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I just got back from Argentina with three mate gourds and started to prepare them for first use (put the yerba, add cold water and leave for ~1 day, I was told, is the first thing to do).

To my surprise, the first one started leaking right during that first day, and the other two cracked during the first session - one of them is wooden, the other one made of actual gourd.

So my question is, is this just bad luck or could it be because of some mistake in the how I prepared it - for instance, using water that's too hot?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I don't think it's your fault. Mates don't break that often. Besides, I've seen a lot of people drink it hotter than me without any problems.

As for preparation, it was recommended to me the following:

Place the leaves in the mate
Add a little bit of cold water
Add hot water

When and how you put the straw is a whole other chapter!

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The best way to cure a mate is to boil it in milk. fill a deep pan with milk and wipe butter around the inside of your mate. place it in the pan of milk slowly bring the milk to a boil with your mate cup inside. let boil for a few minutes than you can take it out and let sit over night in the morning you can rinse it out with hot hot tap water, and your good to go.

I cant tell you how many I have cracked by trying to cure it the "argentine way", actualy i can 5 3 palo santo wooden mates and 2 clay ones. Since the new way I have had 0 problems. If you want a 50 50 chance of a good cure than to it the conventional way, or do it my way which was taught to me by an argentine. It was his family tradition to cure it the way I do now.

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