If you're a college student like me, you know that feeling of late night in the library exhaustion that looms over your head on the way to an 8am. You have probably seen a few people with Yerba Mate in their hands as they grind through work in the library or enjoy an afternoon pick me up. As a freshman, I had never seen this drink before until now and if you're curious about it, then you've come to the right place! I talked to multiple people who swear by it, and they said it is better than coffee, so I decided to give it a go. 

What is Yerba Mate?

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Rebecca Buechler

A popular Yerba Mate brand, Guaykí, says, "Yerba mate has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate, all in one beverage." 

Yerba Mate is a traditional South American tea from the leaves of an evergreen holly. Guaykí claims Yerba Mate, "contains 24 vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and abundant polyphenols." 

There are very few plants that produce caffeine, including tea, cacao, cola, guarana, and yerba mate. One large (15.5 Oz) can of Guaykí Yerba Mate contains around 150 mg of caffeine. A Starbucks Cold Brew Coffee (16 Oz.) has 200 mg of caffeine. 

What I Thought

I tried the large can of "Lemon Elation" and I have to say I loved the taste of it and found it very refreshing! When I drink a large cup of coffee I typically feel the caffeine immediately, however I slowly began to feel that caffeine buzz that I so strongly crave in the mornings with this new tea substitute. The increased energy boost came over a longer period of time, but it lasted me much longer than a cup of coffee normally would. Best news of all, I didn't feel any kind of anxious caffeine overload that can sometimes happen with one too many cups of Joe. 

Is It Better Than Coffee?

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The taste of this somewhat bitter tea might not be for everyone, but If you have never had it, I highly recommend giving it a try.  I truly liked how much better I felt drinking yerba mate than coffee. I still love the taste of coffee, but I will definitely be adding Yerba to my life!