Dark Fire Decorated Yerba Mate Gourd and Bombilla Starter Tea Set
This starter set consists of a natural mate gourd and a bombilla.
As gourds are a natural item, and decorated by hand, the item you receive may differ slightly from the photos.
This mate is made from a hollowed out gourd, and therefore each cup will vary in size. The average dimensions of this mate cup are:
Diameter at the widest point – 8.5cm
Height – 9cm
Volume – 250ml
The bombilla is a metal straw to drink your yerba mate from and it has a filter at one end. Stainless steel is the best metal for bombillas – won’t oxidise and lasts well. The length of the bombilla length is 19cm
The mate is a cup that is used to drink yerba mate. The most traditional type – the natural yerba mate gourd – is made from the dried, hollow fruit of the calabash plant. It is important that you cure and care for your natural gourd properly, in order to prevent splits and mould formation. To cure your gourd, first remove any of the debris that might be inside (paper-like pith, seeds etc) and then fill with moist yerba leaves. Leave for 24 hours and then clean out and it is ready for use. Full instructions will also be provided. You may also like to read some General info on the mate cup
The way to serve yerba mate is to fill the mate gourd around 3/4 full of loose leaf yerba and add a little cool water to allow the leaves to swell in size. The bombilla is then inserted and hot water is added. The resulting brew is then sipped through the bombilla and the process repeated. It is typical to enjoy yerba mate in groups, so it is normal for the person serving to drink the first drink, and then with each serving to pass the gourd around to others in turn. This is why drinking mate is such an important part of social culture in Uruguay, Argentina, Paraguay and Brazil. You can read exactly how to brew mate in our step by step photo illustrated guide: How to prepare the perfect yerba mate
More Information on The Natural Gourd
The traditional cup to use for yerba mate is a gourd. It is made from the hollowed and dried fruit of the calabash plant. If you are choosing this natural gourd, then you are making a very specific choice. The natural gourd is not to everyone’s liking! What does a natural gourd bring to your infusion?
Here are some reasons why people choose a natural gourd:
- It’s the most traditional recipient
- The gourd itself imparts flavour on your yerba mate. It brings an acidity and bitterness to the taste.
- Your gourd is personal to YOU.. no two pieces are alike
- A gourd is a sustainable item
So what you are letting yourself in for?! Let’s address the common surprises our customers encounter:
- A natural gourd is just that – natural! So your gourd will vary in shape and size
- The gourd was once a fruit, like a small pumpkin that is hollowed out. It is normal when you receive your gourd for there to be a little leftover pith or seeds. Any loose debris can be removed and isn’t harmful.
- On arrival the inside of your gourd may be beige, green, brown, black. It may well be a bit of a blotchy mix of these colours. When you start using it, it will definitely start turning darker. It may change through green, to brown and finally the whole inside will be black. This is because the gourd is porous and takes on the pigmentation and flavour of the yerba. This change in colour is sometimes mistaken for mould formation. It may happen gradually over many weeks, or it might surprise you and suddenly take on a very specific, deep green blotchiness after a single use. This is all dependent on how porous the gourd is. Remember, we WANT the gourd to eventually end up black inside, this is how it is supposed to be.
- Mould can form on your gourd. It is something that grows over the surface that is furry in texture. While not pleasant, it is harmless. Remove it then pass salt around the inside of the gourd, rinse and continue to use. Best practice is to keep your natural gourd clean and dry between uses. Don’t leave it full of used yerba for long periods.
- The taste! While some opt for a gourd because of the taste, some hate the taste and it can cause acidity if you are susceptible to acid indigestion.
So you may have read this and definitely aren’t going to get a natural gourd! That’s fine, and we have many choices of ceramic mate cups for you.
Or maybe you are still raring to go?! If you proceed and buy a natural gourd, you MUST cure it before use. This might take 1-2 days (the longer the better) so its best not to buy in a hurry. Its easy to cure a gourd, and it basically entails leaving it for a period of time full of yerba. This helps seals some of the pores, prevents cracking and improves the richness of flavour of future brews. You will receive full instructions on how to cure a natural gourd for yerba mate, and also how to brew the perfect yerba mate.
If you have any questions please contact us and we will be happy to provide any information you might require.