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How to be a good cebador in 7 steps

Updated: Apr 12, 2021

There are several techniques to prepare (cebar) a mate and we invite you to read our previous article to know the 7 steps of the Argentinean technique. When these are well assimilated, it is important to know how to avoid the traps to be a true cebador.

Today we are going to give you our 7 tips to follow to be a golden cebador. The mate ritual is prepared and orchestrated by one person: the cebador.

How to serve a good mate ?
Cebador (Maestro of a mate round)


1. heating water to 83ºC :

Heating water to 83ºC
Heating water to 83ºC

It is important to heat your water to a maximum temperature of 83ºC. Why is this important? Because water that is too hot burns the yerba mate and causes it to lose its properties.

Tips: The hotter the water, the more bitter the infusion will be.


2. Preparing a beautiful montañita:

Incline your gourd at 45º to form a beautiful montañita.
Form a beautiful montañita

The montañita (yerba mountain) is a very useful technique as it allows the taste of the mate to be prolonged during the round. Thanks to this technique, the flavour of the mate lingers and so you will enjoy your yerba for longer.

Tips: If the gourd has a large opening (diameter), it will have a larger montañita.


3. Drink the first mate :

Mate is drunk with a bombilla
The cebador drinks first

One quickly tends to think that drinking first is impolite, but on the contrary, it is part of tradition. It is a way of making sure that the mate offered to other materos is of good quality.

In Argentina, mate fanatics often compete for the role of cebador so that they can be the first to drink the mate.


4. Start the round to the left :

A round of mate always goes in a clockwise direction
Mate is given to the left

It is in the tradition to rotate the mate clockwise.

Indeed, the person on the left automatically positions himself closer to the heart.

Mate is a drink that strengthens connections and produces happiness.


5. be careful that mate does not stay too long in a person's hand.

Each person in the round drinks the mate to the end and gives it back to the cebador so that the cebador can refill it.
The mate must turn quickly

This is undoubtedly the most difficult task for the cebador because he has to be respected so that the round goes as smoothly as possible. Leaving mate too long in a person's hand will slow down the round because mate is drunk one after the other.

Tips: Mate is not a microphone. It's a typical sentence in Argentinean to say nicely that mate has to turn faster.


6. Keep the order of people in mind.

Keeping the order of the people in mind to pass the mate correctly
Order matters

This time it is up to the cebador to be attentive and to ensure that the order of the round is respected. Mate is a drink that is infused instantly and can be shared. Each person in the round drinks the mate to the end and gives it back to the cebador so that the cebador can refill it.

The cebador has the role of an orchestra master and is there to share the mate fairly.


7. Change the Yerba once the mate loses taste and becomes "lavado".

Mate is called "lavado" when it loses its intensity.
Mate Lavado

Each brewed mate will lose a little bit of intensity until it no longer has any taste and becomes "lavado".

The cebador will then have to change the yerba for a new one and can start again a new round.


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