To prepare a mate in the traditional way you need:
A mate cup: A container in which to prepare the infusion which can be made of squash, stainless steel or other materials.
A bombilla: A filtering straw that allows you to drink while filtering the leaves.
Yerba Mate: Also known as "Ilex Paraguariensis" or "Yerba Maté", this is the herb that is steeped to prepare the drink.
The 5 stages of mate preparation
1. Heat some water
Heat water without boiling it so as not to burn the mate leaves or your throat. This also makes it possible not to degrade the Yerba. The ideal temperature is between 70 and 80 °. If you don't have a thermostat, you can stop heating it when you see the first small bubbles appear.
2. Pour the Yerba Mate
Fill the calabash 2/3 full with mate. You must then try to remove as much mate powder as possible. To do this, you need to put your palm over the hole in the calabash, turn the calabash all over the place, wipe off any powder from your hand and repeat the operation. Form a heap of mate on one side of the calabash, leaving a hollow on the other side.
Form a heap of mate on one side of the calabash, leaving a hollow on the other side.
3. Pour in lukewarm water
First, you should pour lukewarm water into the hollow of the calabash. This allows the mate to keep its "mountain" shape throughout the infusions but also to avoid burning the leaves when you pour the hot water. You have to put your thumb on top of the bombilla and then insert it into the hollow side of the calabash.
4. Pour hot water
The last step is to pour hot water into the hollow side of the calabash. You must not drown the mate. It should be poured just below the level of the mate. You can consume your mate 30 seconds after you start brewing it. You can steep your mate until it tastes off, about ten times.