

understand mate, this product perhaps lies on the other end of the spectrum when compared to the Moonshine Meta Mates. The latter is collected only seasonally in small quantities under the full moon from a biodiverse forest. The Cambona 4, on the other hand is collected throughout the year from plantatons consisting of a single species of mate and processed together in a factory in Machadinho (where the 23 is also milled and packed). 

The town of Machadinho was founded in the 1950’s in the northern part of Rio Grande do Sul. Milk production and Soya are the two biggest industries with Mate production being the third. In the 1980’s Professor EvandroBarreto de Melowho spent a lot of time researching various cross-breeds of mate came up with the Cambona 4.


A mate that was mild in flavor (thus making it palatable for the masses without the addition of sugar), and more importantly for the farmers the plant was resistant and grew rapidly, thus increasing productivity in the region.

While many producers applaud the discovery of the Cambona 4 as a revolution in the Mate growing world, there are critics as well who warn of the threat of biodiversity for Mate if Cambona is taken to other producing regions as it’s rapid growth allows it to spread faster than other native trees. 

In the 1990’s the production of the Cambona was regulated by a local Cooperative which went bankrupt and the Cambona proejct nearly died with this until Barao de Cotegipe stepped in 2012 and took over. Today 30% of the population is employed by Barao Erva Mate Ltda and the Cambona project is flourishing under a company that has its priority in Mate. 

Around 15000kg of Cambona leaves are collected and processed through the factory per day which yields about 5000kg of dry Mate. On average the collection takes place 5 days a week from early morning until midday. In the summer, more leaves are collected as the sun rises earlier. Neigboring families work together rotating the collection from each others plantation. 

It is easiy to see the prosperity in the region due to the Cambona, with signs in front of every family property documenting the amount of Arrobas (15 kilos of fresh leeaves) annually and the price paid for these leaves. 

Ther eare about 480 families who are registered in the Cambona Cooperative as growers and they profit from having a secure income. Barao guarentees to purchase all leaves that are collected.

Sr. Nego who has produced mate all his life (his grandfather used to make traditional Carijo Mate and then he joined the Cooperative), oversees the productions in Machadinho. He is proud to see his region prosper with the innovation of the Cambona. 

23 Trails

In the Mate world, it is a well known fact that the best leaves come from the forest in Parana. In former times, before Argenntina produced mate, leaves from Parana were shipped down the River Iguacu to Argentina and Uruguay. 

Barao always sourced its premium Mate from this region and following our visit in 2017 to the region it was possible to certify one of their producers in the area so that we could officially source our organic certified 23 Mate from the native Mate forests in Pinhao, Parana. 

The Meta Difference – 23 might be our mate for the mass market, yet even in its production, Meta Mate teamed up with the best – Barao – renowned for their freshness and the leaves are sourced from some of the most pristine mate forests that exist. 

Driving through the Parana mountains for hours on end, a sea of green is all that meets the eyes; A roof of Arucaria and pines is what mostly dominate the view, providing shelter to the mate that grows underneath protected by the shade of these enorumous trees. There is no way that this mate (certified or not) cannot be organic, and it is anything but plantation Mate. 

Those who think that Mate is a herb (YERBA MATE) or bush certainly have not visited the native Mate forests of Parana.

While most of the native forests in Rio Grande do Sul have unfortuantely succumbed to the Soya industry, Parana is pristine in comparison. However one does notice monocultural planations of trees in the midst of the forest. Deforesatoin is disguised in regions as densification with quick growing pine trees which are then harvested for wood (along with the rest of the native trees). 

Sr. Antonio Mendez who stems from the region of Pinhao (which takes its name from the pine nuts harvested from the Araucaria trees), has worked with mate all his life. He sees the value of the biodiversity in his region, and notes that the more he cares for his forests the more mate he is able to harvest from there. Today he owns 700 hectares of primeval forest where Meta Mate 23 is sourced from. 

Sr. Mendez is proud of the quality of his leaves and anxious to take us through his forests to show us the mate trees that grow within a meter of each other on all sides. He explains to us, that if the forest is freed from vines and other weeds more mate trees naturally grow. The close proximity to each other makes it easy to collect many leaves in a small area. 

The Mate trees are trimmed to about 2 meters in height with sufficient green being left to grow again. Once harvested, a piece of forest is not touched for 2 years.

Collection takes places througout the year, and approximately 15000 kg of mate leaves are harvested per week (on average) . Mendez contracts ‚Tareferos‘ independent mate harvesters who go around from one region of the forest to the other to harvest the leaf. Usually a group of 5-10 men camp out in an area (where rustical boarding and food is provided) and spend 5 days collecting leaves. After a weeks worth of work they often go home for a few days and then return to harvest again. 

On the day that we visited, they had collected about 50 bundles (each one weighing on average 80kg) 

The tareferas are paid per kg that they collect, so the are free to work as much as they want to per day. Their names are etched onto the bamboo vines that hold together the balls of mate that are brought to the clearing at the end of the day which are piced up by a tractor at the end of the day. 

Once they are done with collecting, the tareferas gather around the fire to drink mate, grill meat, play cards and have a good time together. 

Cultural context has to be taken into account when referring to the wages and working conditions of the tareferas. When we arrived at the camp with Sr. Mendez he was greated warmly by the tareferas who enjoy the untame life in the parana prairies.

Once they are done with collecting, the tareferas gather around the fire to drink mate, grill meat, play cards and have a good time together. 

  • Author’s note: Revering the Gaucho culture of freedom and life in the pampa, we recognize those traces in the men who prefer this lifestyle instead of the comforts of wage and routines of a city life