Thirsty for Yerba Mate: Mate is popular in many South American countries as well as a few in the Middle East. It’s just two ingredients, but the focus is really the ritual of making it, not to mention all the cool tools you get to use.
Gourd: Yup, you traditionally drink out of a hollowed-out gourd a calabash. And they come in all different shapes and styles. You could just drink out of a mug but what’s the fun in that?
Every new mate gourd first goes through a curving process, which removes any bitter gourd flavor.
There is also a mate-specific straw known as Bombilla but more than just a straw, it also has a filtter at the base, which keeps out any stems or leaves.
Yerba Mate: Yerba mate is chock full of antioxidants, vitamins, and of course a healthy dose of caffeine. It’s pungent, earthy and some say, slightly bitter-chances are it’s unlike any drink you’ve tried.
Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Fill up your gourd to about ⅔. Fill with your palm over it a shake. This brings the small stems to the top and pushes the large to the bottom. So your Bombilla doesn’t get clogged while still tilted, lay in the Bombilla (filter side down). And pour in some cold water this prepares it for the infusion and helps maintain the nutrients.
Now fill up your gourd with hot (not boiling) water (150 F). Mate is meant to be shared with friends and the same gourd can be refilled (20 times). Your motto is to drink/pass/refill.