After my last post on mate (the tea, not the romantic partner), I received a stern rebuking from my Chilean mate muse. He had this to add:
There are some points that could help you to improve your mate (not maté):
Aclaración: the idea is the leaves are getting wet from the bottom to the top. You said that you must cover the leaves with cool water... that's a mistake: you musn't cover it. You have to put in the water and try, always, to do it in the same point, in order to keep the top leaves dry: don't spread the water and never cover the leaves. Like that, it'll taste better and it will last more!!!
Not only did I accent the word incorrectly, I also missed out on the whole concept of the water percolating up through the leaves rather than down from above. So from now on, when I drink mate, I'll say "bottom's up!" And no one will know or care what I'm talking about.
I also received advice for brewing mate in a grapefruit, which sounds like a much classier version of smoking pot out of an apple. Eli wrote:
Make mate in your grapefruit. Delicious:
1. Hollow out a mate-sized hole in a grapefruit. Leave a thick layer of flesh on the bottom and sides. (You can still use the grapefruit scraps.)
2. Fill the void with yerba, leaving about an inch of space at the top.
3. Pour a little cool water down one side and slip the bombilla in (to keep the yerba from scalding).
4. Your mate is now ready for hot water, sir. Heat the water until it gets noisy, but don't let it boil. As you refill the grapefruit, squeeze it a little to flavor your delicious mate.
Is anyone else doing anything crazy with your mate that we should know about? (Again, that's the tea.)