Chimarrão is a symbol of friendship, hospitality, and the Gaucha culture.It is a bitter tea that is passed in a circle.The five necessary components for any good chimarrão are cuya – the cup, bomba – the metal straw used to drink the tea, erva – the tea leaves, water about 70° C, and friends!Those of you who have been to Argentina will recognize this as matte.
Here are some guidelines for partaking in the tradition:
1. The person who made the chimarrão drinks the first one.From then on it is passed in a circle.
2. For each person, the cuya is refilled with water either by the person who made the chimarrão or by the person who just had it.Drink the whole thing.
3. Accept the cuya with your right hand.
4. If you don’t want any more, say “thank you” when returning it.
5. NEVER move the bomba (the metal straw). That’s how it gets clogged.
6. Never wash the cuya or bomba with soap.Also, the thermos used for chimarrão water should never be used for anything besides water.
7. Sugar can be added to the erva when making it, but only for children or weaklings.:)
My first chimarrão!