The Art of Preparing and Drinking Mate

Mate and the Etiquette of Drinking it. 

Mate ArgentinaAnyone who has ever been to Argentina can tell you that there are a few things the Argentineans are passionate about namely football, tango, dulce de leche and asados. But there is something that unites all Argentineans it is their love for their national drink, and it is not beer or wine but Mate. If you are invited to try some Mate when you are in Buenos Aires there is an etiquette to be followed which we will outline for you. 

There are four basic but necessary components to making the perfect mate.

  • Mate- A hollowed out gourdMate Argentina
  • Bombilla- A straw usually made of silver with a flared end and holes which allow the liquid in.
  • Yerba- The tea like leaves which are placed in the mate, to make the drink. 
  • Water- The water needs to be hot but not boiling. 

How to prepare the perfect mate. 

  • Fill the mate ¾ full with the yerba, place your hand over the opening turn it upside down and shake a few times. Doing this distributes the yerba with the heavier leaves at the bottom avoiding the filter on the bombilla becoming blocked by the smaller leaves. 
  • Turn the mate the right way up, but when doing so make sure that the yerba is on a 45º, creating a hole on one side of the mate. Add enough water to moisten the yerba but not fill the mate.
  • When the water has been absorbed add the bombilla to the hole in the yerba making sure that it is firmly placed against the side of the mate. 
  • Fill with water between 70 and 80º, never boiling. 
  • Drink.


  • The host or cebador will have the first infusion making sure it is of good quality and there are no particles. 
  • The cebador will then refill the mate and pass it to the person on their right who drinks it all, there isn’t much water and passes it back to the cebador. Only say gracias when you don’t want anymore. 
  • This continues until the yerba has lost its flavour then the cebador will prepare a new one or move the bombilla. 
  • The only person who is permitted to move the bombilla is the cebador.
  • Don’t take too long when it is your turn to drink or you may be warned that it is not a microphone. 

James - Marketing Team

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