Yerba mate is a caffeinated herbal drink made from a plant that's native to South America (particularly Brazil). Many brands selling this product suggest that it's healthier than coffee, but it can be hard for consumers to differentiate between yerba mate brands.
What makes any particular yerba mate product healthy? What should consumers look out for on the ingredient label when choosing a yerba mate product? Which brand has the best price? And which brand has the best overall taste and quality?
In this article we'll answer all of these questions and more, as we explain how to choose a high-quality yerba mate brand and what ingredients to look for (and which to avoid).
We'll pick our top two yerba mate products: Best Overall, and Best Value.
How to Choose High-Quality Yerba Mate
Most yerba mate teas have only one ingredient (yerba mate), which makes it easier to qualify them.
We recommend choosing loose leaf yerba mate tea rather than canned yerba mate drinks. Every canned yerba mate drink that we came across while researching this article contained unhealthy additives.
The ingredient list below is from one of the most popular canned yerba mate drinks:
Added sugar is included at a dose of 28 grams (g), which is 90% of the amount in a 12 ounce Coke.
Citric acid is clinically shown to cause whole-body inflammation in some individuals.
Our selection criteria for healthy yerba mate is simple:
1) Only one ingredient (yerba mate), which allows users to experience all of the health benefits of yerba mate without any of the potential health downsides of these additive ingredients
2) Ideally organic, because organic food products contain lower toxin levels according to a meta-study published in the Nutrients journal.
Best Overall — Guayakí Yerba Mate
Guayakí Yerba Mate is our top overall yerba mate pick.
Organic yerba mate is the only ingredient, so this product meets our formulation standards.
We've tried this product ourselves and it's the best yerba mate we've had. The taste is slightly bitter (as all unsweetened yerba mate is) but not too bitter. It has a smooth consistency and is potent in terms of caffeine.
As the author of this article, I use this product a few times a week when I want a break from coffee and a slightly lower-caffeine option, but still want a morning pick-me-up:
Guayakí Yerba Mate currently costs $20.16 for 151 servings, or $0.13 per serving.
Interested consumers can check out Guayakí Yerba Mate at this link to the product's official Amazon listing.
Best Value — Playadito Yerba Mate
Playadito Yerba Mate is our top value pick.
Yerba mate is its only ingredient, so this product meets our formulation standards. It's not organic so we consider it to be slightly less healthy than Guayakí brand.
Playadito Yerba Mate currently costs $9.49 for around 320 servings.
This means that for under $10, you can have daily yerba mate for around a year with this product.
Interested consumers can check out Playadito Yerba Mate at this link to the product's official Amazon listing.