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I am having a problem, it seems my bombilla is always clogging. Maybe I am not setting up my gourd correctly.

We are daily yerba mate drinkers. There are many regional variantions to prepare your yerba mate gourd; this is how I remember my grandmother used to prepare her mate.

Remember, everyone prepares their gourd differently. There are many variations on the process, we know many traditionalists that will say you have to this or that, otherwise your gourd will not work properly. I think that it is just as important to have a beautiful sharing experience with friends and family as it is to set up your yerba mate gourd properly.

These are the things that you will need:

- Yerba mate – all brand / blends are different. Try all the brands and blends until you find the ONE that you like.

- A yerba mate gourd (calabash gourd)

- A bombilla (the sipping straw)

- Hot water - if you are home the traditional kettle or tea pot will do. Otherwise a thermos with a pouring spout is a must.

Pour your yerba mate in the gourd to a little more that half full. Cover the mouth of the gourd with your hand, turn the gourd upside down, and shake it a few times. This process puts the fine particles on the top of the yerba mate, and helps to prevent the bombilla from getting clogged.

When you flip the over again allow the yerba to rest on one side of the gourd creating a cavity on one side of the gourd. This is where you will pour the water.

You need pour warm water on the yerba mate to expand it, this is done to prepare the yerba for the hot water and it expands the yerba so it will not clog your bombilla.

Once you allow the yerba to soak up the warm water about a minute, you are ready to insert the bombilla and fill the gourd with water.

The water should be hot, not boiling hot. About 150 to 160 degrees is hot enough.

The first drink is the strongest tasting and may yield a little yerba dust.

As you drink your yerba mate you will notice that the flavor become milder and eventually the yerba loses its flavor. It becomes washed, this is apparent as the froth that rises gets thinner until it disappears.

You can refresh your yerba mate gourd by removing some of the washed yerba mate and replacing it with fresh yerba mate.

Most traditionalists drink the yerba mate without adding a sweetener this a “mate amargo”.

If you prefer a sweetened yerba mate you can sweeten the water so you achieve a consistent flavor.

If you follow the basics you will find that you can master a pleasureable consistent experience without the bombilla getting clogged.

Should you bombilla become clogged; pull the bombilla straight out, try not to disturb the yerba around it too much. Rinse the bombilla with some of your mate water and re-insert it in the same spot. Pour the water down the bombilla stem, this should get your mate going again.

Enjoy your yerba mate experience. Send us an email with your favorite yerba mate drinking experience.



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