Yerba Mate Terminology

  • The "Gourd" is the natural cup made from a real gourd that is found growing in the same area as the Yerba Mate bushes. It is also called a "Mate", "Cabaça", "Calabaza", "Cuia" or "Porongo". In Paraguay the drinking vessel is made from a cow (or other) horn and is called a "Guampa".
  • The "Bombilla" (pronounsed 'bombee-ya') or "Bomba" is the drinking straw made of bamboo or metal, with filtering holes at the bottom to strain out the leaves.
  • The "Yerba" (Spanish for herb) or "Yerba Mate" is the dried leaves (and traditionally a little of the twigs) of the Yerba Mate shrub. The Yerba Mate used for drinking in a gourd is also called "chimarrão".
  • Cold Yerba Mate drunk in a gourd or horn is also refered to as "Terere".

So, you could say, "put the Yerba in the Mate and bebe with the Bombilla!" Not bad for 'Spanglish'.