- Yerba mate leaves (about 2-3 tablespoons per serving)
- Hot water (not boiling, around 160-180°F or 70-80°C)
1. Prepare the Yerba Mate Cup (Matero):
- Choose a mate cup (calabash gourd) or a similar cup made of glass, ceramic, or metal. Make sure it’s clean and dry.
2. Fill the Yerba Mate Cup:
- Fill your mate cup about two-thirds full with yerba mate leaves. Tilt the cup to create a slope with a higher side, creating a “mountain” of yerba on one side.
3. Insert the Bombilla:
- Insert the bombilla (metal or wooden straw) into the side of the yerba mountain, making sure it’s secure. The filtered end of the bombilla should be at the bottom of the mountain.
4. Pre-Wet the Yerba:
- Pour a small amount of hot water (about 160-180°F or 70-80°C) into the empty side of the mate cup to wet the yerba leaves. Allow it to sit for a moment.
5. Start Sipping:
- Sip through the bombilla and enjoy the yerba mate. The first sip will be slightly bitter, but the flavor will mellow out as you continue to sip.
6. Replenish with Hot Water:
- When the cup becomes empty, refill it with hot water and continue sipping. You can usually refill and sip multiple times before the yerba loses its flavor.
7. Share the Mate:
- Yerba mate is often shared among friends and family. After finishing the mate, you can pass it to the next person, and they will refill and sip. Traditionally, the person who prepares the mate (cebador) refills the cup and hands it to the next person.
Cooking Time: Yerba mate doesn’t have a specific cooking time; it’s more about continuously sipping and refilling the cup as you go. The leaves can usually provide flavor through multiple refills.
Serving Size: Yerba mate is typically served in one mate cup and shared among a group of people. You can adjust the serving size by preparing more cups and sharing with as many people as you like.