Curing your "Mate cup" is an important process to give it more life-time. It closes the pores helping to prevent the formation of mold and avoiding the taste of the gourd affecting the Yerba Mate and your stomach.
HOW TO CURE MY MATE CUP?
1) Fill the gourd halfway with Yerba Mate and pour hot water into the gourd until it is full. *optional: add 1 tablespoon of ashes (from firewoods - do not use ashes from coal or other non-vegetable sources)
2) After 24 hrs remove the Yerba Mate with a spoon and lightly scrape the interior.
3) Repeat this process in a well-ventilated place for 2-3 days, always topping it off with hot water as the gourd absorbs it.
4) After 2-3 days, rinse it, leave it dry and now your Mate cup is ready to use!!! .
HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY MATE GOURD AFTER START USING IT?
If you take good care of it, clean it after every use, and prevent mold from forming, your mate gourd can last you practically your whole life. First of all, the gourd should never be dropped although it may not look delicate. If dropped or abused, small cracks may begin to form which increase with time, creating leaks and compromising your gourd. Keep you gourd dry between uses, rinse it out with running water and position it in a well-ventilated, warm place and never upside down, if possible, dry it with a paper towel after rinsing.