Mate is traditionally prepared in a hollowed calabash gourd known as a mate or guampa. The gourd is packed anywhere from 1/2 to 2/3 full of leaf and then filled with hot, but not boiled water (160 - 180°F). Next, a stylized silver straw tipped with a built in strainer, the bombilla, is inserted into the gourd.
The traditional way to drink Yerba Mate is fun and engaging group activity. The Cebador (server) fills the gourd and drinks the mate completely with a Bombilla (straw) to ensure that it is free of small particles and that it is of good quality. The server subsequently refills the gourd and passes it to the next drinker who likewise drinks it all. The ritual proceeds around the circle until the mate becomes lavado (washed out), typically after the gourd has been filled about eight to ten times.
Each gourd will vary in look, shape, height and diameter as this is a product manufactured from nature.