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How to cure a mate gourd before its first use?

How to cure a mate gourd before its first use?

That's it, you've bought your traditional mate discovery kit , and there, surprise, your calabash has "shavings" inside and doesn't seem to be cleaned! Don't worry, this is completely normal ! According to South American tradition, it is up to you to prepare your calabash to receive its first mate ! Each calabash is unique and we explain here the procedure to follow so that everything goes well! Ready to cure your 1st mate ?

  1. What is a calabash?

  2. How to cure your mate before first use?

  3. I have black spots in my mate, what are they?

  4. What should I do if the mate is poorly cured?

  5. The alternatives

1. What is a calabash?

A calabash is quite simply the traditional container in which mate is drunk , in Argentina, when we talk about mate we are talking about the drink itself as well as the calabash! This word therefore refers to the drink but also to the calabash.

The most commonly used gourd comes from a plant, the lagenaria , part of the Cucurbitaceae family (it is therefore a squash, or a gourd).

To make the gourd, the fruit will be cut widthwise once it has finished growing, then decorated! We also add a small metal crown to make drinking mate more practical. Each fruit being unique, all calabashes are different! You will therefore find many sizes and shapes of mate to choose from (long ones, tall ones, in short, something for all tastes)!

A mate gourd before its transformation

➡ How we select our calabashes to have a quality mate:

The shape : it must always have a narrow base and a wide mouth (so that the yerba mate is not too wet during infusion).

Thickness : The gourd must have a good thickness (thick and robust walls) so that it does not break easily and so that it lasts over time.

The inner stem : The knot or button at the base must face outwards and not inwards (simply to allow the mate to dry well and avoid mold)

Finally , if you decide to choose a gourd with a support (often metal feet) like some Argentinians, take care that the feet are well closed (as in the photo below)!

Typical Argentinian mate calabashes

2. How to cure mate before its first use?

What does curing mate mean?

Curing mate means preparing the container before its very first use, so that it is suitable for consumption.

This is an essential step in the process of preparing mate, which all Argentinians do when purchasing a traditional calabash!

Important: A calabash only needs to be cured once, just before preparing your first mate in it, there is no need to do it every time you drink a mate, don't worry!

How to cure a traditional mate gourd:

1. Completely fill the gourd with very hot water.

2. Leave the calabash filled with water for 2 hours (to soften the interior walls).

3. Drain the water then gently scrape the interior walls of the calabash using a spoon. Scrape the inside to remove the skin , membranes or fragments of the woody stem of your gourd.

4. Once the walls are smooth, rinse the gourd well to remove all the small pieces of skin remaining from the fruit.

5. Finally, let the gourd dry on its side (never upside down) for about a day.

6. Your calabash is dry and clean, ready to receive its first infusion, you can drink your first mate !

3. I have black/green spots in my mate, what are they?

No problem, it's completely normal and it's even a good sign!

It is simply a thin layer of mate leaves which, through infusion, have lined the wall of your gourd.

Important: This type of stain is not mold ! The mate infusion is a dark green color, which will then color your calabash and make it completely unique.

Positive point: The more mate you drink in your calabash, the better it will be! Indeed, as explained above, the yerba leaves will line the walls of your calabash and make your mates even better as they are used. (like a casserole in which we always make the same dish, the container is an integral part of the recipe)

As you can see, a black spot in your gourd does not necessarily mean that fungus has developed in your mate.

You can indeed be concerned when you see a stain, but as long as you don't see a little white foam , nor smell a worrying odor, you don't need to worry, it's not mold and your gourd is fine!

The inside of a mate calabash

4. How do I know if my mate is poorly cured?

How to differentiate between completely normal mate stains and mold stains?

First clue: color

Indeed, if the appearance of the spots in your mate becomes white (like small spots), it is possible that your gourd has developed fungus.

In this case, don't panic, your gourd can still be recovered, don't throw it away!

1. We advise you to empty your calabash and fill the container with boiled water to the top (without touching the metal ring) and let it sit for a few minutes.

2. Next, discard the water and gently scrape with a small spoon until you remove all the black layer remaining inside.
Repeat the process until all the foam is gone , then let the gourd dry for 24 hours, head side up (to let the air inside).

3. Better to be safe: to avoid the formation of fungus , as soon as you have finished drinking, clean the calabash well and wash it in hot water to remove all the small leaves of yerba mate .

4. Then dry the interior with absorbent paper or a clean, dry cloth, and make sure there are no moisture problems.

5. Alternatives

That's all well and good, but you don't have the time to maintain a traditional calabash ? No problem, you can always opt for the stainless steel calabash !

This calabash does not need any maintenance , robust and double-walled, you can take it anywhere with you! Traditional or stainless steel calabash : the preparation of the mate is identical , the only difference is once your mate is finished, with the stainless steel container you don't have to do anything except rinse it with hot water! It is therefore a good alternative to traditional mate if you are short on time or are often on the move.

The stainless steel calabash requires virtually no maintenance

And There you go ! You know everything about mate and how to cure a traditional calabash before its first use. All these tips should help you from the moment you purchase your calabash but also over time, to properly maintain your mate and allow you to enjoy all the benefits of this drink !

Ready to prepare your first mate ? To learn how to consume it like a real Matero , click here: learn how to prepare your traditional Matero like a pro !
nomadic tradition mate kit

nomadic tradition mate kit

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kit maté tradition nomade - Mimaté
kit maté tradition nomade - Mimaté
kit maté tradition nomade - Mimaté

nomadic tradition mate kit

The N°1 mate box chosen by our customers.

34,90€ Regular price 39,90€ Sale price
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✔️ Tracked delivery in 24/72 hours
🔥 Payment 3x free of charge from €59
📕 Comes with an explanatory guide
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Discover traditional mate with a simplified, quick and 100% eco-friendly preparation: that’s the traditional nomadic mate kit!

👉 NEW BESTSELLER : This brand new mate discovery kit is the ideal box to discover traditional mate with simplified preparation .

♻️ Made from 100% recycled silicone : The silicone calabash is the perfect compromise between tradition and modernity.

Ultra practical : Requires no maintenance, washable in a few seconds with water, in addition to being flexible and unbreakable, it is the easiest gourd to carry in a small bag or even in your pocket!

A Calabash with the best ergonomics , available in 5 colors.
Simplified preparation : Pour the mate into the calabash and add water: It's ready!
Perfect to carry, simple to use and easy to clean.
Can contain up to 50g of Yerba Mate (leaves) and 200ml of water.

✓ Does not retain taste , odors or bacteria.
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👉 The portable silicone mate kit contains :

  • x1 250g bag of mate of your choice ! 🍃
  • x1 Silicone calabash with a capacity of 200ml (100% recycled) available in 5 colors.
  • x1 A “classic” bombilla (the traditional straw) with filter, in stainless steel.
  • x1 Brush to clean and maintain the bombilla (this is a small brush designed to clean the inside of the filter straw)

♻️ Eco-responsible bags : All our mate bags are made from recycled paper and are100% biodegradable.

🧉 The kit comes with an explanatory guide to know everything about mate and learn how to prepare it.


3500 verified reviews



Excellent mate

I had known about Mate for a while but I had not yet tasted such a good quality Mate. Thank you Mimate!

Boire du mate pour maigrir

Emma L.


Very good and consistent with the photos

The mate is very green, consistent with the photos with lots of fruit and other pieces inside! I advise.

femme qui boit du maté bio mimaté

Sylvie C.


Gain energy with mate

A super nice menthol taste
I drink it in my own full-bodied way
All day long

calebasse yerba maté traditionnelle en courge d'argentine

Victor Z.


Very good mate

Good taste, easy to infuse, great for good muscle recovery

selfie d'un homme qui boit le maté traditionnel mimaté

Catherine D.


Super happy with my mate

Received the order in accordance with my expectations.
The calabash is aesthetically beautiful.
I recommend !

brunch avec de la yerba maté dans une calebasse traditionnelle



Top products

Excellent, mate has allowed me to reduce smoking and perhaps soon to stop. By drinking this mate, it reduces the lack of nicotine but above all it makes me sick of cigarettes!

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Perfect for discovering

Everything rolls in this box. Even after hot water is added, the gourd remains at a good temperature to hold it in your hand.

verser de l'eau chaude pour infuser le maté

Melanie D.


New ritual for me

The concept is so good, I was looking for an alternative to coffee and I'm so happy to have discovered mate 😍

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Manon C.


A great discovery

Before and after sport, it's a great discovery! Better recovery, more energy and it became a pleasure to prepare my mate every day.

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Mathéo H.


Thank you Mimate team!

RAS, super practical bottle and the mate is excellent, two weeks after my order I barely started the second bag

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Nikolas D.


My drink for this summer

Feet in the sand with a good iced mate, what a pleasure! This original organic mate is excellent.

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Help for sports!

Better recovery plus giving me a boost, very very good mate

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Maxence B.


Hot or iced I love it

At first I drank it hot this winter and then I recommended fruity mate, drinking it iced is even better 🔥

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Nicholas G.


Really energizing

I wanted to try it like this on a whim and I am very satisfied with my order, quick, well packaged and the mate gives me the boost I was looking for

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The little attention with my first name

Fast delivery and a nice touch when I discovered my first name written by hand on the booklet, I will definitely recommend

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Finished the coffee

I was drinking too much coffee and I managed to reduce it thanks to mate, thank you team

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3 tastes tested in infusion and I who didn't usually like mate, these convinced me :)

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I drink it iced

This summer I drank it like that and frankly with ice cubes and pieces of fruit it's quality

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Nothing to say, great

RAS, well packaged, received quickly at a relay point with free delivery and the guide in the box is super practical for getting started

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Surprisingly surprised

At first I was expecting something strong and not at all! thanks for the discovery

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Perfect for sports

Before my training I always drink one now and it's fire

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It was a first order so always wary but nothing to say, top quality service

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Received in 48 hours, tooop this mate

Very good even if it takes a little time to adapt, the benefits are worth it!

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Every morning it's mate!

New morning routine and after running, totally won over

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Nothing to say, it's serious

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A validated discovery

Not sure I'll prepare it to perfection but the booklet and the tutorial video helped me a lot, thank you mimate