Mate Gourds have a long history in South American countries of Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. They are the traditional vessel used for drinking Yerba Mate and are made from either a Gourd or elaborately carved wood.
The Ritual of Drinking Yerba Mate
The traditional way to drink Yerba Mate is a fun and engaging group activity. One individual ('Cebador' in Spanish), assumes the task of the server. The Cebador typically fills the gourd and drinks the Yerba completely with a Bombilla (straw) to ensure that it is free of small particles and that it is of good quality. The server subsequently refills the gourd and passes it to the next drinker who likewise drinks it all. The ritual proceeds around the circle until the mate becomes 'lavado' ("washed out" or "flat"), typically after the gourd has been filled about eight to ten times or more depending on the Yerba used (well-aged Yerba Mate is typically more potent and therefore provides a greater number of refills). When one has had their fill of Mate, they express as much to the Cebador when it is their turn to drink, by simply saying 'Gracias' ("Thanks") as they receive the mate. In the tradition of Mate-drinking, 'Gracias' means that this Mate accepted will be the last to be drunk, and serves as an acknowledgment of the kindness and kinship offered by the Cebador and those with whom one has shared the Mate.
Artistic patterns made by heat infusing the body of the gourd.
Size and Artisanal Variation
This Gourd has a 8-12 ounce capacity. Since no two pieces are alike, the gourd ordered may vary slightly in size and design from that pictured.
Size: Approx. 2" d. (mouth), 4" h.
Rinse well with with hot water a few times. Avoid using soap as it will get absorbed into the walls of the gourd and distort the flavor of the Yerba. After rinsing it with water, shake well to discard excess water and dry outside with towel. Store in a dry place.
Before first use, it is a good idea to season the gourd. To do this, brew 6-7 ounces of Yerba Mate at double strength. Pour into the Gourd and keep overnight.
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