Short and Long Mate
This difference is related to the
amount of water used to fill the mate up.
The recommended duration of the mate
(a natural balance between its taste and
the pleasure of drinking it) is of two or
three normal sips.
We can conclude then
that it is not the size of the gourd what
will make an influence in this classification,
but the correct proportion of the brewing
The size of the gourd will give
us an idea of the destiny that it will have;
since the amount of yerba that it can hold
is directly related to the performance of the brewing
(number of mates that can be brewed without the
necessity of mending or renewing it).
So, the biggest gourd will be generally
adopted by a group whereas the smallest one
will be adopted by the individual mate user.
It does make an influence in this classification
how "crecedora" (growing) the yerba that is being
used can be. If the yerba is "crecedora" (brewing),
it will inflate slowly reducing room for the water
inside the gourd, and consequently, shortening the
To solve this problem, the brewer will have
to make it "bostear", i.e. using the flat face of the
filter of the bombilla, he will have to remove a portion of yerba so that he can recover the original capacity destined to the water.
It is the brewer who will have to test his knowledge
of the gourd (the capacity of the calabash) and the
yerba he is using to be able to prepare the brewing
with the correct proportion and get mates of a proper duration.
Finally, it is worth pointing out that another factor
that indirectly influences on the duration of the mates
is the temperature of the water. Even when the amount
of water does not vary, it makes an influence on the
drinker's sensation making him shorten or lengthen his
Therefore, with the same brewing, the hotter water
will give us the sensation of a longer mate, and the
colder water, of a shorter mate.