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Guayusa Vs Yerba Mate: How Do They Compare?

Both Yerba Mate and Guayusa (why-you-sa) have ancient roots in South American soil. Today they’re enjoyed all over the world for their energising, revitalising and health-giving properties.

Often labelled as members of the same family they could be cousins, as both leaves are members of the Ilex or holly genus, which explains the similarities between the two. But Yerba Mate and Guayusa tea are not to be confused, as they each have key differences that make them unique.

So, Guayusa vs Yerba Mate – which one wins? Before we dive in, let’s look at what makes the two similar, dating all the way back to their origins.

The origins of Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is a well-known leaf, growing abundantly in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.

Indigenous communities in Brazil, including the Guarani and Tupis, are believed to be the first in the world to brew the leaves and stems from holly trees. Traditionally the leaves were dried over a fire and then steeped in boiling water.

Known in some areas in South America as “the drink of the gods,” Yerba Mate is thought to enhance wellbeing and longevity. This name actually stems from Guarani legend, with the people believing that the Yerba Mate tree is a gift from God, equipped with powers of vitality. Health-wise? Yerba Mate is packed with antioxidants and nutrients, and its caffeine content helps to promote mental alertness and focus.

The origins of Guayusa

Like Yerba Mate, Guayusa tea has a rich history.

According to the Kichwa people, the tea was a gift from their heavenly ancestors to teach them how to lucid dream – a type of dream where you become aware that you’re dreaming. When brewed, Guayusa leaves are rich in caffeine, providing energy, alertness and focus. But unlike coffee, the energy is gentle and slow release.

Guayusa tea is also incredibly rich in antioxidants, including L-theanine, which helps to relax and energise the body simultaneously (also putting a stop to any caffeine jitters). What’s more, Guayusa tea boasts an impressive array of nutrients, including 15 essential amino acids and twice as many antioxidants as green tea.

Yerba Mate vs Guayusa

So if both leaves are rich in caffeine, antioxidants and nutrients, what’s the difference between the two?

While the nutrients in Yerba Mate and Guayusa tea are similar, they’re each stronger in certain areas.

Yerba Mate has a slightly bitter taste, whereas Guayusa is regarded as smooth, earthy and slightly sweet.

Nutrition-wise? Yerba Mate is a greater source of B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium, while Guayusa is richer in vitamins C and D, calcium, zinc and chromium. Guayusa tea also has a higher content of L-theanine – the antioxidant that helps to stabilise moods, decrease stress and relax the body.

So, which one wins?

Well, we’ll leave that one up to you. But no matter which tea you opt for, you can rest assured you’re getting a nourishing, energising and flavourful brew.

If Guayusa sounds like your cup of tea, try our Pure Guayusa tea for a subtle, smooth and full bodied flavour. At Ayusa Tea, we donate $1 from every single tea canister sold to the Ecuadorian Foundation Conciencia Amazonica – so they can continue sharing Guayusa with the world. Shop our range today.

Written by Ayusa Tea.

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