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The Yerba Mate

Yerba mate; what is it?

The yerba mate is the base of an infusion typical to the southern countries of South America, mainly Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay. The yerba mate is a type of herb or plant which grows in South America, and which must be dried and chopped before it is ready for the infusion.

The mate

The typical yerba mate infusion, and the way it is drunk in Uruguay, is by placing some yerba mate into a special type of cup called mate. The mate is a natural cup consisting on a type of calabash which is dried and carved through a particular process, and is one of the main elements of drinking yerba mate in the typical way.

How to prepare it

In order to make the yerba mate infusion ready to be drunk, there are a few steps which must be completed and which might vary slightly from one region to another or even from one mate drinker to another. Generally, the yerba mate must be placed into the mate filling around 3/4 of the cup space. Then, the mate is slightly shaken towards one side in such a way that the yerba mate forms a diagonal line in it.

Once the yerba is ready in the mate, a next step would be to insert the bombilla in it. The bombilla is a unique type of sherbet, typically made of metal and which is indispensable for drinking mate. The bombilla can be inserted into the mate filled with dry yerba as well as the yerba can be watered with cold water before taking this step.

How to drink it

After the bombilla is inserted into the mate, it is time of putting water into it in order for it to be ready to be drunk. The first time the yerba receives water while it is dry must be cold water. Once the cold water has been absorbed by the yerba, then it is ready to receive the hot water which will actually be drunk by sipping it through the bombilla.



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