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Practices and traditional knowledge of Terere in the culture of Pohã Ñana
Traditional tereré of water and herbs
RegionLatin America and the Caribbean
Inscription history
Inscription2020 (17 session)
ListKnowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy80 kcal (330 kJ)
3 g
Vitamin C
1 mg
660 mg
2.75 mg
47.2 mg
370 mg
34.4 mg
1096 mg
9.5 mg
Percentages estimated using US recommendations for adults,[2] except for potassium, which is estimated based on expert recommendation from the National Academies.[3]
Source: ABC Color[1]

Tereré (of Guaraní origin[4]) is an infusion of yerba mate (botanical name Ilex paraguariensis) prepared with cold water, a lot of ice and pohá ñaná (medicinal herbs),[5] and in a slightly larger vessel. This infusion has its roots in Pre-Columbian America, which established itself as traditional during the time of Governorate of Paraguay. There's also a variant made with juice, called "Juice tereré" or "Russian tereré", depending on the region. On December 17, 2020, UNESCO declared the tereré of Paraguay as an intangible cultural heritage, which includes the drink (tereré) and its preparation methods with medicinal herbs (pohá ñaná).

It is similar to mate —a drink also based on yerba mate—but with the difference that tereré is consumed cold, preferably in the warmer areas of the Southern Cone. It is traditional from Paraguay, where it's considered a cultural icon.[6][7] In recent decades it has become popular in some areas of Southern Brazil, in Eastern Bolivia and in Argentina (countries where the tereré of juice is more popular than the tereré of water).

Both refreshing or medicinal herbs are often added, such as pererina, cocú, mint, sarsaparille, horsetail family, burrito, agrial or wax begonia, batatilla, verbena, spikesedges, ajenjo, slender dayflower, escobilla, lemon balm, saffron crocus, ginger, taropé, perdudilla blanca and others. Currently, in Paraguay exist various franchises that sell flavored ice based on medicinal-refreshing weeds/fruits for consumption in the tereré.[8][9]

The tereré was declared the official drink of Paraguay and also the Cultural Heritage of the Nation. Every last Saturday of February the "National Tereré Day" is celebrated.[10] By Resolution 219/2019, the National Secretariat of Culture declared the Traditional Practices and Knowledge of the Tereré in the culture of the Pohã Ñana as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage.[11] On the other hand, the city of Itakyry is the permanent headquarters of the "Festival of Tereré" since 1998.[12]


Originally consumed by the Guaraní, its use was adopted during the Guaraní-Jesuit Missions time in the area of their missions. Tereré was spread by the emigrants, and has been a social beverage for centuries. People usually prepare one jar of water and a guampa (or mate, or porongo) (Spanish) or cuia (Portuguese) with a bombilla (Spanish) or bomba (Portuguese) which is shared among the group of people. The area of the Guaraní-Jesuit Missions has a fairly hot climate and this drink is believed to refresh the body and can be a very low-calorie, non-alcoholic beverage. Additionally, it is an important ritual signifying trust and communion.

Many people drink tereré with added herbs, both medicinal and refreshing. In northeastern Argentina it is commonly prepared either with water, medicinal herbs and ice cubes (called tereré de agua (tereré prepared with water)) or citrus, as in south-western Brazil, with fruit juices like lemon, lime, orange, or pineapple. This practice varies depending on the region, for example, in the Formosa Province (Argentina), as well in the majority of Paraguay, it is normally prepared with medicinal herbs. In Southern Paraguay it is often prepared with citrus juice.[13] Mixing fruit juices with tereré is commonly called tereré de jugo (tereré with juice)—in northeastern Argentina—or tereré ruso (Russian tereré)—more common in Paraguay—because this practice is more common with Slavic immigrants in the northeast of Argentina and southern Paraguay.

Guampas are containers that can be made from animal horns, commonly made from cattle horns, stainless steel, wood, mate porongo (a kind of cucurbit native from South America), or silver. Metal guampas are often covered with leather. New guampas or those not used for some time need to be wet before use, because the lower part is usually capped with a round piece of wood, which expands and prevents leaks after being filled with water.

A bombilla is a metal straw with a filter at one end that is placed into the yerba.}[14] Water is added to the guampa and sucked through the bombilla producing a clear, green liquid.


Tereré consumed from a guampa made of cattle horn with a silver bombilla

Most preparations of tereré begin by filling a guampa 2/3 to 3/4 full of yerba mate.[15][16] Then, ice cubes are added to water and usually stored in a vacuum flask. If herbs or juice are part of the preparation, they are added to the water at this point. When consuming, the water is poured over the yerba held in the guampa and extracted from the yerba with a metallic straw (with a filter included on it) called "bombilla".[13] The liquid is refilled as desired.

Local customs[edit]

In Argentina, tereré is usually prepared with citrus juice and its consumption is increasing throughout the country, especially during the summer months, especially among younger millennials.[17]

Tereré is part of the diet of native peoples of Argentina, such as the Qom people, who consume it within their diet based on stews and torta fritas or chipá cuerito. An investigation revealed that more than 90 percent of the Qom consume tereré frequently throughout the day.[18]

Due to the hot climate, tereré is popular throughout the Central-West and Northern region of Brazil and is often prepared with a variety of juices, although coffee is still the most popular beverage in Brazil.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tereré - Dr. P. M. Gibert". ABC Color (in Spanish). May 28, 2021.
  2. ^ United States Food and Drug Administration (2024). "Daily Value on the Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels". Retrieved 2024-03-28.
  3. ^ National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; Health and Medicine Division; Food and Nutrition Board; Committee to Review the Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium (2019). Oria, Maria; Harrison, Meghan; Stallings, Virginia A. (eds.). Dietary Reference Intakes for Sodium and Potassium. The National Academies Collection: Reports funded by National Institutes of Health. Washington, DC: National Academies Press (US). ISBN 978-0-309-48834-1. PMID 30844154.
  4. ^ "tereré | Diccionario de la lengua española". «Diccionario de la lengua española» - Edición del Tricentenario.
  5. ^ "¿QUE ES EL TERERE? (Paraguay)".
  6. ^ "Qué es el tereré, la bebida paraguaya reconocida como patrimonio inmaterial de la humanidad". BBC (in Spanish). December 18, 2020.
  7. ^ "La UNESCO declaró al tereré patrimonio inmaterial de la humanidad". El Litoral (in Spanish). December 18, 2020.
  8. ^ "Jóvenes esteños lanzan línea de hielos saborizados con remedios refrescantes". Diario La Clave (in Spanish). November 26, 2019.
  9. ^ "Tereré Pantano: El emprendimiento que con G. 100.000 inventó una nueva forma de tomar tereré". Infonegocios (in Spanish). November 26, 2019.
  10. ^ "Paraguay festeja el Día Nacional del Tereré, bebida símbolo de su identidad". Última Hora (in Spanish). November 26, 2019.
  11. ^ "Unesco admite candidatura del tereré y poha ñana como Patrimonio de la Humanidad". Agencia IP (in Spanish). June 2, 2019.
  12. ^ "Festival del Tereré propone serie de espectáculos". ABC Color (in Spanish). September 5, 2020.
  13. ^ a b "Terere". ma-tea.com. Retrieved May 30, 2013.
  14. ^ "Comprar bombilla para mate - El Mate". mate.com.es. March 27, 2009. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  15. ^ "Todo sobre el tereré". Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "¿Cómo hacer un mate tereré? - Rincón Recetas". rinconrecetas.com. December 2014. Retrieved November 23, 2017.
  17. ^ "Study reveals that 40 percent of the country already drinks tereré". Misiones Online (in Spanish). May 28, 2021.
  18. ^ Lagranja, Elena Sofía; Valeggia, Claudia; Navarro, Alicia (2013). "Prácticas alimentarias y actividad física en adultos de una población Toba de la provincia de Formosa, Argentina". Diaeta. 32 (146). Asociación Argentina de Dietistas y Nutricionistas Dietista. ISSN 1852-7337.

Further reading[edit]

  • Asunción 1537: Madre de la gastronomía del Río de la Plata y de Matto Grosso do Sul. Vidal Domínguez Díaz (2017).
  • Poytáva: Origen y Evolución de la Gastronomía Paraguaya. Graciela Martínez (2017).