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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.