Updated: Aug 30, 2021
We will show you the different steps that will help you to enjoy delicious mates.
But before you start, we made a small list of what you need.
You will need :
- Your mate (the container). The mate can be made of wood, gourd, ceramic or metal. When it is natural, we remind you that it is important to treat your mate before the first use.
- Your bombilla (straw with built-in filter). The bombilla is essential to enjoy a mate.
- Your Yerba Mate Argentina. Argentine yerba is made from four different cuts: powder/small leaf/medium leaf/small branches. The yerbas that are grown in Paraguay and Brazil are prepared in a different way.
- Your thermos flask filled with hot water at 80ºC and a glass of lukewarm water at 40ºC
The technical side in 7 steps
1. Fill 3/4 of mate
Pour between 2/3 and 3/4 of yerba mate into your calabash. This may seem like a lot at first but you will soon understand that mate is infused repeatedly. It is important to put the right amount in order to create the perfect structure that will allow you to enjoy long rounds of mate.
The mate ritual is meant to be shared. That's why the cebador takes care to offer a quality mate to the other materos of the round.
2. Shake it 2-3 times
Cover the mate with your hand and shake it a few times to mix the different cuts of yerba. Without this step, the mate powder remains at the bottom and blocks the filter of the bombilla.
The Argentinian expression that describes this situation is: "Che, el mate esta tapado !".
3. Tilt the gourd at 45º to create a slope
Once you have mixed well, press with your palm towards the inside of the mate before removing your hand.
Make sure your gourd maintains a 45º angle. This is essential to ensure that the yerba stays on one side and forms what is known in the jargon as la montañita.
4. Pour lukewarm water (40°C)
Add a trickle of lukewarm water at 40ºC to the space you have freed. The water will humidify the base of your montañita. Let your gourd rest for 1 minute while keeping it tilted.
You can use your bombilla to create the inclination.
5. Top the bombilla with your thumb
Cover the top of your bombilla with your thumb and insert it into the empty space. By blocking the air intake you avoid introducing yerba elements into your bombilla.
According to Argentinean tradition, once the bombilla is installed, it is very important not to move it!
6. Pour hot water (80ºC)
Gradually add water at 80ºC to the bombilla, taking care not to touch your montañita as this will give intensity to your mate as it fills up repeatedly. As the mate is consumed, the montañita diminishes and infuses little by little with fresh yerba.
It is important to keep the metal ferrule dry. Therefore it is advisable not to fill your mate to the brim.
7. Share the healthy energy
You can now enjoy your delicious mate using the Argentinean method. The tradition would like the mate to be shared, but in these times we invite you to share a mate moment and let everyone keep their own.
Normally, the mate rounds always start to the left because the person on the left is the one closest to the heart.
If you have any questions or tips to share with the community, we invite you to post them in our forum.