Many Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs locals, as well as tourists to the areas, know The Maté Factor as a cool, Ewok Village-lookin'
spot to grab a bite and drink pre- or post-Incline hike. It's also a favorite spot for non-sabbath lingering and socializing into the late night hours, as they're open 24-6
But for every new person who discovers a love for the fine flavored house yerba maté drinks and snacks, there's another person who questions what "We serve the Fruit of the Spirit
" means, and what the religious pamphlets on site are all about.
has fielded so many questions over the years — or been privy to comments spoken about the place — that we sat down with some Twelve Tribes
community members (a decade ago, ahem) to unpack the term they eschew at every turn: cult
But the public, and journalists, apparently aren't interested in calling them anything different.
On April 30, Vice
posted a story titled "The Idyllic Restaurant Chain Owned by a Homophobic, Racist, Child-Beating Cult
To be clear, the story is set around San Diego area restaurants operated by the Twelve Tribes, and doesn't mention the Maté Factor. But the inflammatory piece obviously levels some charges, based partly on writings found on the community's own website.
Holding no punches or snark, the Vice
writer concludes with: "I guess if you want a nice veggie burger and are looking to financially support homophobia, segregation, the hitting of children, and the subjugation of women, then I would highly recommend this place."
We reached out to the Manitou Springs Twelve Tribes community to see if they wish to comment on the article.
A Maté Factor manager I spoke with, who's been with the community in many spots across the country since 2006, and did not wish to be named here, says, "We're an open book. Come see us, we've been here 18 years. We'd love to answer any questions."
If you wish to sanitize your sipping, just grab a bag of maté and skip the religious pamphlets at the Maté Factor.