Drink Mate Like a Gaucho in Seven Steps

Mate is a traditional herbal tea commonly consumed in the southern cone of South America. Its named after the mate gourd from which it is drunk. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and has numerous health benefits. There is far more to the ritual of making mate tea than simply adding mate and water. Here’s how to make mate in the traditional style in 7 steps.

1. Get yourself the right kit

photo 2To make mate properly you’ll need three things. The cup part is traditionally made from hollowed calabash gourd, but is also available in metals or ceramics. Second you will need a bombilla, a metal straw. Of course, you also need the yerba mate.  Everything is available at Casa Argentina online shop.

2. Fill the cup

photo 4Fill the gourd with mate. Don’t fill the cup more than half full.

3. Remove the powder

photo6To stop the bombilla from getting blocked you’ll need to remove the powdery tea. Place hand over the top of the gourd, upturn it and shake gently. Do this two to three times.

4. Create space

photo 8Lift the gourd to an angle and tap to allow the mate tea to fall to one side and creating a space on the other.

5. Add the cold water

photo10Insert the bombilla into the gourd and pour cold water into the empty space into it reaches the top of the tea. Allow this to be soaked up by the mate.

6. Add the hot water

photo 11Add the hot water in the same way as the cold. Use water at 80 °C as boiling water will make the mate bitter. Try to resist stirring the mate as this will block the bombilla straw.

7. Share

Gauchos Sharing mateMGPanoramico/Flickr

Traditionally mate is shared. The server drinks first, consuming all the water before refilling with hot water and passing on. The same tea should last around 8-10 refills.

RELATED: Delicious Baja-style Mexican fish taco recipes

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