In this method, the gourd is first filled one-half to three-quarters of the way with yerba.Too much yerba will result in a "short" mate; conversely, too little yerba results in a "long" mate, both being considered undesirable.After arranging the yerba along one side of the gourd, the mate is carefully tilted back onto its base, minimizing further disturbances of the yerba as it is re-oriented to allow consumption. The angled mound of yerba should remain, with its powdery peak still flat and mostly level with the top of the gourd.A layer of stems along its slope will slide downward and accumulate in the space opposite the yerba (though at least a portion should remain in place).In Brazil, traditionally prepared mate is known as chimarrão, although the word mate and the expression "mate amargo" (bitter mate) are also used in Argentina and Uruguay.The Spanish cimarrón means "rough", "brute", or "barbarian", but is most widely understood to mean "feral", and is used in almost all of Latin America for domesticated animals that have become wild.
The preparation of mate is a simple process, consisting of filling a container with yerba, pouring hot, but not boiling, water over the leaves, and drinking with a straw, the bombilla, which acts as a filter so as to draw only the liquid and not the yerba leaves.
The straw is called a bombilla in Spanish, a bomba in Portuguese, and a bombija or, more generally, a masassa (straw) in Arabic. Modern, commercially available straws are typically made of nickel silver, called alpaca; stainless steel, or hollow-stemmed cane.
The gourd is known as a mate or a guampa; while in Brazil, it has the specific name of cuia, or also cabaça (the name for Indigenous-influenced calabash gourds in other regions of Brazil, still used for general food and drink in remote regions).
An acute accent is not used in the Spanish spelling, because it would incorrectly indicate that the second syllable is stressed; an accent on the "e" sometimes seen in English is used to indicate that the word and its pronunciation are distinct from the English word "mate".
As the Yerba Mate Association of the Americas points out, with the accent the word "maté" in Spanish means "I killed".