Ladies and Gentlemen, hot drink enthusiasts of all ages! Welcome to the clash of modern caffeine-powered energizers! Yerba mate vs coffee.
Ding ding ding
In the right corner, we have the trusty hot brown morning potion! A Fan favorite, the roasted, robust, and revitalized… Coffee!
In the other corner, we have the new kid on the block with 70mg of caffeine! The hyped-up fighter is coming all the way from the jungles of South America… Yerba Mate Tea!!
Here’s how our two caffeinated competitors can compete:
Round 1 is about caffeine and delivery. Which one can use their nature most effectively? Round 2, Which is less likely to kill you? This round is all about the health benefits and side effects.
In round 3, we will dive deep into the flavor profile and taste of each drink. What makes the drink good, and what makes it bad?
The Final round is on the cultural and social aspects of each drink. How are they important?
How have they grown over the years? Let’s get ready to rumble!!!
What’s The Difference In Caffeine Content Between Yerba Mate And Coffee?
The Caffeine Content In Yerba Mate
How much caffeine do you have? First up, Yerba mate!
Yerba mate tea is high in caffeine for a tea. The avg cup of tea has 30-60 mg of caffeine, with green tea at about 40 mg per cup.
The average cup of yerba mate tea has about 50 mg of caffeine.
But, yerba mate caffeine hits differently.
Drinking yerba mate tea in the morning will wake you up similarly to coffee. However, mate drinkers say that your morning cup of yerba mate has a more gradual wake-up than coffee.
The antioxidants in the yerba mate leaves and stems mix with the caffeine to distribute it gradually throughout your body.
This gradual wake-up means that there is no caffeine crash a few hours later!
The Caffeine Content In Coffee
In comparison to yerba mate, coffee only has, on average, 20 mg of caffeine more. In an average cup of coffee, there are about 95 mg of caffeine.
Nevertheless, coffee has a much faster kick of caffeine. This gives a very quick caffeine boost.
This caffeine boost can give caffeine-sensitive jitters and a slap in the face with alertness.
It’ll only take 10 minutes for the full force of the raging coffee bull to charge in and wake you up.
However, a few hours later, you will feel an energy crash. For me, it is at 2 pm, right after lunch.
Caffeine Content Comparison Between Mate and Coffee
- 50 mg of caffeine in 1 cup (8 fl oz) (237g)
- Gentle wake up -> gradually energizing you. No energy crash!
- 95 mg of caffeine in 1 cup (8 fl oz) (237g)
- Quickly feel the effects
- It can give you the jitters Energy crash a few hours later
Which is Healthier: Yerba Mate or Coffee?
How do these drinks benefit you?
Coffee, you’re up!
Health Benefits of Coffee
Drinking coffee every morning gives you a lot of benefits. Coffee can help prevent:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
- Liver and endometrial cancers
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
On top of these preventions, coffee is known to relieve pain and help lose weigh.
Yerba mate’s Health Benefits
Drinking mate daily has its own benefits.
- Sharpened mental focus
- Reduced Fatigue
- Weight loss
- Antioxidant activity
- Enhanced Sports Performance
- Greater energy boost for a sustained amount of time
On top of that, yerba mate provides all the major nutrients, and the antioxidants help you to keep a healthy immune system.
Plus, yerba mate may also prevent infections. However, the research against infection is still being done and is not yet conclusive.
Crazy to see these health benefits just from a daily cup.
Which One Is Healthier?
Yerba mate tends to have a more positive, holistic impact on the body. If you’re a fan of the caffeine boost from coffee but don’t like the negative side effects like acidity or anxiety, I’d suggest trying yerba mate.
It’s rich in theobromine, which makes people feel happy and relaxed. This also helps ease any blood pressure or anxiety issues that caffeine alone might cause.
Unlike coffee, yerba mate contains theanine, which has a strong calming effect. Plus, yerba mate is loaded with antioxidants.
So, regarding health, I’ve found more information suggesting that yerba mate is better for your body. But remember, both should be enjoyed in moderation.
Consumption of either of these drinks will cause jitters, sleepless nights, and headaches.
However, both drinks significantly improve focus, which can help you work harder and develop your skills and create success.
With that tough round, let’s move on to Taste and Flavour Profile!
What’s The Taste and Flavour Profile of Coffee and Mate?
Although both drinks are quite bitter, they hold a more complex flavor profile and unique combinations than most drinks.
Dive in and experience the unique taste and aroma of yerba mate.
How does Coffee taste?
Caffeinated coffee is not enjoyed by most when they have their first cup.
The bitterness takes some getting used to. But once you’re hooked, you’re hooked.
This deeply rich drink is loved all over the world for a good reason.
If brewed well, you will experience a beautiful balance of flavors.
The sweet, bitter, and acidic notes pleasantly play on your tongue as you drink.
Personally, I prefer the low acidic cup of coffee, giving the drink a smooth mouth feel. With no added sugar, I can still taste the slight flavors of brown sugar and molasses in my morning cup.
How Does Yerba Mate Taste?
This herbal tea is known for its bitterness but is still loved by many.
Yerba mate has a malty-sweet aspect to it.
To me, it tasted like white tea mixed with caramel and dry apricot, masked by the overall herbal taste. Perhaps a touch of pine beneath all that …
The undertone of fruity sweetness became clearer when I roasted the yerba mate leaves before making tea with them.
Yerba mate is definitely not like coffee.
Both beverages have their own unique flavors. If you really enjoy a deep flavor from a rich roasted drink, coffee is your drink.
However, If you prefer to wake up to a lightly flavored cup of tea … drink yerba, mate! Now, join me in the Final Round!
The Cultural and Social Aspects of Mate and Coffee
How do these energizers influence culture, and how do people socialize? Let’s dive in with coffee!
The Coffee Culture
Coffeehouses have always been a place for people to meet and discuss ideas. Commonly, ideas about politics.
One of the first cities where coffee culture spread was Mecca in modern-day Saudi Arabia. In Mecca during the early 16th century, the discussions of politics in coffeehouses became so feared by the governor, Khair Beg, that he banned coffee. He thought that this way, people were less likely to discuss change and share ideas which he thought would cause a rebellion in the city.
Even in the modern day, people love to drink coffee and socialize, particularly in Europe. In countries like Italy, Finland, and Austria, there are many cafes with cultural significance that are still frequently used.
The Yerba Mate Culture
Yerba mate is commonly found in communities in South America. In countries like Paraguay, Bolivia, and Uruguay, yerba mate is shared within circles of friends in a somewhat mystical hospitality ritual.
The energizer Yerba mate has a really cool mythical origin story as well. It starts with a father and a daughter.
The Father was weak and soon started to fall behind the tribe. His daughter stayed behind to look after him and make sure that he would find his way.
But they had very few supplies, and fate was looking down on the two of them.
One night, a mysterious figure approached them and demanded food and drink. He had been traveling and became weary.
The Father and daughter shared the little supplies they had with the stranger. They gave him food to eat and water to drink.
After the stranger was fully satiated, he revealed his true identity. He was the supreme god Tupa.
In return for their hospitality, Tupa gave them a plant so that they would be filled with energy, keep them healthy, and never go thirsty.
Tupa also instructed them to share it with their tribe.
Thereafter, drinking yerba mate always became associated with sharing and hospitality in these south american cultures.
I highly recommend looking more into the culture and history of Yerba mate. Even better, learn Spanish by exploring the power of reading and speak to the locals in south american countries.
Conclusion: Yerba Mate vs Coffee
Now the question on everyone’s mind: Who won?
These drinks are mostly about preference.
I challenge you to drink both and come to your own conclusion. Try each drink for about a week and see how you feel.
Do you prefer the instant effects of coffee or the gradual energy boost from yerba mate? Enjoy the experience and try something new.
And if you’re now wondering where you can get your Yerba Mate Tea, check out our post on the best yerba mate teas on the market!