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Q: How do I cure a yerba mate gourd?

A: It is necessary to cure your mate gourd before use. This process removes the bitter gourd taste from the vessel. · Scrape the dry, flaky material form the inside of the gourd with a spoon.
· Fill the gourd with loose yerba mate.
· Pour in hot water.
· Let the gourd sit for 24 hours.
· Empty the gourd and scrape inside again.
· Rinse well.
· Fill the gourd with loose yerba mate a second time.
· Pour in hot water again.
· Allow the gourd to sit another 24 hours.
· Empty the gourd and give it a final scrape with a spoon.
· Rinse well.

Your gourd is now ready for use!

Remember to follow these tips to keep your gourd in good shape:
· Do not use soap when cleaning the gourd. A thorough rinse is sufficient.
· Do not run gourd through the dishwasher.
· Do not leave used tea leaves in the gourd for extended periods after use.
· Empty gourd after use, rinse well, and allow to dry on a windowsill.
· If you use additional herbs or flavors in your gourd, your gourd will acquire those flavors afterward.
· It is natural for the inner walls of your gourd to stain greenish-black over time.