How to CURE a MATE GOURD
Natural mate gourds
Before it's first use the wood or natural calabaza gourd must be cured.
Only the mates made of organic materials need to be cured, the non organic materials like metal, glass, silicone, does not need this process.
To cure it's the process of sealing the pores of the organic material, in the case of the mate are their walls, to make it suitable to brew the mate.
The curing also make the mate to dry faster and avoid mold on it, as well as avoid cracking and improvement of flavor.
Option 1: Preferably for WOOD mates
1. With your finger or a cotton ball add any kind of oil that you prefer into the gourd.
(coconut, olive, or sunflower oil)
2. Spread all over the walls, the oil will change the color, so be careful with the exterior of the mate if it's wood, so the color doesn't stay uneven,
(include the rim or not)
3. Leave the oil in the gourd overnight.
4. In the morning, add milk ( or warm water) to the gourd, cover the top with your hand, shake it and throw it away
5. Clean inside with warm water
6. Let the gourd dry with fresh air
7. Ready to use!
Option 2: Preferably for GOURD mates (Calabaza)
1. Clean the inside of the gourd with hot water. Place some yerba mate into the gourd & add slowly a little of warm water, let it sit until the yerba absorbs all the water, repeat this 2 or 3 times until the yerba reaches the rim, the yerba should not be floating, just wet.
2. Let it rest up for about 24 to 48 hs, during this time, keep adding water to keep the yerba mate wet.
3. At the end of this process, discard the yerba mate. Scrape with a spoon the inside walls of the gourd & discard. The walls of the gourd now turn to a dark green color, almost black, this it's normal.
4. You can start using your gourd or keep curing it, one to 2 times more, that's up to you, the mate will continue the curing process with each use.
MAINTENANCE OF THE MATES
- Always hand washed them,
- Clean it with warm water
- Let it dry upside down, to avoid water sitting on the bottom of the mate cup
How to prepare a delicious MATE
1) Fill 2/3 of the gourd or mate cup. Shake it lightly, letting the yerba mate rest a 45 angle.
2) Place the straw and add a splash of room temperature water. Preparing the mate for the RITUAL.
3) Add the hot water slowly on the lower side, until the yerba mate is saturated. Water temperature for the mate 160 Fahrenheit / 70 Celsius.
The cebador drink first
If you are in charge of preparing the mate, you are called the cebador. You are going to drink the first sip (the strongest). Keep pouring water and sipping by yourself or pass it around to friends and family.
Hot or cold mate?
It doesn’t matter it’s 105 F degrees out there, a nice hot mate it’s great!
But what about you are looking for something refreshing?
Check out how to make TERERE down below
How to prepare TERERE
The steps are almost the same, but you pour iced water instead. Some herbs & juices adds some fun, Mint & lemon terere it’s a classic, there is no limits in adding flavors.
What about a tea cup of Yerba mate?
Growing up, before we start drinking mate, we start with what we call mate cocido.
Same way than preparing tea, 2 teaspoon of Yerba mate in a tea cup, steep for 5 minutes, the longer you steep it, the bitter. Same as Tea, add any herbs of your preference. One tablespoon of honey it’s recommended.
Iced Yerba mate tea
Hot or cold brew, same way you would prepare an iced tea