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The Mate Blog

How to choose your mate bombilla?

Mar 31, 2021

It can be difficult to find your way around this multitude of bombillas , yet it is an essential element for the consumption of a traditional mate in a calabash. A very good quality mate straw can last a lifetime, while a poor quality one may not last very long - a few months.

But then which mate straw to choose? What is the difference between an Alpaca bombilla and a stainless steel bombilla? Which bombilla is suitable for his calabash?


  1. Bombilla: what is it?
  2. The different materials of the Bombilla
    1. Stainless steel bombillas
    2. Bombillas in Alpaca
    3. Bombillas in Wood, Aluminum, Glass, Bamboo and others
  3. The different shapes of the bombilla
    1. The beak (tip)
    2. The filter
    3. height and weight

Bombilla: what is it?

The bombilla or mate straw is essential to enjoy mate in a calabash .

It is a filter straw that can be made from different materials such as stainless steel , aluminum or alpaca . These different manufacturing materials will obviously impact the quality of the straw .

Several points should be taken into consideration before investing in a mate straw: its resistance, the size of the holes, its shape, its size, its maintenance and its compatibility with your mate gourd .

Bombilla serious mate

Our bombilla engraved and designed by our partner craftsman

The different materials of the Bombilla

Stainless steel bombillas

They are worked to be resistant and above all thick enough to reduce the risk of burning when consuming mate. In addition, they have the advantage of not oxidizing like aluminum.

They are quite affordable straws and can be ideal for a first purchase.

bombilla mate stainless steel

Our steel bombilla to start mate

Bombillas in Alpaca

Bombillas made from Alpaca are the strongest and are exclusively handcrafted. In addition, they have low heat conduction which makes drinking mate very pleasant.

You can find several of them in Alpaca on our shop and in particular two models which have received a 925 thousandth Silver bath in order to reduce heat conduction even more while enjoying a mate with a very high quality accessory.

We offer several mate straws in Alpaca that we can guarantee for life - a guarantee of the quality of the work of our partner craftsman.

bombilla maté alpaca bronze

A mate bombilla in Alpaca, guaranteed for life!

Bombillas in Wood, Aluminum, Glass, Bamboo and others

We do not recommend mate straws other than Stainless Steel or Alpaca.

Indeed, other materials such as wood, glass or aluminum are either not very resistant or conduct heat and can be dangerous . If the manufacturing has been carried out incorrectly, you risk aspirating particles of matter.

The different shapes of bombilla

The beak (tip)

The spout (pico in Spanish) or boquilla (meaning “little mouth”) of the mate straw is the part where the matero puts his lips to drink mate.

The tip of the mouthpiece is flattened to cool the water, regulate its flow and improve the overall experience as it conforms better to the lips. The mouthpiece can also be curved , so that the mate can be drunk without tilting the head or the gourd.

Here are some examples of different earmold shapes:

  • Bombilla "Pico de Loro" or parrot's beak (curved tip) : This is one of the most common and practical shapes.
  • Straight bombilla : They are straight and practical for certain gourds and in particular those in stainless steel which have a fairly straight shape.
    bombilla mate mouthpiece

    The different mouthpieces of mate bombillas

    The filter

    The purpose of the yerba mate bombilla filter is to prevent yerba mate stems and leaves from sneaking into the matero's mouth:

    • Flat filter : These are the most common filters, we strongly recommend them because they help to form the well.
    • Cylindrical filter : Very practical for fine yerba mate cuts because the holes are finer.
    • Spring filter : This is the preferred type of filter for “Canarias” type mate cups.
      bombilla mate filter

      The filter of mate bombillas in Alpaca

      height and weight

      It is better to have a good bombilla and calabash compatibility to avoid some problems, such as an unstable calabash due to a bombilla that is too heavy.

      We will therefore see some compatibility between several calabashes and bombillas:

      • Small, thin and light for small light gourds - like our Original Mate Kit with our classic stainless steel mate straw and our small Torpedo gourd.
      • Normal, matching most footed gourds .
      • Wide, for larger calabashes, such as the Imperial calabash.

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