How to Brew Yerba Mate Traditionally with Gourd and Bombilla
By brewing your mate the traditional way you will maximize your intake of all the vitamins and minerals necessary to sustain life that are present in yerba mate. True mate lovers prefer the gourd for the better and more natural taste and because , -this is very important-, you actually can get more nutrients from the herb with the traditional way, using a straw or bombilla, than the ones you would obtain from regular tea bags or pills, as twigs and stems must be removed from the herb to be put in a tea bag. We are asked frequently how much yerba mate per cup. Follow these steps:
Fill your "already cured" mate gourd 2/3 full with your favorite yerba brand.
Once you have filled the gourd, tilt it to one side until one part of the Yerba Mate is higher than the other.
Moisten the side of the Yerba Mate which has the smaller amount with a little cold water.
After the Yerba Mate has been moistened, let it stand for one minute.
You will then insert the straw (bombilla - pronounced bom-bee-ya) into the moistened part of the Yerba Mate until it rests on the bottom of the gourd.
Carefully fill the gourd with hot (not boiling) water allowing the water to run directly down the straw into the side that has the least amount of Yerba Mate. The other Yerba should not be completely covered. By doing this you will be able to enjoy the full flavor longer before having to add more Yerba Mate.
A generous froth should cover the surface of the Yerba Mate. If brewed correctly it should keep that froth for quite some time. Sugar or other flavors may be added, if desired, before the water is poured in. You can repeat this process of adding more water (and sugar, etc. if needed) until the froth disappears or the flavor becomes too weak (normally 8 - 10 times for a good quality yerba). Or if you prefer you may start all over with a fresh cup of Yerba Mate and begin the process all over again as in the beginning. Some drinkers will use a single brewing all day long. This is not recommended, you should change your yerba once you feel it´s weak.
Sip & ENJOY!
Once you finish drinking, throw the used yerba away, rinse the gourd and drie it with a paper towel, sometimes it's a good idea to put the mate gourd mouth down near the stove for a few seconds so that the very hot air can accelerate the drying. Needless to say, this should be done very carefully.