Yerba Mate Glossary of Terms

Ever get confused with all the jargon involved with Yerba Mate? Ever get your Chimarrão mixed up with your Cabaça? See this quick guide to help you translate!


Bombilla:                   Metal Straw with filter at the end (may also be made from bamboo)

Bomba:                     Metal Straw (Portuguese)

Mate:                        Hollow gourd used as a cup (made from fruit casing, glass, ceramics wood or horn)

Cabaça:                    Gourd (Portuguese)

Cuia:               Gourd (Portuguese)

Guampa:                   Gourd – made from a horn, or in a horn shape

Limpiabombilla:          Pipe cleaner type small tool to clean out your bombilla

Termo:                      Flask

Matera:                     ‘Mateholder’ – e.g. a bag or stand

Yerbero:                   Dispenserfor yerba. May be portable or fixed to the wall


Mate Cocido:            Yerba Mate in teabag form (literally ‘sewn’)

Mate en Saquitos:     Yerba Mate in teabag form (literally ‘little bags’)

Yerba:                      Loose herbs for brewing Yerba Mate (plant = Ilex paraguariensis)

Erva:                        Yerba (Portuguese)

Tereré:                     Cold Yerba Mate with a high stem content made from iced water or juice (Paraguayan)

Chimarrão:               Hot Yerba Mate (Brazilian)

Yuyos:                     Medicinal Herbs added to Yerba Mate in various blends

Matteina:                 The caffeine-like component or yerba mate that keeps you awake

Saborizada:              Flavoured


Curar:                      To Cure. The process of preparing your gourd for use as a cup

Cebar:                     To Serve. One person usually prepared & refills the mate, and hands it to each person

Tomar:                    To drink yerba mate

Matear:                   The action of having Yerba Mate – especially in a social setting with friends/family

Gracias:                  ‘Thankyou’ – you say ‘gracias’ to the person serving when you don’t want anymore.

If you'd like to get started brewing yerba mate, see below for our recommended starter sets...