The ‘mate’ is commonly made from a natural gourd, although other types are available e.g. wooden cups.
It is important to know what you’re letting yourself in for when buying a natural gourd as they are quite high maintenance! The need to be cured before use, this increases the life of the cup, and prevent it from splitting, it also enhances the flavour. See our guide how to cure your gourd. And between use great care needs to be taken to dry (but not over-dry) to avoid mould formation.
If you’re interested you can read more information in our article: Mates, mates, mates – all you need to know about your yerba mate cup.
A great alternative to the natural gourd is the ceramic mate cup. There are great designs available including cups that look like natural gourds.