Best Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is a popular beverage in South America which is steeped in the culture of many countries like Uruguay and Argentina.
It can be compared to coffee since it contains a similar amount of caffeine, but has more of the flavor profile and benefits of a healthy tea or infusion.
The hot drink is made by steeping the leaves of the ilex paraguariensis plant and normally drunk out of a gourd, which is specially designed to strain out any stray leaves.
👑 Our Pick for Best Yerba Mate
⭐ Our Other Top Yerba Mate Picks
Best Yerba Mate Reviews
Cruz de Malta (⭐ Best of the Best)
The best yerba mate which is widely praised by those who consume it is the Argentinian brand Cruz de Malta.
The tagline of this yerba mate brand is ‘el sabor de la tradición’, which translates to the ‘taste of tradition’. Much like it’s very common to have a favorite brand of coffee and tea that you stay loyal to, the same goes for yerba mate and this brand is a household name in Argentina. The drink is steeped in South American tradition and cultural customs, and drinking this brand is a great way to get an authentic taste of the popular hot drink.
This particular yerba mate dates back to 1874, which makes the brand one of the oldest around. It’s one of the most popular hot drink products in Argentina, and is manufactured selecting the best ingredients from the north east region of the country. While we are reviewing the classic flavor, the brand also sells other flavors of yerba mate such as peppermint, green tea, and chamomile.
It’s hard to talk about how good this yerba mate is without browsing the many previous customers first. What you’ll find from the many satisfied customers is that this is a product that puts quality ahead all else and is easy to fall in love with. Customers love the strong earthy flavor which many people say is the only yerba mate they drink from Argentina.
- Available in 3 sizes
- Made with the plant stems
- Ingredients sourced from Argentina
Canarias (🥈 Runner Up)
Another one of the top yerba mate brands is Canarias, which is a Uruguayan style blend made using ingredients from Brazil.
This yerba mate is made without the plant stems, and has a strong and bitter flavor and an almost creamy texture. It’s a 100% natural product without any artificial preservatives or chemicals. Specifically this yerba mate is sourced from Santa Catarina, Parana, and Rio Grande Do Sul in Brazil. Each of these areas have the perfect microclimate for the leaf to flourish, making for a great end product.
While the ingredients are sourced from Brazil, Canarias is considered to be a Uruguayan style yerba mate. This means it is a fine loose leaf blend without the plant stems. It also means that if this is your first time trying yerba mate, then there will be more of a learning curve than with other styles of yerba mate. There’s plenty of caffeine in this blend to give you a kick of energy first thing in the morning.
Past customers seem to enjoy the strong flavor and caffeine content of this Uruguayan style yerba mate that’s full-bodied.
- 2.2 pound bag
- Made without plant stem
- Ingredients sourced from Brazil
- Loose leaf blend
Guayaki (🍃 Best Organic)
Not all yerba mates are organic, in fact neither our top pick or runner up pick are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find brands that are. Guayaki is our top organic pick, which aims to offer a living wage to the farmers who work hard to gather the ingredients to make this tea. This market driven regeneration, as they call it, requires that farmers encourage biodiversity on their land.
The name of the brand ‘Guayaki’ stems from the indigenous communities which live in the South American Atlantic rainforest located in Southern Paraguay. There is cooperation between the brand and the communities which benefits both in equal measure. The yerba mate leaves used in this product are naturally caffeinated, making it a great alternative to coffee.
The other thing that sets this yerba mate apart from a lot of the other brands is that it comes in convenient tea bags. Making yerba mate is quite an involved process which won’t appeal to everybody, so these bags can be ideal for those with a busy lifestyle wanting a more convenient way to drink the tea.
Customers claim that there is a definite energy boost from drinking this yerba mate and has a taste comparable to green tea.
- Includes 75 mate tea bags
- Promotes sustainable market driven regeneration
- Gluten free, non GMO, kosher
- Made with Fair Trade ingredients
ECOTEAS (🌱 Best Sustainable)
ECOTEAS, like the brand Guayaki, is a sustainable and organic brand of yerba mate yet this one is loose leaf while Guayaki comes in the form of tea bags.
If you love yerba mate or are curious to try it, and you want to make the most eco-friendly investment to support the locals who make the tea, then ECOTEAS is a great brand to invest in. This loose leaf yerba mate is 100% unsmoked and made with a 2-stage organic yerba mate drying process.
As a pure leaf yerba mate that has no stems or dust is simple to brew in a French press or bombilla, making it a great option for those who aren’t interested in a complicated brewing process. As a naturally caffeinated loose leaf tea, you can get a similar boost to that of coffee but without the jitters and crashes associated with it. That makes it a great coffee alternative to drink first thing in the morning or whenever you’d normally enjoy a hot cup of coffee.
ECOTEAS uses Fair Trade ingredients, and is certified organic tea. It is also kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free. The brand was founded by a small group of lifelong friends in Ashland, Oregon and is still operated by its founders. The company had humble beginnings and grew through local farmers markets and hand packaging from the founders.
- 100% unsmoked
- 2-stage organic drying process
- No stems or dust
- Naturally caffeinated
- Certified Organic
- Uses Fair Trade ingredients
- Kosher, non-GMO, and gluten-free
Ultimate Guide to Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is a fascinating type of tea which has plenty to offer and isn’t well known outside of South America.
In this guide we’ll get to know the popular beverage more, including what exactly it is, what the benefits of drinking it are, and what the different styles are.
What is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is a hot beverage enjoyed in many South American countries, and often has cultural customs and traditions surrounding it.
There are different styles of yerba mate which depend on where the leaves are grown, each has its own texture and unique flavor.
The styles are Argentine, Uruguayan, and Paraguayan which are grown in their respective countries.
Argentinian yerba mate is a very aromatic and herbal tea, the Uruguayan style has a malty characteristic to it, and the Paraguayan yerba mate has strong notes of tobacco and cherry.
A top Argentinian brand is Cruz de Malta which is our top pick on this yerba mate guide, while Canarias is a great Uruguayan style tea. As for Paraguayan yerba mate some great brands include Ascension and Selecta.
The tea is consumed like coffee, given that it can have a similarly high caffeine content and provide a boost to energy levels in the morning.
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Benefits of Yerba Mate
Like many types of tea, yerba mate can offer a lot of health benefits which make it a great drink to enjoy on a daily basis.
High Nutritional Value
Yerba mate is rich in both nutrients and antioxidants, which makes it an excellent drink to supplement your body with what it needs to function optimally.
The antioxidant content is even higher than the amount found in green tea, which is impressive.
There’s also seven essential amino acids present in many brands of yerba mate which out of the nine there are in total, as well as an abundance of minerals and vitamins to help you perform at your best.
Improves Cognitive Function
Drinking yerba mate can boost your mental focus and cognitive function given the caffeine content in it.
It can boost your alertness and reaction time, which can help you focus intently when you need to.
Having said that, you shouldn’t rely on your yerba mate to enter a state of concentration given that caffeine is a stimulant that can also cause you to crash.
Alongside the enhanced cognitive function and focus, you can also boost your energy by drinking yerba mate regularly.
It can kill your slumps and give you enough energy to power through your day when you need a pick-me-up.
Some people even claim that you can get energy from yerba mate without experiencing the same jitters you would associate with drinking caffeine.
Promotes Weight Loss
By drinking yerba mate, you can accelerate the rate by which you burn fat while exercising which can promote greater weight loss.
This is a drink that will help you burn fat as it encourages your body to use its stores of fat as fuel as you exercise.
Aids Immune System
Yerba mate has saponins in it which are anti-inflammatories that can help boost your immune system.
In addition, there’s plenty of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and zinc which can fortify the body against sickness.
Helps Fight Infections
Yerba mate, as well as boosting the immune system, can help the body fight off infections.
Evidence has shown the effectiveness of yerba mate for deactivating E.coli, which you’re probably aware is a nasty bacteria that can lead to horrible food poisoning symptoms.
Yerba mate can also help you address fungus-related infections which lead to things like dandruff and rashes.
It might even be helpful for protecting the body from intestinal parasites too, although as always you should take this with a pinch of salt as there is still a lot of research to be done.
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How To Choose The Perfect Yerba Mate
Making a good gourd of Yerba mate is not as simple as brewing a fresh batch of coffee or steeping black tea.
The process requires a bit of a learning curve to get used to, and even when you do, it’s hard to get it just right unless you know what to do.
There are a few things you need to know in order to brew the perfect yerba mate for you most important of which is the style you prefer
Pick the Right Style of Yerba Mate
The first thing you need to establish before you get carried away with the brewing process is what style of yerba mate you would prefer to try.
By style we’re referring to the country the yerba mate is associated with, since different Southern American countries have different processes of making it.
It isn’t a problem if you haven’t ever tried yerba mate before, you just need to pick the style which sounds most appetising to you.
Argentina consumes roughly 5kg of yerba mate annually per capita, which is less than Uruguay, but still makes it one of the most popular national drinks.
This type of yerba mate is intended to be consumed first thing in the morning at breakfast time, or with a pastry in the afternoon.
Argentinian yerba mate is one of the most herbal and aromatic flavors you’ll find, and are usually grown in the northeast region of the country.
A good brand to start out with is one of the best, Cruz de Malta, which has been around since 1874 and is a favorite of many yerba mate drinkers.
The Argentina style of yerba mate is similar to green tea but with a bolder flavor, and this makes it a good yerba mate to start out with.
Uruguay as a country consumes the most yerba mate at around 10kg annually per capita.
Also known as the Gaucho variety of yerba mate, this tea from Uruguay is for the caffeine lovers.
This style of tea is infused with an abundant amount of caffeine, and is packed full of bold, malty flavors.
It’s the yerba mate for the coffee lover, but also for those who enjoy dark chocolate or dark beer due to the rich, full-bodied flavor.
One of the best brands of this style of yerba mate is Canarias which is a 100% natural blend made using specially sourced ingredients from different parts of Brazil.
Paraguay is another country that consumes yerba mate in large quantities and has its own unique variation of it.
In Paraguay it isn’t uncommon to throw in crushed leaves, stems, and flowers from the flor de agosto plant into their yerba mate blends.
As a result, expect plenty of complex floral notes from this style of tea which makes it a great choice for the infusion tea lover.
Other notes you’ll pick up on include cherry, vanilla, and smoke.
This yerba mate sits somewhere between floral teas like chamomile and bold red wines like merlots.
Some of the best brands of the Paraguayan yerba mate include Ascension and Selecta.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Yerba Mate
What is the best brand of yerba mate?
The best brand of yerba mate in our view is Cruz de Malta, which is a top brand in Argentina that’s been around since 1874.
This brand uses great ingredients from the north east region of Argentina, and has a strong flavor that’s considered traditional for the Argentinian style of yerba mate.
It’s made from plant stems, and is enjoyed by many customers who claim it’s their favorite yerba mate brand.
Where is yerba mate most popular?
Yerba mate is most popular in South America where it is natively grown, and is consumed mostly in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, and Bolivia.
While it’s possible to buy yerba mate in other countries, it’s most commonly consumed in South America and for some is a daily drink much like a lot of people have their daily coffee.
The process of preparing this special tea can be quite ritualistic too, with some countries having certain cultural customs surrounding it.
Is yerba mate stronger than coffee?
The content of caffeine in both yerba mate and coffee are similar, so in that regard yerba mate isn’t necessarily stronger than coffee.
While 20g of yerba can yield around 220mg caffeine, a standard cup of coffee when brewed will yield somewhere in the region of 95-200mg.
Yerba mate also has the potential to provide plenty of important vitamins and minerals which can help the body perform at its best.
A Final Word From Energetic Lifestyle
Yerba mate is an interesting hot drink that is hugely popular in many Southern American countries like Argentina and Uruguay.
Choosing the perfect product for you will depend on various factors such as what style you prefer, whether you want bags or loose leaf, and how strong you like it to be.