Yerba Mate guide

Yerba Mate guide - photo from Flickr by: Federico Nicolas Villedary

                                   photo by: Federico Nicolas Villedary

Yerba Mate is a South American beverage, nowadays consumed worldwide! Traditionally it was first consumed by the indigenous - Guarani people, from a hollow gourd, thorough a bamboo bombilla.

Culture of Yerba Mate guide

Because of its many origins across South America, Yerba Mate is prepared & consumed in different ways, depending on its country's origins. 

  • In Paraguay, it is served cold - Terere, in a special vessel called guampa
  • In Brazil, it is served warm - Chimarrao, in a special vessel called cuia
  • In Argentina & Uruguay, it is served also warm but served in gourd made from Calabash, wood or leather

Production of Yerba Mate guide

Yerba Mate is produced from the Ilex paraguariensis tree leaves that are dried and undergo a whole production process. It is a combination of two Spanish words, “hierba” - herb &  “mati” - container for a drink.

The production process of Yerba Mate takes a few important steps:

  1. Harvesting - after the harvest, Yerba Mate leaves are left for two years in order to recover
  2. Firing - they are exposed directly to the heat of a fire in order to break the epidermis
  3. Dehydration 
  4. Aging - to improve Yerba Mate taste and it's unique bitterness 
  5. Milling - a process where the leaves, stems & the dust are separated

Curing Yerba Mate gourd guide

The most important part when first having a Calabash Yerba Mate gourd is to always first spend time for its curing! There are a few important steps in order to make a proper cure for your gourd: 

1. First, fill the Calabash gourd with 1/3 Yerba Mate and then pour some hot water (but not boiling)

2. Then leave it like that for 2-3 hours, so it can soak up the flavor and soft within its first inner layer

3. After that, start scraping the inner walls with a regular spoon, gently peeling the first layer

4. Clean your Yerba Mate gourd from the mess inside only with warm water (not boiling) and then get it dry with a paper towel

Brewing Yerba Mate guide

Yerba Mate despite being a unique beverage, worth trying, it has social elements too, and by that, it means that this beverage helps with creating new friendships! How? By sharing one gourd in the circle of people you will gather with!

Be the 'pro' and follow these steps in order to prepare the perfect traditional Yerba Mate:

1. First, fill the thermos with hot water (not boiling)

2. Then, fill the Yerba Mate gourd 2/3 with loose-leaf Yerba Mate

3. Tap the Yerba Mate mixture to one side of the gourd, and make a Yerba mountain with a little valley inside the gourd

4. Pour on the empty side, cool water, without pouring the mountain of Yerba Mate

5. Gently insert the Bombilla in the 'valley' side of the gourd

6. Last but not least - add hot water, one more time into the 'valley' approximately to the half of the gourd

Last step? Sip until there's no more deliciously prepared Yerba Mate!


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