Mate Gourd and Bombilla

Yerba Mate, the legendary libation of gauchos and vaqueros working the South American lowlands is traditionally sipped from a mate gourd and bombilla.(Ideally this scenario would include vintage South American textiles and a 19th century estancia.)  The hand-crafted hollow calabash gourd, will mature beautifully over the years adding a unique nuance to each cup. The bombilla, a perforated straw, performs as a light filter.  The gourd must be seasoned, or "cured" prior to using.

Gourds naturally vary in size and shape, but most are the size of a medium apple.  The bombilla is 16cm in length.

How to cure the gourd:

  • Scrape the dry, flaky material form the inside of the gourd with a spoon.
  • Fill the gourd with loose yerba mate.
  • Pour in hot water.
  • Let the gourd sit for 24 hours.
  • Empty the gourd and scrape inside again.
  • Rinse well.
  • Fill the gourd with loose yerba mate a second time.
  • Pour in hot water again.
  • Allow the gourd to sit another 24 hours.
  • Empty the gourd and give it a final scrape with a spoon.
  • Rinse well.

The gourd is now ready for use! Remember to follow these tips to keep the gourd in good shape for years to come:

  • Do not use soap when cleaning the gourd. A thorough rinse is sufficient.
  • Do not run gourd through the dishwasher.
  • Do not leave used tea leaves in the gourd for extended periods after use.
  • Empty gourd after use, rinse well, and allow to dry on a windowsill.
  • If you use additional herbs or flavors in your gourd, your gourd will acquire those flavors afterward.
  • It is natural for the inner walls of your gourd to stain greenish-black over time.