This method is the easiest, safest, and best way to get the benefits of yerba mate's abundant nutritional and chemical content. It is also the world's most popular way to drink yerba mate. It is often enjoyed alone or with the addition of breads, sweets, croissants, crackers, etc. It is generally consumed 3-5 times per day in yerba mate drinking cultures. Current research supports drinking yerba mate tea throughout the day using this method.
1) Fill cured mate cup between a little more than half full to 2/3 full of yerba (and optional smaller dried additives such as herbs or small fruit peels). Tilt gourd until tea is along side of gourd, arriving near the top (shown in green). Explore more about how to cure mate gourd.
2) Optional Step- Cover with hand, turn upside down, and shake vigorously to help prepare the yerba mate. This moves the smaller yerba mate tea leaf particles to the top in order to prevent the mate straw (bombilla) from clogging. Turn it back over carefully on its side. Try to keep the yerba mate inclined along one side during the entire preparation and drinking process.
3) Before the mate straw (bombilla) is put in, pour slightly hot water onto the bottom half of the yerba mate tea. Only a little tepid water (140-158 degrees Fahrenheit or 60-70 degrees Celsius) is added to the bottom half of the yerba mate tea.
4) Wait until the water is absorbed into the yerba mate tea, allowing it to become moist. This helps awaken the yerba mate tea.
5) Insert filter end of mate straw, also called the mate filter, at an angle into the deepest part of the yerba mate tea as the above image demonstrates. Mate straw may be used to first pack the yerba mate along side of gourd if yerba mate tea has fallen.
6) Pour hot water that is not boiling onto the base of the yerba mate tea, then drink. Try to wet as little of the yerba mate near the top when filling the mate gourd with water. The temperature of the water is a personal choice. Do not use very hot water, as one could burn the throat. This concept applies to all hot liquids: very hot coffee, soup, or tea is dangerous for our throats. Still, unfortunately some people will push the boundaries in an effort to extract even more chemicals and nutrients or for the pleasure they might find in drinking very hot drinks. Don't burn yourself: find a safe level between (160-185 degrees Fahrenheit or 71 - 85 degrees Celsius).
7) Drink Yerba Mate!
Optional: Add larger additives like mint leaves, cinnamon sticks, honey, or lemon juice (to name a few) into the gourd as desired.
Note: Some people love the first sip of the yerba mate because it is the most nutrient rich, while other avoid it due to its strong flavor or cooler temperature. For those that dislike the first sip, they will discard it before swallowing by spitting it out into the sink.
8) Repeat step 7 until you have had enough. When bubbles no longer longer form on top of the water, the the yerba mate tea has run out of many of its nutrients. As you drink it, try to preserve the yerba mate by keeping the top level dry when filling the gourd with water. This also helps to protect the mate straw from getting clogged.
Our Yerba Mate Network offers the largest collection of artisan produced yerba mate gourds & yerba mate bombillas, as well as the largest selection of Yerba Mate tea. Again, welcome to this wonderful plant.