Mate Gourd with Rim
Natural Gourd with Rim
The mate is a cup that is used to drink yerba mate. The most traditional type – the gourd – is made from the dried, hollow fruit of the calabash plant. It is important that you cure and care for your natural gourd properly, in order to prevent splits and mould formation.
As gourds are a natural item, the item you receive may differ slightly from the photos. It is also important to expect an item that is not smooth and finished on the inside like a ceramic or wooden mug. The inside is likely to be rough. It may have some rough patches and some leftover debris such as pith and seeds. The colour may range from beige to green to brown, to any patchy combination on the inside. Your natural mate cup is just that – natural!
This mate is made from a hollowed out gourd, and therefore each cup will vary in size. The average dimensions of this mate cup are:
Diameter at the widest point – 8.5cm
Height – 9cm
Volume – 250ml
How do I cure my yerba mate gourd?
We recommend the following procedure to cure a gourd:
- Remove any debris With a natural yerba mate gourd it is perfectly normal for there to be ‘paper’ like debris inside, and possibly some seeds (imagine that when growing, the gourd is like a pumpkin or butternut squash). The inside maybe slightly black. Wash out the gourd with warm water – no soap – and scrape the debris out with a spoon. If the gourd is a pear shaped one, DO NOT REMOVE THE ‘BUD’ – this will cause leakage.
- Disinfect (optional) Pass salt around the inside. The salt acts as a disinfectant. This step is also helpful for later on – if your gourd develops a mould you can remove and disinfect for peace of mind.
- Cure Fill the yerba mate gourd with old, used yerba tea leaves and leave for a few hours. If you don’t have any used yerba, you can use split teabags, or soak some fresh yerba in water and use that. It is important that the yerba/tea is just wet, DON’T FILL THE GOURD AND LEAVE SOAKING IN WATER, this will often lead to the gourd splitting. Some people add alcohol to the wet yerba (any alcohol will do) – this is optional.
- Ready for use! You can now prepare a normal mate. Over time the yerba mate gourd will absorb more and more flavour of your yerba.
Ongoing care of your yerba mate gourd
It is important that after use you remove used yerba and keep your gourd dry, otherwise mould is likely to form. Never leave your gourd soaking in water, this will cause it to split.