• Erva Mate, a special kind of green tea from South America (the greener the better)
  • A nice cuia (a cup made from the calabash gourd)
  • A metal straw with a filter (in Portuguese, bomba)
  • A plastic disc for tamping the mate (you can use a CD covered in paper or your hand)
  • A thermos flask with hot water
  • A cup of warm water

Note: The brand of erva shown "Terra Mate" is good, but we are not being paid to advertise for them


  • Water
    • Heat the water in a kettle or pan until the first bubbles start to appear. Do not allow the water to boil or it will burn the erva and the chimarrão will not be at its best. And of course you will burn your mouth. :-P
  • Putting the erva into cuia
    • Despense the erva into the cuia until it reaches the neck or around two-thirds full. (see the pictures below)


Cevando the mate (a gaúcho term for preparing the chimarrão)

  • Cover the top of the cuia with the plastic disc and hold it firmly in place


  • Turn the cuia on its side and shake it gently from side to side a few times

Note: Sorry, but we don´t have a movie yet.

  • Turn the cuia back to around 45 to the vertical
  • Slowly remove the plastic disc and check that the erva is flat across the top and forms a wall with a gap down the side (as in the photo below)


Adding the water

  • Slowly pour the cup of warm water into the cuia by letting it run down the side. Note: do not use hot water at this point, as it can ruin the erva. More adventurous people can use cachaça for this step.

Note: Look at the shoes of the guy in the pictures. These are Alpargata, typical shoes of the gaúcho people. These ones are really old.

Introducing the bomba

  • Place your thumb over the end of the bomba


  • Turn the bomba so the back is towards the wall of the erva


  • Insert the bomba into the cuia until it reaches the bottom (it is good to put it very close to the wall formed by the erva)
  • Still with your thumb over the end of the bomba, turn it anticlockwise (around 90 degrees, so the bomba is parallel with the erva wall)
  • Now you can release your thumb



  • Go to the sink (or outside of your house, but never the window of your flat), suck the water out of the cuia and spit it into the sink (the first one is never good)
  • Now if you want (and if you have it), you can put some teas, herbs, etc. on top of the mate so you can add it to the erva to give it a different flavour

The rules of chimarrão

  • The cuia is for communal use, so don't be disgusted (of course, don't offer it to someone with a mouth disease or something worse!)
  • Chimarrão is not like tereré, so don't try to suck all of the water in one shot (it's really dangerous !! I know from personal experience). Drink calmly
  • A cuia is not a microphone. Don't waste time; there are people waiting to drink
  • Avoid (I mean NEVER) touch the bomba. Only as a last resort, if the bomba is blocked, turn it a little bit from side to side.
  • Never leave a chimarrão unfinished. You know when it is done, by the characteristic gurgling of the bomba

Note: There are several other rules, but we haven't included them here because of lack of space on the server
Note 2: The method shown here is for right-handed people (can you believe there is a rule for that), because you hold the cuia in your left hand and use your right to fill it with water (think, the thermos is heavier than the cuia)


Ricardo (Gaúcho)

Ricardo Schmidt
  • Instructor
  • The Alpagarta's owner that appeared in some pictures


  • Photographer and webdesigner
  • He had a nice experience sucking all of the water in one shot


  • Translator
  • An English guy who enjoyed some rainy days in Florianópolis