A bamboo bombilla is the original straw for drinking yerba mate. Yerba Mate is a South American infusion made by steeping loose leaf yerba in hot water. The resulting drink is sipped through a straw with one end a closed filter to prevent consumption of yerba leaves. There are many types of filter – spoon shaped, guitar, spring and straight. Nowadays most bombillas are made from stainless steel. However the original bombilla was crafted from bamboo which was the raw material most readily available.
The bamboo bombilla is made from a short length of bamboo, cut so that the natural joint of bamboo forms the closed end of the straw. Small holes are then made in that end to allow the infusion to be drank through the straw, but to filter out the yerba leaves. The top end of the straw is open, and is then manipulated at great heat to carefully bend the straw without it cracking. This makes the traditional curved shape that makes it comfortable to use. The straw is then polished to give it an attractive finish.
Each piece is handmade, so the exact shape and colouring may vary slightly from the photo.
The approximate length of this bombilla is 17 cm