Yerba Mate beginners: How to cure your Yerba Mate gourd?

Are you a Yerba Mate beginner and need some tips in order to properly cure your new Yerba Mate gourd?

Cure Yerba Mate gourd

                                                                                  photo by: Vicente Heinen

First, we would like to highlight that although curing your gourd is very important, there is always an easier option to skip the regular way of the curing process and give it a try to your new Yerba Mate gourd. What you'll need to do is just to prepare a regular loose-leaf Yerba Mate and then enjoy it, and after finishing, don't remove the leftovers from the gourd, but let it sit overnight and then the next day proceed to clean it out (take a look at the steps below). This process should be repeated twice and then your Yerba Mate gourd is ready for brewing in it!

Now let's take a look at the ''real-deal'' curing process:

Curar el mate or cure the matí is a process of adapting your Yerba Mate gourd to the Yerba Mate infusion. This curing process has two main purposes:

1) Removing the first (inner layer)

If your first choice for Yerba Mate gourd was a Calabash gourd, then this part is very important for you because these types of gourds have a first layer that is very soft and it's necessary to remove or scrape it properly. First, you need to fill the gourd with a loose-leaf Yerba Mate (we recommend an already used Yerba Mate) and then add a little bit of warm water. After this, leave the gourd to rest for one day. The next day your Yerba Mate Calabash gourd should be very well rinsed and then scrapped with a spoon, in order to take out the soft skin. Then this whole process should be repeated from the beginning.

2) Adaptation process

Curado or adaptation of your Yerba Mate gourd is also a very important part in the proper curing process so that you can prepare your gourd to the Yerba Mate infusion (bitter or sweetened with sugar in case you don't prefer bitter beverages)

Yerba Mate gourd curing steps

                                                                  photo by: José Miguel Frías Castro 

The curing process of your Yerba Mate gourd: 6 important steps

1. Fill your gourd with an already used loose-leaf Yerba Mate that's still wet

2. Pour warm water and let it rest for one day

3. Remove the loose-leaf Yerba Mate from the gourd

4. Rinse your gourd until every part from the Yerba Mate is removed

5. Gently scrape the first, inner layer with a spoon from the Yerba Mate gourd

6. Fill it with a new loose-leaf Yerba Mate infusion, then add hot water and let it sit until the following day. Then remove - rinse - scrape until you have a Yerba Mate gourd ready to serve you and enhance the flavor of your Yerba Mate infusion!

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