Mate teas are traditionally drank in a hollowed out gourd with a Bombilla Straw!
Detailed Gourd Curing Instructions
Your goal is to cure the gourd so that the water no longer penetrates the gourd. Any natural product that takes on water is going to take on character. Do not become concerned with bubbles or color distortions, they are a natural part of the curing process that will help to develop the character of your gourd.
Pour some Yerba Mate into the gourd.
If desired, the gourd can be given flavor during this process by adding something to the Yerba Mate. Rum, mint leaf, stevia leaf, lemon peels, orange peels, or honey are some popular examples.
Fill gourd to brim with water.
Let gourd sit filled with water and Yerba Mate for a day or two to absorb flavor.
It is normal for mold to form on the gourd during the curing process. This mold is harmless. If you want to prevent the mold, use rum or a similar alcohol to cure.
Remove Yerba Mate (bombilla straw is a good tool for scraping out Yerba Mate) and clean inside with boiling water only.
Never use soap on a gourd, as it will be absorbed into the gourd.
Dry gourd in window light or other arid condition for a day or two (time will vary depending on environmental conditions). Direct sunlight can be used in non-desert environments.
The gourd constricts and tightens as it releases moisture.
You will know the gourd is dry when there are no water marks on the inside.