The history behind Yerba Mate calabash gourds

Stephan Blazevski

The Calabash, known by many names including a ‘’long melon’’ is a fruit that when harvested mature it can be used as a utensil. It’s considered as a traditional cup for Yerba Mate, known as Calabash gourd. 

In order to be able to make a cup from this fruit, as we mentioned first it takes time to grow, so about six months until it’s mature. After that, it takes almost a year to dry which is a must process before making a cup from it! The drawings that you’re seeing on many calabash gourds is a whole process that takes, drawing, engraving and then burning, so the drawing can last.

Here are some important rules that you must follow if you have or planning to have this kind of Yerba Mate gourd in your collection:

  • When first using this type of gourd, you have to first fill it with a loose-leaf Yerba Mate and hot water, then leave it like this for a day so the gourd itself absorbs the water. After a day, you’ll need to take off the inner layer of the gourd, by peeling it off with a spoon. Then, you should wash your gourd and leave it to dry.  Doing this prepares your Calabash gourd for drinking Yerba Mate from it!
  • Never leave your Yerba Mate leftovers in the Calabash gourd, always take some time to carefully clean it all, because this can lead to growing some mold that will damage your one in a kind Yerba Mate gourd.
  • After cleaning with water, always leave it upside down to dry but not for more than 30 minutes, after that turn it back to its normal position and leave it to fully dry (or for faster drying you can wipe it inside with a paper towel)

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