How To…

Drinking Yerbe Mate? Use the Bombilla

So, you have shopped around for a great flavored or traditional mate…but have you considered how will you drink it? Traditionally, mate is placed in a cup in loose leaf form. Let me tell you from experience, you do not want to drink any of the loose leaf mate as it tastes bitter and makes a mess in your mouth. The bombilla is simply a straw with a filter ball on the bottom. There are a number of different styles of bombilla’s on the market.

In addition to being a great filter for yerbe mate, this filter straw works perfectly for coffee and loose leaf tea. I am an avid backpacker and in the past I would pack a small lexan or glass french press. Now that I have used this bombilla, I will be leaving my french press at home and only taking the bombilla with me. This will remove not only the bulkiness and weight of the french press, but it will also remove the chance of breaking the french press…

There are several colors of straws that you can order. Red, green, blue, yellow and brown are typically available. The ultimate bombilla can be ordered here for around $3.00!

Some advice on the art of mate…

Enjoying Mate via the traditional gourd & bombilla

[advice from the kriegmiester]

FYI for those that want to do the traditional mate method with a gourd and bombilla:

Fill your gourd about 3/4 full with the yerba leaves, then add warm/cold water over the top and let this soak in real good. The soaking not only expands the leaves, keeping your bombilla from getting clogged, but also keeps the yerba from getting burned/scalded by the hot water.

Now, take your bombilla, placing your thumb over the top (which keeps the matte from going into the bombilla) and slide the bombilla down one side of the gourd and pull back (like a shovel). This action will create a pocket, pushing the yerba to the other side. You are trying to move all the mate to one side of the gourd so you are only using half of it.

Now pour in the hot water into the hole you just made and enjoy. Once the potency is gone, remove the bombilla and slide it into the other side, pushing the yerba to the other side, now you have fresh mate with only half the work!

Drinking Mate in the 21st century…

If you are not into the traditional gourd approach, you can also place the loose mate into a coffee cup and use your bombilla. Another approach that works quite well is to simply use a French Press. A french press is typically used to brew loose coffee grounds and it works perfectly for making a great mate!

Iced Mate

[more advice from the kriegmiester]

Ever tried Yerba Mate cold? It is a good alternative on a hot summer day, but it is nasty if not done correctly (if you have ever let your water get cold/warm you know what I am talking about).

The traditional way would be to get a metal gord or something similar to hold the cold in, but any cup will work. Add some Yerba leaves and cover with a little cold water to soak into the leaves, then add a bunch of ice. The next step is the key, simply add some type of juice instead of water! I have used orange juice, that works well and tastes great, but try any of your favorite juices and see how they work.

The ice will keep it chilled and the juice mixed with the mate leaves will give you a unique flavor. (Another alternative would be to create an ice tea by placing some mate teabags in a cup with a little boiling water, let it steep and then poor the mixture into a larger container with more water and ice, add lemon and whale, you have a good iced mate!)

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