While in Ansbach had the privelege to try a friend’s favorite beverage called “Club Mate”. I don’t think its available in my part of the United States yet, but I look forward to its arrival. Club-Mate is a caffeinated carbonated Mate-extract beverage made by the Loscher Brewery near Münchsteinach, Germany and is apparently extremely popular in Germany-speaking Europe’s Hacker scene because of its high caffeine content. First well known in the Berlin club scene during the 90s as an alternative to the more expensive energy drinks like Red Bull. They made special drinks at the Clubs in Berlin called Vodka-Mate and Chunk (combination of Rum and Club-Mate). It was originally formulated by Geola beverages of Dietenhofen, Germany and marketed Club-Mate under the name Sekt-Bronte. High in Caffeine (20 mg per 100 ml) and low in sugar content compared to other beverages of the energy drink persuasion. It’s available in 0.33 and 0.5 liter bottles. As a special holiday brew called “Winter Edition” in December 2007, they made a limited-edition of the original formula mixed with cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, and citrus extract which was very popular. Due to is astringent flavor, low sugar content, high Catechin and Flavonoid contents it has an unusual acquired taste that the manufacturer won’t deny, in fact they made the drink motto: “Man gewöhnt sich daran” translates roughly as “One gets used to it!”. Club-Mate contains: Water, Inverted sugar syrup, Sugar, Mate Tea Extract, Citric Acid, Caffeine, Natural Flavors, Caramel Color, Carbonic Acid. Club-Mate is available throughout Germany and is growing in popularity and availability in Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Poland, and the Netherlands. Recently (2008) Club-Mate made a USA site called club-mate.us and was recently registered with announcements of its initial US availability at 2600 magazine’s The Last Hope conference in New York. [ more information: Wikipedia ].