Yerba mate provides the unique benefits and pleasure sensations that are usually associated with the consumption of coffee, tea, and chocolate all combined!

Check out our previous post to learn about its numerous benefits. But how is it prepared? Here we discuss the terminology and traditional and modern ways of yerba mate preparation.

Yerba Mate Terminology:

Bombilla: yerba mate filtering straw; there are different kinds of it (see the figure below) with the spoon being the most famous and most used one.


Gourd: wide yerba mate cup.


Modern Way of Preparing Yerba Mate:

  1. Place the bombilla obliquely in the gourd.
  2. Fill 1/3 – 1/2 of the gourd with yerba mate leaves while ensuring that the bombilla is still.
  3. Cover the yerba mate leaves with water at room temperature (to ensure that the nutrients are released and remain intact).
  4. Fill the rest of the gourd with warm water (temperature around 90 degrees Celsius); this way, the taste doesn’t become bitter!
  5. Drink, enjoy, and refill up to 4 times with warm water.

Traditional Way of Preparing Yerba Mate:

This way ensures that you get the most of the nutrients found in Yerba mate. It also lasts longer and is accompanied with more aroma and pleasure senses!

  1. Fill 1/3-1/2 of the gourd with yerba mate.
  2. Cover the top of the gourd and shake slowly up and down. The mate should now have an inclined orientation (separating soft leaves from big ones).
  3. Fill 1/3 of the gourd with water at room temperature while making sure that the orientation of mate is not changed.
  4. Wait for around 30 seconds for the water to be absorbed.
  5. Mold the mate with the remaining water while keeping its orientation inclined.
  6. Fill the gourd with warm water (temperature around 90 degrees Celsius) just a bit below the level of mate.
  7. Drink, enjoy, and refill up to 10 times with warm water!


We recommend the traditional method as it brings out a better experience and more nutrition!

For more fun and a better nutritious experience, you can always add ginger, tea, or lemon grass to your warm water. 

For a better awakening experience, you can add a teaspoon of grunden coffee or one opened cardamom seed to the bottom of the mate gourd!

Ranim Daw, MS in Cell & Molecular Biology

American University of Beirut

February 22, 2017