How to Brew the Perfect Chimarrão (Brazilian mate)


Chimarrão – The Brazilian Mate

Chimarrão – The Brazilian Mate Pronounced “shim – a – how”, Chimarrão is the Brazilian style mate, and is really quite different to hot mate brewed in Uruguay and Argentina. Everything in Brazil is bigger and better! And Chimarrão is no different.. ideally brewed in giant cuia (gourd/cup) with huge long bombas (bombillas) with large round headed filters, if you get it right you will certainly be enjoying your erva mate (yerba) in true style!

Chimmarão Instructions: What do I need?

Yerba,  Mate Cup,  Bombilla & Hot Water (ideally use a flask)

chimarrao erva
Mate cup with stand
Bomba, brazilian bombilla for chimmarrao
yerba mate flask with pico cebador

Known as Erva in Brazil, the yerba is very different to the other yerbas – bright green in colour it is a mixture of extremely fine powder, and very large stems. The bombilla is long with a large, round, wide filter. The preferred shape of gourd is with a wide open top but to help illustrate how to make Chimarrão, we have used a glass cup so you can see what is happening on the inside of the mate.

What do I do?

Fill the gourd to around 2/3 with the yerba mate


Fill Mate cup with yerba mate

Mate cup with yerba inside

Step 2 – Form a “Yerba Wall”

Cover the top of the gourd with your hand and tilt upside down. Then return to horizontal so that all the yerba is on one side of the gourd. Then use the bombilla to press down on the yerba – slowly compacting the yerba into a tough “wall” against one side of the gourd. The other side will be completely empty, and will form the part where water is served into.

Leaving the yerba on one side of the mate

leave the Yerba on one side of the mate

push the yerba to that side with the bomba

Image with the yerba perfectky filling the half part of the mate

Step 3 – Swell and Infuse

Keep the gourd on an angle so as to maintain the yerba wall. Pour cool water into the empty side of the gourd – until nearly full. You now need to leave for approx 5 minutes to infuse. During this time, keep the gourd on an angle. We recommend leaning one side on something slightly raised such as the bombilla so you don’t have to hold it.

Pouring water on the glass mate cup, to let the yerba Soak

water already inside the glass mate cup

leaving the bombilla to make the mate stay in the same angle for better results

Step 4 – Insert Bombilla

Once the water is mostly soaked in, put the bombilla into the empty side, facing the yerba. Press firmly against the yerba wall and then twist into the wall, so the bombilla is at a right angle to the yerba. Once the bombilla is inserted it isn’t moved again.

inserting the bomba

pressing agains the yerba wall with the bomba

Your chimarrao is almost done

Chimarrao done and ready to drink! Just need to pour hot water on the empty space!

Step 5 – Serve

Now you are ready to serve! Pour hot water (ideal 82C) into the empty side and sip until all gone. Repeat until you have had enough!

Pouring hot water on the chimarrao

Delicious Chimarrao!

So to recap: How to prepare the perfect Chimarrao:

  1. Fill mate cup 2/3 with yerba
  2. Compact onto one side using the bombilla to create a firm wall of yerba
  3. Fill cup with cool water and allow to soak
  4. Insert the bombilla
  5. Serve hot water in the cup, sip and repeat!


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