A highly popular beverage in several South American countries, especially in Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Argentina, mate cocido (prepared like regular tea) possesses diuretic properties and is believed to be nutritious.

Mate cocido, also known as mate, mate cocido, or yerbiado, can be served hot, cold, or iced, with or without sugar. In the past, the aroma of mate permeated the entire house when it was prepared in a primitive teapot, agitated to dry the herb leaves over blazing fires. Sugar was used to sweeten the aroma.

With the advent of gas stoves, open flames largely disappeared, and the herb began to dry, making its preparation easier. Nowadays, the process of preparing mate cocido is similar to that of tea.

Though more expensive and famous, tea did not reach the beaches of Rio de Janeiro as mate did many years ago, despite facing certain challenges in terms of hygiene. The preparation of mate cocido, now that the yerba comes dried, is straightforward.



  • Sugar to taste
  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of yerba mate
  • 1 cup of almost boiling water


  1. Heat a porcelain or enamel teapot with boiling water and let it sit for 3 or 4 minutes. Then, discard the water.
  2. In a saucepan, add very hot water.
  3. Add 1 or 2 teaspoons of yerba mate for each cup of water in the saucepan.
  4. Strain the mate cocido and serve it in the heated porcelain teapot.
Mate Cocido
Mate Cocido



  • Good quality yerba mate
  • A mate gourd
  • A bombilla (straw-filter)


  1. Place yerba in the mate gourd, filling it three-fourths full, about 75% capacity.
  2. Tilt the mate slightly so the yerba sits more towards one side.
  3. Next, insert the bombilla into the side with less yerba, into the hollow space.
  4. In the same spot, add a bit of room temperature water to avoid scorching the yerba.
  5. Fill the mate with hot water and enjoy the first mate.
  6. Subsequent mates will be filled only with hot water.
It is important to keep in mind that the hot water for the mate should never boil, as it would burn the yerba.

More drink recipes here…

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