The highest quality gourd (cup) that there is. Made from a hollowed out fruit casing, the traditional way, it is then covered in leather and has a metal rim. Handmade by an artesan in Uruguay.
The mate is a cup that is used to drink yerba mate. The most traditional type – the 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. See our relevant guides:
- How to cure and care for my gourd
- How to prepare the perfect yerba mate – a step by step photo illustrated guide
- General info on the mate cup
As gourds are a natural item, 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 – 10.5cm
Height – 12.5cm
Volume – 270ml
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 NOT wood.
- On arrival the inside of your gourd may be beige, green, brown, black. It may even 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, we also have a high quality ceramic mate cup bound in leather 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.