A handcrafted traditional gourd for drinking Yerba Maté, featuring swirling patterns made by heat infusing the body of the gourd. This gourd is 4 inches tall, has an opening of 2 inches, and an 8-12 ounce capacity. Due the the nature of handcrafted gourds, Since no two pieces are alike, each gourd may vary slightly in size and design from that pictured.
Although Maté Gourds have a long history in South American countries of Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, their use in Asia is very limited to only Yerba aficionados. We started a small project a few years ago to make Maté Gourds in Northern India using mango wood, which produces a durable and high-quality gourd. Our intent is to spread the art of tea and help foster cross-pollination of tea cultures.
The Ritual of Drinking Yerba Maté
The traditional way to drink Yerba Maté is fun and engaging group activity. One individual (cebador, in Spanish), assumes the task of the server. The cebador typically fills the gourd and drinks the Yerba completely with a Bombilla (straw) to ensure that it is free of small particles and that it is of good quality. The server subsequently refills the gourd and passes it to the next drinker who likewise drinks it all. The ritual proceeds around the circle until the mate becomes lavado (“washed out” or “flat”), typically after the gourd has been filled about eight to ten times, depending on the yerba used. Well-aged yerba maté is typically more potent, and therefore provides a greater number of refills. When one has had their fill of mate, they tell the cebador when it is their turn to drink by simply saying gracias (thanks) as they receive the maté. In the tradition of maté-drinking, gracias means that this maté accepted will be the last to be drunk, and serves as an acknowledgement of the kindness and kinship offered by the cebador and those with whom one has shared the maté.