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Taking care for your Yerba Mate gourd: Important curing tips

Yerba Mate gourd is the utensil from which Yerba Mate was consumed for centuries!

There are four main types of Yerba Mate gourds:

- Calabash gourds
- Wooden gourds
- Glass, Ceramic & Silicone gourds
- Guampa gourds

In this blog post, we're going to discuss how each of these types of Yerba Mate gourds should be taken care of.

Yerba Mate gourds

                                                                                 photo by: Radu Wolf

1. The Calabash Yerba Mate gourd

Calabash Yerba Mate gourds are formed with drying out a gourd (fruit from a Calabash tree) and then hollowing it. They can be found in many different shapes or with different cravings on its exterior walls.

Why is it important to take care of your Yerba Mate gourd? Taking good care of your gourd will prevent it from breaking, growing mold and the curing process will improve the flavor of your Yerba Mate infusion since the gourd itself plays a huge role in the final Yerba taste.

Now let's see the main steps for good and proper care of your Calabash gourd:

  • Remove any debris from your gourd: Since this type of gourd is made from a plant, it is very common to find some debris inside, and in order to properly remove it, you should scrape the debris with a spoon.
  • Disinfect your Yerba Mate gourd: Pass some salt around the inner walls of the Calabash gourd, since the salt itself acts as a disinfectant, this can especially help you if you gourd grows a mold.
  • Cure stage: First, you have to fill the Yerba Mate gourd wilt old and used Yerba Mate leaves and then to leave for a few hours. (You can also use a split teabags or use a fresh Yerba Mate soaked in water) The most important thing is that the Yerba Mate is wet.

*Never fill your Yerba Mate gourd only with water, it will break your gourd

2. The wooden Yerba Mate gourd

Wooden Yerba Mate gourds are also considered as the traditional ones. They also enhance the flavor of the Yerba Mate infusion, sometimes sweeter.

 

These types of gourds are very delicate and can be easily crack. So taking good care of them will save the product life!

What are the main steps?

  • Seal the natural pores of the wooden Yerba Mate gourd: This can be done by spreading oil or butter around its inner walls
  • Curing process: Fill the Yerba Mate gourd wilt old and used Yerba Mate leaves and then to leave for a few hours. (You can also use a split teabags or use a fresh Yerba Mate soaked in water) The most important thing is that the Yerba Mate is wet.

*Never fill your Yerba Mate gourd only with water, it will break your gourd

Yerba Mate gourds

                                                                                             photo by: Fatyefid

Ongoing care of your Yerba Mate Calabash or wooden gourd

After the curing process (keeping the Yerba Mate in the gourd for a few hours), always remove the used Yerba and let your gourd dry, otherwise, it will grow mold. Also, you should never leave your gourd soaking in water nor overdrying since it can cause splitting.

3. Ceramic, glass or silicone Yerba Mate gourd

These types of Yerba Mate gourds, don't require the special curing process, but still, have to be taken care of. Always wash them properly, especially if they are wrapped in leather (glass gourds).

4. The Gumpa - Yerba Mate gourd

The Guampa type of Yerba Mate gourd is very popular in Paraguay because they use it for drinking their traditional beverage Tereré (cold Yerba Mate).

Traditionally it's made from hollowed-out bull's horn, but nowadays it is made from glass or other materials.

It is also very important to take care of this type of Yerba Mate gourd, especially if it's made from a bull's horn:

  • Wash it and disinfect: Feel free to use a bit of detergent here and wash it very well
  • Curing process: Fill the Yerba Mate gourd wilt old and used Yerba Mate leaves and then to leave for a few hours. (You can also use a split teabags or use a fresh Yerba Mate soaked in water) The most important thing is that the Yerba Mate is wet. After a while, clean it well from the Yerba Mate and then oil it.

*Never fill your Yerba Mate gourd only with water, it will break your gourd

 


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