The Brazilian Chimarrão Yerba Mate

Hanna Kasho

Yerba Mate cuia

                                                                      photo by: Guilherme Benkenstein

Chimarrão is a type of Yerba Mate drunk in the southern regions of Brazil. It's consumed as a regular Yerba Mate, with hot water, and with its traditional utensils gourd & bombilla. But what makes this beverage very special? 

By the experience of the Brazilians so far, this beverage helped in creating many new friendships and even relationships. It gathers friends and families, so that's why it's also considered a friendly beverage.

There are a few things that make the Chimarrão unique and outstanding in the Yerba Mate type of beverages. It differs in its texture, taste & color.

Its texture is classified in a few types depending on the existence of stems & powdered leaves. So if you see someone in Brazil drinking Yerba Mate that really looks like Matcha, it's because of the specific type of Yerba Mate that contains almost 70% of leaves and only 30% stems. 

How does the Brazilian Chimarrão taste? 

The taste varies depending on a few key things: the brand, the harvests, and also the temperature of the water during its preparation. But overall Chimarrão has a lighter, less bitter taste than the usual Yerba Mate.

Usually, the color of this type of Yerba Mate is bright green, because in the production process the aging/maturation part is missed out. That's even one more reason why it's compared to Matcha.

One more very important thing why this beverage outstands others, it's because it is drunk from a special type of gourd called cuia. The cuia has a different shape than the regular Yerba Mate gourd with thicker walls. It also needs to be cured in the same way as the Calabash Yerba Mate gourds.

How to prepare Chimarrão?

1. Whether you use a regular Yerba Mate gourd or a cuiafirst fill it with Brazilian Yerba Mate (erva-mate) approximately until the neck of the gourd (2/3)

2. Time to shake it up! Cover the top with your hand and then give it a gentle shake

3. With your Brazilian bombilla (Bomba) carefully press the Yerba Mate on one side (create a mountain of Yerba) and then remove it from the gourd

4. Then pour some warm water on the empty side until it reaches the border of the gourd making sure that the Yerba Mate on the top is dry as possible

5. Your Chimarrão is prepared and ready for drinking and enjoying! 

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