Make this South American
tea the traditional way.
1. Prepare the cup.
Fill the cup about 2/3 full with loose yerba maté.
2. Shake it up.
Covering the cup completely with your hand,
turn it upside down and shake it, up and down
and side to side, a few times each way. This
allows the dust in the loose-leaf yerba maté to
settle toward the opening of the cup.
Look for supplies at a local Argentinean deli
or find them online.
» Fishbowl-shaped cup traditionally, a mate
made of a hollowed gourd or wood
» Bombilla a special straw made of metal
or wood with a built-in filter that keeps the
leaves from being slurped up
» Loose-leaf yerba maté tea pronounced
» Warm and hot water
3. Tilt the cup upright
and insert the bombilla.
Slowly turn the cup right side up, so that you
leave the hill of yerba maté against one side,
slanting at a roughly 45° angle. Place the filter-
ing end of the bombilla into the yerba maté
from the emptier side. Now pour warm (not
hot) water into the empty part of the cup, just
enough to moisten the yerba maté. This will
protect some of the important nutrients from
being destroyed by the next step. Add sugar
at this point if you want.
Now pour hot water into the shallow area,
filling the cup to just below the highest peak
of the yerba maté hill. Never use boiling
water — keep it below 150°F to protect the
nutrients that make yerba maté healthy.
The nutrients are water soluble.
5. Sip and refill.
Let the hot water sit for 2–3 minutes, then
sip until you don’t hear any gurgling. Refill
with hot water, but don’t move the bombilla,
or loose leaves will get sucked up! You can
keep refilling until you no longer taste the
Lincoln Kamm, a performer at the Magic Castle, has
been crafting since childhood, and currently lives in