Yerba Mate Caffeine Guide
Yerba Mate is a highly caffeinated beverage, caffeine levels range from 20mg – 150 mg. The brand of mate and the way it’s prepared can greatly affect the caffeine amount. A general rule of thumbs is that loose leaf has the highest caffeine level, followed by k-cups, and tea bags. I didn’t include energy shots or drinks as it usually depends on how much caffeine they add unnaturally to the drink. It's highly recommend drinking Mate in its natural form. I created this Yerba Mate Caffeine Guide to help you make the most out of your yerba mate.
Caffeine Amount in Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate Loose Leaf: 40 - 80mg per 8 oz cup
K-cups: 30 - 50mg
Yerba Mate Tea Bags: 20 - 63mg
Energy Drinks: 100 - 150mg
Energy Shots: 150 - 200mg
Other Products for Comparison
Coffee: 85mg per 8 oz cup
Red Bull: 80mg
Soda: 26mg (Coke), 50mg (Mountain Dew)
Green Tea: 20-40mg
Monster: 140mg (regular strength)
5-hour Energy Shot: 200mg
The longer you brew yerba mate, the more caffeine it will yield. If your goal is to maximize caffeine, then brew your mate for 10-15 minutes. After 10-15 minutes the benefits are negligible.
Top 5 Yerba Mate Brands For Caffeine
Rosamonte Selección Especial is one of the top selling yerba mates in Argentina for a good reason. It’s loaded with caffeine! Not only does it have a high amount of caffeine, it’s highly complex, with deep earthy/floral flavors and a nice buttery/creamy finish. It’s smoked and dried for 12 months. During this storage period, this yerba mate inherits its deep characteristic flavor and strength.
Recommended for: Seasoned yerba mate drinkers who are looking for bold/complex flavors that’s high in caffeine
Not Recommended for: Beginner yerba mate drinkers that might be turned off by it’s bold flavors and strength
2. Taragui Pure Leaf Grade
Tarigui Pure Leaf is another leading brand in Argentina. It has zero stems, mild character, and packs a punch. This product is considered the Coca Cola Classic of yerba mate, only it has twice the caffeine compared to a Coke. The pure leaf makes this yerba mate a great choice for the coffee maker or french press.
Recommended for: Beginners who want an easy to drink yerba mate that has a high caffeine content.
Not Recommended for: Advanced yerba mate drinkers who want a more complex/stronger character.
Cruz De Malta has earthy, smoky, sweet, and woody characteristics. Oh, and it’s loaded with caffeine. This is the preferred brand by Tim Ferriss. Tim Ferriss only works 4-hours a week so it must be doing something for him. Tim claims yerba mate “is optimal for my biochemistry and creative writing”. Here’s to drinking yerba mate and only working 4-hours a week!
Recommended for: Intermediate yerba mate drinker looking for a medium/full body flavor that’s high in caffeine.
Not recommended for: Beginners that might not appreciate the stronger smoke and tobacco notes.
4. Guayaki traditional
Guayaki is rich and deep, with a smooth mellow nutty finish. It’s organic and has a ton of caffeine. They claim 1 tsp contains 40mg of caffeine. I think this claim is a little exaggerated but you get the point. It has a lot of caffeine! Guayaki’s a California brand that is taking North America by the storm. You can pretty much find this brand anywhere you go. I also recommend and love their energy shots. They have 150mg of caffeine and I have never crashed on them.
Recommended for: Beginner yerba mate drinker that is looking for something that tastes delicious and packs a punch. This brand is our #1 choice for beginners in our Top 5 Yerba Mate Brands guide.
Not recommended for: Yerba mate snobs that don’t think Guayaki qualifies as a legitimate brand as it’s an American company.
5. Crio Mate
Ok so this isn’t an actual brand, but a concoction I came up with. I warn you, that once you try this, there is no going back. It's that good! Crio Mate is a 50/50 mixture of your favorite yerba mate and Crio Bru. 1 tablespoon of each usually does the trick. Crio Bru is 100% roasted ground up cacao beans. I recommend the Ecuador variation as it produces a deep dark chocolate flavor with a hint of banana and blackberry. The Ghana variation is good if you're looking for a nice medium chocolate flavor.
This combination gives me the most energy by far. It also tastes delicious. It’s very rare that I drink yerba mate by itself without Crio Bru. I recommend this blend over anything else in this Yerba Mate Caffeine Guide. Adding the Crio Bru will give you a big dose of theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine, only it's longer lasting and doesn't give you jitters or cause a crash.
Recommended for: Everyone who wants to add extra flavor and energy
Not Recommended for: People who don’t like chocolate
References: Yerba Mate Caffeine Guide