Yerba mate is a popular drink across the world because it can leave you feeling happy and energized. It also offers a wide range of health benefits.
Choosing the best yerba mate brand, however, can be difficult as there are many variants in the market today.
To choose the best yerba mate brand for you, you should go for flavors that appeal to your tastes. Brands like Cruz De Malta and CBSe come in flavors that most novice yerba mate drinkers will appreciate, while others like Taragui and Rosamonte are best if you want a traditional yerba mate flavor.
The rest of the article will contain a longer list of the best yerba mate brands and what you should know about all of them. You’ll also see the benefits of enjoying this drink.
What Is Yerba Mate?
Yerba mate is a plant extract from the holly tree, Ilex paraguariensis. The tree grows in South American rainforests, so it is found in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The farmers, known as yerbateros (cultivators), harvest the leaves of the tree by hand from small farms spread across this region.
The drink is a common delicacy amongst indigenous South Americans, but it has since been exported to different parts of the world. It is typically served in a gourd and drunk with a bombilla straw, which contains a filter to keep out any stray leaves.
Yerba mate is a stimulant as it contains theobromine, theophylline, and caffeine, to name a few. The caffeine content is similar to what you’ll get in coffee, but with more health benefits. This is why more people are embracing yerba mate as an alternative to coffee.
There are many brands of yerba mate in existence today, but the best of them are almost always made in South America. The bulk of the options on this post are from the continent, but they are sold worldwide.
Benefits of Yerba Mate
Below are some of the health benefits of drinking yerba mate.
It Contains Nutrients and Antioxidants
Apart from caffeine and other stimulants like Xanthines, yerba mate is also rich in polyphenols, which are antioxidants. It also contains saponins, which are known for their anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering qualities.
It Can Improve Concentration
A typical cup of yerba mate contains around 85mg of caffeine. This is well within the recommended daily intake of caffeine, which is 400mg, but it is enough to bump up your energy levels and give you the boost you need to stay concentrated while performing your daily tasks.
It Can Help at the Gym
Caffeine plays an important role in reducing fatigue and improving the muscle contraction process. Drinking Yerba mate, therefore, can help you enjoy a better physical performance. According to this study, participants were able to work out for longer periods after taking a 1g (0.04oz) capsule of yerba mate.
It Can Encourage Weight Loss
Research on animals showed that yerba mate improves metabolism and can help to keep down appetite. In humans, research suggests it can burn more stored fat for energy. One such study showed that overweight adults given 3g (0.11oz) of yerba mate powder daily lost around 1.5lbs (0.45kg) and some belly fat.
It Can Help Fight Diabetes and Other Diseases
Some research shows that drinking yerba mate tea three times daily for 60 days can lower blood sugar in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It may also help in fighting other diseases such as constipation, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, urinary tract infections, and more.
However, as Web MD points out, a lot more research needs to be done before we can conclusively say that yerba mate can fight all of these diseases, and indeed deliver all the benefits listed here. Still, the signs are good!
So, What Are the Best Yerba Mate Brands?
While there are plenty of excellent yerba mate brands out there, these are our top 18!
This brand provides yerba mate in tea bags. The tea bags are filled with organic yerba mate sourced from all the South American countries known for growing the plant, including Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.
It is an excellent option if you want yerba mate handy on your desk at work or for preparing cold brew yerba mate. The result is a brew that isn’t quite as strong as one made from traditional loose yerba mate leaf. However, it’s more convenient as you won’t always have to look for bombillas, cups and etc. when you just want to relax with a cup of mate in your hand.
The tea is another good option for beginners looking to get started on yerba mate and don’t want the bitter taste.
Like Guayaki, Buddha Teas also sell loose yerba mate leaves. The package contains minimal stems and almost no yerba mate dust. The American company also sells other types of teas that are not made of yerba mate, so you should be sure of the makeup of the Buddha Teas you buy.
Runa is another canned beverage to go with when you want a convenient yerba mate drink. However, even though many people buy it as a yerba mate product, and even though it features on many yerba mate lists, it isn’t made from yerba mate leaves.
Why do we have it on our list then? The same as the reason why it is sold on the same counter as the Guayaki: it delivers the same yerba mate effects. Runa is made from plant species closely related to the yerba mate known as guayusa. The botanical name for the plant is Ilex guayusa, while the yerba mate is Ilex paraguariensis.
Both plants are in the same family, and they both contain a high concentration of caffeine, saponin, and other similar compounds.
A can of Runa contains 150 mg of caffeine, which is the equivalent of drinking one and a half cups of coffee. It is also rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants. It is the product you should go for if you want the stimulating benefits of yerba mate without the bitter flavors, especially if Guayaki is a bit too soft for you.
There’s a wide range of flavor options to choose from, including blood orange, berry, pineapple, lime, watermelon, and mango.
Ecoteas Organic Unsmoked is a yerba mate brand designed for you if you want your mate drink as natural as possible with little or no processing. This is a purely organic brand made by an environmentally aware company.
If you’re used to traditional yerba mate, you might find the flavor profile of Ecoteas Organic yerba mate a bit different from the more regular South American brands. So, your likeness for this brand will come down to whether you want to deviate from the taste of traditional blends or not.
This is another brand marketed as 100% natural, ensuring that the chances of pesticides making their way into your mate drink is very low. The flavor profile is different from what you’d generally get from the more popular South American brands as it’s much lighter.
Additionally, it is one of those that has a lot of yerba mate dust due to the heavily-ground leaves. It’s another brand that will require special bombillas to avoid blocking.
Inato organic yerba mate is another quality brand made from Brazilian shade-grown mate in high altitude farms. The product only contains leaves without mate stems, so the taste isn’t the strongest on this list. Still, it is not light enough to be classified as beginner-friendly.
It is a good option if you want a South American yerba mate brew that provides an above average-kick and doesn’t have a lot of mate dust.
13. La Rubia
La Rubia is a Paraguayan yerba mate that is similar to other Argentinian brands, but it comes in a slightly different taste. Many people love its smoothness, slight bitterness, and earthy sweetness. It also results in a creamy texture that makes it perfect for all mate-drinking sessions.
The creamy texture and the robust flavors mean that it is one of the most popular yerba mate brands, up there with Cruz De Malta.
12. Nobleza Gaucha
This is another excellent yerba mate option for newbies. The flavor and potency of this yerba mate are perfectly balanced. It’s neither too bitter nor too strong, but it offers enough energy to be considered a quality yerba mate brand. The flavor of the brand can be described as creamy, smooth, and buttery, which makes it an enjoyable drink for both experienced drinkers and newcomers.
Nobleza Gaucha has some yerba mate stems, but not the splintered type, which can irritate the mouth while drinking. It also comes with reasonable yerba mate dust, which helps give the yerba mate its flavor and energy-boosting properties. The right balance of dust means you don’t have to worry about a chalky or bitter taste.
11. The Mate Factor
If you are looking for something slightly different from your yerba mate, this is another brand to consider. It packs the energy you need to start your day but doesn’t have the same earthy thirst as other mate brands. The company provides up to ten different flavors to choose from.
These flavors aren’t similar to what you get with the canned drinks. So, instead of a mango flavor, for example, you’ll have a flavor such as Dark Roast. The leaves used in making this brand are fresh and natural. It is a popular brand in North America, but the teas are Brazilian grown.
10. Mate Leao
This yerba mate is loved a great deal in Brazil, but its popularity outside South America is on the rise. It is recommended for beginners and intermediate drinkers because it comes with a flavor that is milder than what you’ll get from the Argentinian brands. The added flavoring in the tea bags and loose leaf mate can also further change the taste of the mate drink derived from this product.
Lime, orange, and lemon are some of the flavor choices available to choose from. The overall taste means that you can easily pair Mate Leao with your afternoon or breakfast snack. It’s a good mate brand for anyone that wants to enjoy authentic yerba mate blend, but with a milder taste.
Are you just inquisitive about yerba mate? You’ll love the Anna Park brand. Its smooth, forgiving and mellow taste makes it really close to regular tea. It doesn’t feature the bitter smokiness of some bolder yerba mate brands.
It’s another excellent option for anyone that has been thinking of getting aboard the yerba mate train but can’t quite brave the taste of the traditional options. If you can drink normal tea, you can drink Anna Park yerba mate.
Union Suave yerba mate is a good brand to consider if you’re looking for traditionally made yerba mate that is also smooth and mellow. It is a brand to go with if you want a gentle introduction to South American yerba mate culture.
If you’re a more experienced drinker looking for a bolder and earthier yerba mate experience, you’ll have to consider other brands on our list, such as the Rosamonte.
CBSe isn’t one of the most popular yerba mate brands amongst traditional drinkers, but if you’re looking for flavored yerba mate, it is one of the first few options you’ll find. Many people stay away from CBSe because they feel it alters the traditional drink too much, but beginners will love the soothing introduction to mate drinking.
The normal bitterness of the drink is toned down with sweet honey notes, without completely overshadowing the natural flavor of yerba mate.
As you make the progression from novice to advanced mate drinker, you’ll be less likely to drink CBSe mate frequently. However, you’ll find yourself craving for it from time to time. It’s also likely to become your choice mate when you are about to introduce someone to yerba mate drinking.
Ximango is a slightly different Brazilian mate known as chimarrao. It is prepared differently, and it has a different appearance, composition, and taste compared to what you’ll get from a typical mate. It’s not the best for novice mate drinkers, but if you are looking for something slightly different from other brands on this list, you’ll love it.
Ximango is harder to prepare because it is made up of large stems and finely ground green dust, which makes it difficult to prepare for newbies. Once you learn how to prepare the drink, however, you’ll most likely become a fan of the buttery smoothness it offers, which can’t be found in any other mate.
With other mates, you’ll get an earthy, soil-like taste and a warm feeling. With Ximango, on the other hand, you’ll have a crisp, fresh, grassy, and herbaceous taste with a hint of salt, all accompanying a refreshing feeling.
While most yerba mates have a warming feeling to it, Ximango, and chimarrao in general, have this refreshing one you don’t want to miss out on. And for the price, it’s a steal.
5. Taragui Red
Taragui is another popular yerba mate brand. It is made in Argentina, but they ship the product all over the world. The brand is known for two main yerba mate products known as the Taragui red and Taragui blue.
The main difference between both of them is that the red variant has stems included while the blue one undergoes more processing to ensure that stems have been removed before the mate leaves are ground up.
This is an important distinction because yerba mate stems typically come with a different chemical makeup compared to the leaves, which leads to a different flavor. The stems bring a creamy, woody, and a slightly bitter flavor to the brew.
People looking for a mate brand that isn’t quite as bitter will go for the Taragui Blue, but then if you want a mate brand that delivers full-body flavor, has the stems included, and won’t clog up the bombilla while drinking, the Taragui red is a better alternative.
Taragui is also a very consistent brand, with each pack tasting the same as the last one, wherever you may be.
Guayaki is popular for its bottled or canned yerba mate drinks. The yerba mate they use comes from Argentina, and they make the final product by combining traditional Argentinian methods and more modern preparation procedures.
If you’re looking for their canned yerba mate products, you can find them across North and South America, as well as Europe and Australia. The canned drinks come in 5 flavors, including Bluephoria, Enlighten Mint, Revel Berry, Orange Exuberance, and Lemon Elation. They also have carbonated yerba mate in regular and low-sugar options and yerba mate fruit juice combos.
Their canned products are an excellent option to go with if you love the benefits of yerba mate but don’t really like the taste of traditional brews. They’re made from the same plant, but the composition is such that the naturally bitter and woody flavor of the yerba mate plant is muted. You also won’t have to worry about yerba mate dust, stems, and clogged bombillas.
Traditional yerba mate lovers might not like this brand because it’s ready-made, but if you just want an energy boost, a can of Guayaki mate will give you the same results as you’ll get from a cup of coffee.
Guayaki also sells loose yerba mate leaves and stems like other brands, but it’s harder to find these in stock outside South America.
This is the most popular yerba mate brand in Uruguay, and it’s well-known around the world. The leaves are from farms in Uruguay, but the company is Brazilian. The Uruguay source is an advantage because the trees there are believed to be of higher quality by yerba mate enthusiasts.
Canarias yerba mate comes with a creamy, bitter, and slightly smoky flavor. Its potency—in terms of energy boost provided—is one of the strongest you’ll find on this list.
One main feature of Canarias is that it has more yerba mate dust (polvo) when compared to other brands, especially the Argentinian-based variants. The higher dust content gives the brew its stronger taste, but it also means you’ll get a clogged bombilla in many cases. This is why many people use hook or spoon bombillas when drinking this mate instead of bamboo or spring types.
Canarias is a favorite for many make drinkers because the flavor profile is hard to find anywhere else—especially its soil taste with subtle chocolate and nuts flavor. This mate drink is ideal for intermediate or advanced drinkers, but you can also start with it as a beginner willing to go into the deep end immediately. You just have to keep in mind that it packs a punch.
This brand of yerba mate is recommended for people new to the drink due to its slightly sweet flavor in comparison to the bitter taste of most yerba mate brands. Another important advantage of this brand is that it has less yerba mate dust (known as polvo) when compared to other brands. The dust clogs up the bombilla straw used in drinking it and leaves the mate with a chalky flavor.
Cruz De Malta is also not as powerful as some of the brands on this list. Its energy-boosting potency is mid-level. As a beginner, this is an advantage as you can just enjoy the flavor of the drink without feeling hyperactive. If you want a stronger energy boost, however, you’ll have to look at other options on this list.
The brand is made from yerba mate leaves grown in Argentina and is also one of the cheapest brands to go with for anyone outside South America. Its popularity means that it is most likely one of the few options you’ll find when you are looking for yerba mate brands.
Rosamonte is the tea brand for experienced yerba mate drinkers only. The product is made by an Argentinian company using yerba mate grown in its farms across the country. Its unique and strong taste makes it stand out among other brands. It’s not an option if you don’t want bitter yerba mate. Few brands come close to its bitterness.
Ardent traditional drinkers, however, will love the strength of the brew and the complexity of its flavor, which comes with notes of coffee, wood, and a tinge of butter. The complexity of the flavor means that each cup doesn’t quite taste the same as the last one.
Side Effects of Yerba Mate
Yerba mate is regularly consumed by millions of people in North America, South America, and parts of Europe. Therefore, its side effects are not very different from what you’ll get with coffee or tea. Since caffeine is a major ingredient in the drink, the stimulant effects of yerba mate may be problematic for you if you are sensitive to caffeine—just as you’d find with other caffeinated beverages.
Some concerns have been raised about yerba mate’s ability to cause various types of cancers, including cancers of the head, throat, and neck. Some studies have linked high levels of mate consumption with a high risk of these cancers. However, the studies also showed that the temperature of the mate could strongly influence the cancer risk.
People with the greatest risk for cancer were people who drank the hottest yerba mate, suggesting that the temperature of the water, instead of the chemical content of the mate is what is responsible for the increased risk of cancer.
Research looking into the chemical composition of yerba mate and their carcinogenic properties has remained largely inconclusive. Therefore, if you treat yerba mate like other stimulants such as coffee and tea, by drinking it in moderation, you won’t have to worry about any carcinogenic effects.
Also, you need to keep in mind that yerba mate’s energy-boosting properties also increase the chances of insomnia. If you find it difficult to sleep after a cup of coffee, yerba mate will have a similar effect on you.
Can Yerba Mate Cause Addiction?
Just like any food, beverage, or supplements with addictive compounds, it is possible to get addicted to yerba mate if you drink it consistently for a long time. As you’ve seen above, the addictive compound in yerba mate is caffeine. There are around 85 milligrams of it per serving, so yerba mate’s caffeine content is similar to what you’ll find in tea and coffee.
Whether you are looking for a hot cup of yerba mate brewed in your kitchen or processed one in cans, there’s a perfect brand for you.
Rosamonte and Canarias are two examples of quality yerba mate that you can brew on your own, while Guayaki and Runa are your best bet for canned mate drinks.
If you want to join the ranks of traditional mate lovers but can’t quite stomach powerful brands like Rosamante, you can always start with CBSe or Cruz De Malta.
Buddha Teas and Mate Leao are options you can go with if you want to enjoy the stress-free teabag experience with your yerba mate.
- Body Nutrition: Ranking the best yerba mate of 2020
- Sibo Survivor: Top 6 Best Yerba Mate Brands
- The Sunlight Experiment: The Best Yerba Maté Brands For 2020 [Reviewed]
- Web MD: Yerba Mate
- Yerba Mate Lab: The 5 Best Yerba Mate Brands (Or What Everyone MUST-TRY!)
- Nootropics Review Nerd: Top 5 Best Yerba Mate Brands
- Best Products: THE SURPRISING HEALTH BENEFITS OF YERBA MATÉ TEA YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT
- Yerba Mate Society: What is the Best Yerba Mate and Where to Buy it From
- Planet Yerba Mate 5 Best Yerba Mate Brands: Tea Bags & Loose Leaf Teas
- My Mate World: Which is the best quality Yerba Mate brand?
- Tea Allure: What is Yerba Mate: Uses, Benefits and Brands
- Mayo Clinic: Yerba mate: Is it safe to drink?
- PubMed.gov: Cancer and yerba mate consumption: a review of possible associations
- PubMed.gov: Anti-obesity effects of Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguariensis): a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial
- PubMed.gov: Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Yerba Maté (Illex Paraguariensis) ingestion augments fat oxidation and energy expenditure during exercise at various submaximal intensities
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