We have been drinking coffee for a long time, and truth is, it always leaves us with those deadly crashes, annoying jitters and obviously that terrible coffee breath. That is why we decided to switch over to yerba mate for all of those reasons and more. We have some important information and personal experience about this wonderful drink that we want to share with you.
That’s why in this article we’ll be doing a Q&A with ourselves, in other words – where we break down the 1-2-3 on this funky tea. This includes answering important questions like:
- What’s with all the hype around yerba mate?
- What are the main differences between mate and coffee?
- What are the top reasons why you should ditch coffee for yerba mate?
Let’s get into it!
What's the big deal with yerba mate tea, anyway?
Yerba mate is an herbal tea traditionally consumed in South America, but in its long life, it's had a chance to travel the world (unlike me, sigh...). Nowadays, you'll find people from all corners of the globe who love drinking mate.
If you're not already in the yerba mate game, here are a few basics to get you started:
- Yerba mate extract comes from the Ilex paraguariensis plant, a shrub native to several countries in South America.
- The tea is usually consumed from a container called a gourd or calabash.
- Drinkers tend to use a metal straw, which helps to filter out some of the leaf fragments.
Q: How do you prepare yerba mate?
Ah, great question – I can see you're interested! The tea can be brewed either in the gourd/calabash or by using a French press, with brewing time tending to range from 4 to 6 minutes.
You can easily prepare mate tea at home. Just place some yerba mate leaves in your gourd/calabash or French press, then, pour in some hot water and wait a few minutes. For convenience, you can also get a yerba mate tea bag to toss into your favorite mug. The whole process is exactly like preparing green and black tea.
While it's commonly consumed as a hot beverage, yerba mate is also sometimes served cold, especially in climates with very hot temperatures (I mean, who wants to be boiling water when it's a thousand degrees outside – am I right?).
As we'll see below, the yerba mate drink truly is so versatile. It's true, yerba mate is similar to other drinks, such as green tea, black tea, and coffee – but it's also unique in so many ways. Let's dive a bit deeper.
Q: Is there caffeine in yerba mate leaves and yerba mate tea bags?
Another excellent question. Yes, yerba mate contains caffeine. But how much caffeine? Well, the caffeine content will depend on how the drink is brewed. A serving of yerba mate tea has between 30-180 mg of caffeine. The average cup of yerba mate contains about 70 mg of caffeine, compared to 120 mg of caffeine in a cup of coffee. However, a strong cup of yerba mate can have far more caffeine than a cup of coffee if brewed a certain way. To round out our comparisons, a cup of green tea contains about 25 mg of caffeine, and a cup of black tea contains about 50mg of caffeine.
Don't want to worry about how much caffeine is going to end up in your cup of yerba? No problem.
Check out Mate Libre's range of canned yerba mate drinks for a convenient, delicious, and healthy replacement for your daily cup of coffee.
Q: How is yerba mate caffeine different?
Now, this is the million-dollar question. It's true, yerba mate and caffeinated coffee both contain similar amounts of caffeine. But yerba mate caffeine is a bit different from the caffeine content and source that you might be used to.
While coffee drinkers tend to experience a crash after a few hours, drinkers of yerba mate experience a mixture of stimulation and soothing, due in part to the to the high concentration of theobromine found in the plant. Also, drinking yerba mate will provide you with a sense of mental alertness that you just don't get with coffee or tea.
Let's be honest, we all have busy lives – who doesn't need a boost of focused energy AND mental alertness, without the unwanted crash?!
Q: Is yerba mate healthier than coffee?
Many people have asked us the exact opposite question too: is yerba mate worse than coffee?
Well, if you're emotionally attached to your espresso machine, or you've decided years ago that coffee was so much a part of your personality that you got a cup o' joe tattooed on your forearm, then, ya, I guess yerba mate is worse than coffee (for you, at least).
But for nearly everyone else on the planet, yerba mate is just another drink that shares some of the energizing properties of coffee and tea, but that also comes along with many of its own unique properties, including a variety of health benefits.
Let's talk about some of yerba mate's health benefits:
- Yerba can also help boost the immune system – in part because of the vitamin c, and also in part because of the antioxidants found in the plant's leaves.
- Because the leaves and roots of this plant contain a variety of antioxidant compounds, drinking yerba tea may help to protect against heart disease.
- Yerba mate consumption was also found to be related to higher bone mineral density in postmenopausal women.
- Learn about more yerba mate benefits.
So, why should you be drinking yerba mate instead of coffee?
Drinking coffee can be great, but it can also cause unwanted acid reflux, heartburn, and coffee breath – let's not forget how yucky untreated coffee breath is, am I right? Drinking green tea can be great too (no coffee breath) but it may lack some of the benefits that come along with mate drinking.
Maybe you want to reduce your coffee consumption. Maybe hot tea just isn't doing it for you anymore. Maybe you've experienced caffeine-related issues from coffee and tea and now you want to try a new drink.
Also, maybe you’re busy, or on-the-go most of the time, and brewing some yerba at home just isn’t an option.
A great alternative to making yerba mate at home is to try our delicious Mate Libre yerba mate products. One can of Mate Libre's yerba mate contains 50 mg of caffeine – just enough to give you a boost of energy, but not too much to experience a crash, anxiety, or the jitters.
Thinking about ditching the coffee? Want to keep your morning cup of joe but need a new pick-me-up for the afternoon?
Try out Mate Libre's assortment of delicious yerba mate energy infusion drinks today. Don't worry, you can thank me for my advice later!