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Serving (to pour a good mate)

Mate Amargo

"Bitter mate". By far the most popular: the traditional mate of the Gauchos, the Patagonians, the Guarani, and others.

Best mate cups Canada

* Fill the mate gourd a little over two-thirds full of yerba (yerba mate herb). Tip upside down and shake with your hand covering the open end to drive the powder up to the top. Leave yerba at an angle leaving a high end and a low end in the gourd.

* Heat water in a pava (tea kettle) to near, but not quite, boiling (70-85-degrees C. or approx. 160-degress F.)--best tested with a thermometer until you know exactly. (The water sings: it's warm; the bubbles form: it's hot; the bubbles release: it's very hot; the water boils: it's too hot!)
Small mate thermos
* Pour your hot water into a thermos or "termo" to keep it perfectly hot for subsequent servings.

* Pour a small amount of cold water on the lowest portion of the yerba in your mate. (This keeps the hot water from "killing" your mate; lets it warm up gradually). Then add warm water to the point where you leave some dry yerba on the higher side. Let it sit for a few minutes until you see that all the water has been absorbed by the yerba. This will make the yerba swell up and prevent your bombilla from plugging up.

* Cover the tip of the bombilla with your thumb and push it to the bottom of the gourd in the low spot.

*Now for the first "mate"; pour the hot water in the low spot. (Filling with hot water that does not wet all of the yerba will prolong the duration of your mate.)

* Serve and enjoy!

[TIP: a mild "suave" mate can be enjoyed by placing the bombilla bulb in the low spot--whereas placing the bulb under the deepest portion of yerba will produce a stronger "fuerte" mate.]

best mate cups
In any recipe the sharing of the mate is the same:

* The gourd is filled by the host or server and this person normally drinks the first mate (or even spits it out as do the gauchos) as this first is considered inferior.

* The server (cebador) continues filling and passing the gourd.

* When it is your turn to drink you drink down the entire infusion until it is gone--passing it back to the server. (Never move the bombilla or stir the yerba--it is not only rude, but will cause air pockets around the bombilla and particles to rise up through the bombilla.)

Mate is shared with close friends, lovers,

people who have earned one's respect and closest attentions.

To have a mate friendship is to have cemented, perhaps,

a bit of guaranteed peace in life.

Mate Dulce

"Sweet mate" Same as mate amargo except that sugar, or honey, is poured into the gourd after the yerba... and hot water poured over the top of this. This is a typical way of drinking mate in all parts of Argentina... and especially popular with the city folk.

Mate with orange rind
Same as above.... except with the addition of a twist of citrus or orange rind for flavor.

Mate con café
With the addition of roasted coffee beans or grounds. Regular camilla sinensis tea leaves will work as well.

Mate con Whisky
I'm not kidding. This is surprisingly good and tasty. Follow the directions for mate "dulce" then add a half shot or so of whisky to your mate before pouring the hot water. You will be delightfully surprised!

Tereré (to cool down your day)
The special tereré mixture (we try and keep stocked the "Union" Low-Powder Content) has larger grind and no powder. It is drunk cold in your guampa (Paraguayan horn mate), porongo, or cuia and is the perfect tea for cooling down on a hot day. (Yerba Mate is an antiphiritic--which means it helps to cool the body down when temperatures rise.)

Variations on the tereré; recipe are endless; however herbs or lemon are traditionally used with ice-cold water. For other variations use your favorite ice-cold juice or soda pop as a liquid! Keeping cool was never more refreshing.

Picture a hot day, a group of friends, a full sweating pitcher of ice and fruit punch to share, and a couple of guampas full of yerba tereré!

Mate cocido... (and iced yerba mate!)
Bring two cups of water, 10 tsp. of yerba, and 1 T. of sugar to a boil in a saucepan. Add 2 T. of cold water. Bring to a boil again. Add 2 T. of water and set aside to cool. Strain (or drink with your bombilla) and serve hot with milk or chilled with lemon. Alternatively a sun tea can be made by simply adding 1 cup of yerba to a gallon jar of water and leaving it to heat in the sun for an afternoon. Cooling it down in the refrigerator later will yield you an excellent icy refreshment.

Erva Mate Chimarrao (Brazilian Style)

In essence this is the same as amargo above, but with a few distinctions. The yerba is greener, stronger, of a finer grind and, typically, Brazilian. We carry the Canarias yerba mate tea which, though technically packaged in Uruguay, is somewhat like the Brazilian style.

The mate, or gourd, is called a "cuia", and is larger (often up to 7-8oz..)

When the erva (yerba mate tea) is poured 2/3 full into the cuia it is allowed to rest on one side, wetted with hot water to form a paste, and allowed to sit for a moment; this allows it to not clog the bomba.

The bombilla is placed in the resulting "hole" on one side and water is poured into this hole.

This process allows the erva to not wash out too quickly (often the same filled gourd is drunk all day!) and keeps the bombilla from becoming clogged.

But don't take our word for it: here is a great link to Janaina in Porto Alegre, Brazil ( describing the Chimarrao ritual in great detail and with photos! (Give the page a minute to load. It is not our link--so no guarantees.)

Besides carrying a selection of over 150 mates and dozens of bombillas...

the Yerba Mate Tea Gourd also carries pavas (tea kettles), termos (vacuum flasks), yerberas (tea and sugar containers), and other items to make your yerba mate tea service an elegant and successful one. Find these on our yerba mate Accessories page.

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