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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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