Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Yerba Mate: Traditional Gourd & Bombilla “How To”

Traditional Gourd Packing Instructions
For traditional Brazilian Gaucho style yerba mate tea

* Fill gourd 2/3 full of yerba maté tea.

* Turn your gourd on its side and shake lightly so that the mate ends up on one side of the gourd.

* Slowly right the gourd until it is at a 45% angle.

* Pour warm water in the hole that is left next to the mate, and let it sink into the herb. Pour a little more and a little more, letting the herb soak it up so it becomes moist and a little harder. This will keep your mate standing upright on one side of the gourd like a wall.

* Make sure to keep the top of the mate wall dry.

* Put your thumb over the mouthpiece hole of the bombilla (traditional metal straw and filter used to drink from a gourd) and put it straight down into the empty part if the gourd, so that it sits at edge between the mate and the empty space for the water. Fix the top of the bombilla against the edge of the gourd, typically right between the maté and the empty space beside it.

* Heat water to a hot “simmer,” then take it off the heat. Do not bring the water to a boil.

* Pour the water into the empty part of the gourd until full. Do not cover the dry part of the mate “wall” with water. Suck through the bombilla (pronounced bom-BEE-ya) to drink. Suck carefully, as the infusion may be hot enough to burn your lips.

* When your bombilla draws air, refill with hot water. A gourd full of yerba mate is usually good for many refills!

(Warning - Do not put boiling water in your gourd or it may crack. Boiling water also harms the mate and can burn your mouth!)