Yerba Mate Calabash Gourds

Stephan Blazevski

When talking about Yerba Mate and everything connected with this unique beverage, a gourd means the calabash, also known as the bottle gourd. First used by the Guarani people of Paraguay, calabash gourds are today expanding their usage by millions of Yerba Mate consumers across the globe.

In this article, we're going to discuss everything you need to know about calabash Yerba Mate gourds.

Yerba Mate

                                                                                     photo by: anyaivanova

The calabash can be either harvested young to be consumed as a vegetable, or harvested mature to be dried and used as a utensil, in this case, to drink Yerba Mate from.

When in Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay you will notice many people consuming Yerba Mate from their calabash gourds, or preparing one. In Peru, the calabashes are decorated with the technique called "burilado".

But how to make a cup out of a calabash gourd? The calabash first is left to be hollowed out and dried. Then, it can be painted or patterned, some are carved or wrapped in leather and topped with stainless steel or alpaca. Since the calabash can grow in many different shapes and sizes, there can be found varieties of Yerba Mate calabash gourds on the market.

Did you know that the calabash gourds need special care? Yes, they are worth having although they are a bit challenging to take care of.

How to properly cure a Yerba Mate calabash gourd? The first thing you should do is to fill your just bought Yerba Mate gourd with wet yerba mate leaves (if it's the first time for you trying Yerba Mate, then just make some Yerba and then use the leftovers). Then start pressing down the mixture of wet Yerba Mate leaves so that there is no empty spots left. Leave it like this for 24 hours and then empty the gourd by rinsing it with water. At this stage, you should start removing the first inner layer of the gourd by scraping it with a spoon, to remove the excess of the calabash fruit. Be careful when doing this in order not to make the inner walls too thin. After this rinse the gourd with water to be completely clean and then leave it to dry for a while.

Your calabash gourd is ready for brewing some Yerba Mate in it!

Check our Yerba Mate calabash gourds and find your new favorite here: 

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