Yerba mate as the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate" all in one beverage.

Of the six commonly used stimulants in the world: yerba mate, coffee, tea, kola nut, cocoa and guarana, yerba mate triumphs as the most balanced, delivering both energy and nutrition.  



In 1996 after our co-founding Argentine partner passed us our first mate gourd, we immediately felt the balanced, nourishing and unparalleled energy.  Mate quickly became our new clean and green healthful daily ritual. We understood why South America’s Aché Guayakí tribe sips mate daily for its powerful rejuvenative effects.  Recognizing the transformative power of mate, we made it our mission to steward and restore 200,000 acres of rainforest and create over 1,000 living wage jobs by 2020.  Find out how you restore the rainforest every time you sip Guayakí

Guayakí Yerba Mate began as a college senior project in 1996.  It was at Cal Poly University, in San Luis Obispo, California, that the founders of Guayaki first met.  Alex Pryor, from Argentina and David Karr, from California, quickly became friends as they sipped mate.

The business would bring the legendary mate to the world at a time when people were thirsty for a health energy beverage.  This business would inspire the hearts of people worldwide to believe that business can go beyond profits, that it can drive positive social and environmental change.



There are currently two schools of thought regarding the stimulant in yerba mate. Recent scientific research suggests that the stimulant in yerba mate is caffeine; however, caffeine-sensitive individuals do not experience the harsh side effects (jitters, stomach upset, headaches, addiction) that are common complaints with coffee, black tea, or Asian green tea.

It is important to note that yerba mate provides a wealth of nutrition in the form of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, all of which may contribute to the "good" energy most people associate with yerba mate.
The term "mateine" has been used to refer to the stimulant in yerba mate. Some researchers feel that the stimulating compound in yerba mate does differ from caffeine. We have elected to use the phrase "Naturally Caffeinated" to share the most accurate scientific information currently available. Guayakí is still dedicated to furthering the research in this area, and we will continue to keep you well informed about any discoveries we make.

Energy Meter

CLICK HERE to use our caffeine meter to find products that work for you.
Serving size refers to one serving of mate brewed in a certain number of ounces - as stated - of water.

(20 - 35 mg. of caffeine per 8 oz.)
Magical Mint Mate - tea bag
Chai Spice Mate - tea bag
Pure Endurance - tea bag
Mate Chocolatté - tea bag

(35 - 50 mg. of caffeine per 8 oz.)
Traditional Yerba Mate - tea bag
Greener Green Tea - tea bag

Java Mate (2-4 Tbsp.) – -  [45 mg's of caffeine per 8 oz. serving] - Dark Roast

(65 - 135 mg. of caffeine per 8 oz.)
16oz Cans - Lemon Elation, Enlighten Mint, Revel Berry - (16 ounce can) - [75 mg's of caffeine per 8 oz. serving]
12oz  Sparkling Classic Gold - (16 ounce can) - [70 mg's of caffeine per 8 oz. serving]
12oz  Sparkling Cans - Cranberry Pomegranate, Grapefruit Ginger - (12 ounce can) - [40 mg's of caffeine per 8 oz. serving]
Guayaki Organic Energy Shots (2 oz bottle) -  [140 mg's of caffeine per bottle] - Lemon, Chocolate-Raspberry, Lime Tangerine.
Bottled Yerba Mate (16 ounce bottle) -  [70 mg's of caffeine per 8 oz. serving] - Traditional Mate, Pure Empower Mint, Pure Heart, Pure Endurance, Pure Mind, Pure Passion, Unsweetened Mate, Pure Body.
Traditional Yerba Mate (1-2 Tbsp.) - -  [85 mg's of caffeine per 8 oz. serving] - Traditional Loose yerba mate

For comparison: 
Green Tea (30 mg. / 8 oz.)
Cola (35 mg. / 8 oz.)
Coffee (135 mg. / 8 oz.)
Source: Center for Science in the Public Interest




Uniquely grown it its native forest environment, Guayaki Yerba Mate is cherished as a sacred beverage. Like high quality coffee, high quality mate is shade-grown, in the rich ecosystem of the rainforest; delivering more flavor and nutritional value. Sheltered from direct sunlight, rainforest grown yerba mate leaves are dark, emerald green and teeming with nutrients and flavor.

Guayaki Yerba Mate is a work of art; crafted like a fine wine, it is grown, harvested, and dried according to time – honored traditions. Harvested from the lush subtropical forest, Guayaki hand-picks only the leaves and tender stems. After passing through a flash heating process to protect the antioxidants and nutritional properties, the mate is dried at a low-temperature and aged for one year for a smooth, rich and balanced flavor.

Yerba mate is a holly tree native to the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina.  To create Guayaki’s Yerba Mate, the “whole plant - whole energy” approach is used, combining the leaves and tender stems to produce a beverage with unique flavor and balanced energy. Our delicious flavored blends are a combination of our Traditional Yerba Mate and unique organic herbs and spices. Learn more about our Yerba mate products.  

Guayakí’s MARKET-DRIVEN-RESTORATION business model directly links our customer’s purchases to our partner farming communities in the South American Atlantic Rainforests. Guayakí’s partners sustainably harvest organic yerba mate from rainforest grown cultivations and reforestation projects, generating a renewable income stream which enables these communities to improve their lives and restore their lands.

Guayaki offers several varieties of loose leaf organic yerba mate, bottle yerba mate, yerba mate tea bags, and energy shots.  View all of our products here: Guayaki Store

San Mateo Yerba Mate
Air Dried Yerba Mate - Young & Bright
Sourced from the rainforest of the San Mateo region in Southern Brazil, this air-dried yerba mate is bright and lively.  The smoke-free drying process yields an herbal flavor with a complex body and a clean finish.  This Guayakí  product reduces atmospheric CO2 by 573g per pound of yerba mate.

Traditional Yerba Mate
Rich, Robust, & Balanced
Sustainably sourced from preserved rainforest and reforestation projects in Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil, our Traditional Yerba Mate blend boasts a rich and robust mate flavor, toasty aroma, and a balanced finish. This Guayakí product reduces atmospheric CO2 by 573g per pound of yerba mate.

Barbacua Mate Blend
Smooth with classic smoky notes
Crafted in the ancient Barbacua stye, this mate is carefully wood dried yielding a smooth and enduring flavor with sophisticated smoky notes.

Gaucho Fuerte
Coffee style grind
The Gaucho Blend (for a drip coffee maker) is potent and robust, with toasted nutty earthy tones, and a smooth malty finish.



Guayaki partners with small farmers and indigenous communities to source mate from the sub-tropical forests of South America.  Like high quality coffee, high quality mate is shade-grown; delivering more nutritional value and a smooth, rich flavor. 

Forest grown mate is environmentally sustainable in the long term and provides for more income per acre than cattle or agricultural products such as corn, soy or wheat.  From the simple love of a beverage, Guayaki drinkers have become a driving force for conservation and community development by paying a fair trade price for rainforest-grown mate.  



When you purchase Guayakí Yerba Mate at the “MARKET” you are “DRIVING” the “RESTORATION” of the Guayakí Rainforest Preserves and its people.  Guayakí creates markets for rainforest mate which provide a sustainable economic alternative to destructive income generating practices such as deforestation for lumber, cattle grazing, and monocrop agriculture.  

This principle of renewable resource management supported by consumers of sustainable products is called Market-Driven Restoration™.  Guayakí uses a triple bottom line to measure success: Economic Viability, Social Justice and Environmental Stewardship.  



Yerba mate is the national drink of Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Southern Brazil where it is consumed 6 to 1 over coffee.   In Argentina, over 90% of the people drink yerba mate with a gourd and bombilla.

Sharing the Mate Gourd
Tomando mate (drinking mate) is a symbol of hospitality.  As the mate gourd is passed around, a sense of connection emerges.  The first step of the ceremony is the preparation of the gourd.  Typically, the cebador/a - mate server - prepares mate for a friend or a group of friends. The cebador/a drinks the first one or two gourd-fulls, testing the waters to ensure that only a smooth running mate is shared.  Then the gourd is refilled with water and passed counter-clockwise with the bombilla (straw-filter) facing the recipient.  Each person drinks the entire gourd: "you share the vessel, not the liquid."  The recipient of the gourd has as much time as needed to finish the gourd-full. After the last few sips of the mate are gone, the gourd is returned with the bombilla facing the cebador/a.  The gourd is refilled with hot water and follows around the circle, continuing in this fashion until the mate is lavado (flat).  If someone has had enough mate, they simply say gracias (thank you) to indicate that they are finished.

Preparing yerba mate in a gourd is an art.

Guayaki Yerba Mate Gourd Preparation Procedure Drawing1)  Fill the mate gourd with a daily serving of Guayakí Yerba Mate.

2) Gently shake the gourd so that the yerba mate is on one side, leaving an open area on the other side.

3) Insert the filtered end of the bombilla into the bottom of the gourd.

4)  Gently pour a little cold water into the open area to moisten the yerba mate. This protects the flavor and health properties.  Leave the mate gourd tilted until the yerba mate has absorbed the water.

5)  Add hot (no hotter than150 degrees F.) water until it reaches just below the top of the yerba mate.  Sip from the bombilla until all the liquid is gone, then add more hot water. The first few drinks are strong; the flavor will soften as more water is added for each drink.

6)  Now that the gourd is prepared, drink it,  add more hot water and serve your friends one at time in a circular fashion.  Basically, pour, pass, sip.   Let them know not to move the bombilla, as to not disturb the yerba.  -  Before using the gourd, read the curing and caring section.

7. The mate gourd can be refilled 15-20 times.


A great mate server:

  1. Passes only a smooth running mate.
  2. Serves a mate that won't burn you. Hot water means a hot bombilla.
  3. Remembers who is sharing maté. If someone has signaled that they are done, do not pass them another mate.
  4. Knows not to share mate with someone that has a cold or flu.
  5. Encourages people not to move the bombilla which may cause it to clog. If the mate becomes clogged, refill it with water and let it sit for at least one minute. If the bombilla is still clogged, you can remove the bombilla and blow it out.
  6. Always empties the mate gourd, rinses it after use, and allows it to dry completely in order to increase its longevity.
  7. Remembers that used yerba mate makes great organic compost and fertilizer for plants and returns it to the earth!




You may have heard recent controversy surrounding Yerba Mate and its association with cancer risks. We know that this has spurred several questions from our customers. We have been actively researching this issue and are confident that Yerba Mate itself is not detrimental to your health but that there are environmental factors and processing methods which could be a health concern if not minimized.

Yerba Mate is a healthy beverage that contains numerous beneficial nutrients including vitamins, minerals, amino-acids, polyphenols, flavonoids and saponins which are ingredients known for their health benefits. Yerba Mate has been consumed for several hundred years in South America and is considered to be a powerfully energizing and rejuvenating beverage. When it comes to processing Yerba Mate, different methods can be used; in addition different consumption patterns can be associated with Yerba Mate drinking. At this time we would like to take this opportunity to share the processing methods that Guayaki implements, and our healthy recommendations for drinking Yerba Mate.

Most of the world’s commercially available Yerba Mate is processed using a heavily smoked drying method that uses burning wood (barbacoa) to dry the Mate leaves between 8 to 24 hours. This smoke-dried method is known to produce a Yerba Mate which contains Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), chemicals known to be carcinogens at high concentrations. PAHs are common in many foods and beverages such as water, coffee, and tea and cannot be completely avoided in the diet, but the levels of PAHs that are consumed can be minimized.

At Guayaki, we have been committed to reducing the PAH levels in our Yerba Mate for many years. Our organic San Mateo Yerba Mate for instance is air-dried. Air drying is a processing technology that allows us to greatly reduce the PAH levels in our Yerba Mate. We are proud to announce that we have been testing the PAH levels in our Yerba Mate for more than a decade and the results demonstrate a significant reduction in the PAH content. Since 2008, a reputable US Government analytical lab with the most current and accurate methodology has been testing the PAH levels in our Yerba Mate every year. The results indicate that our San Mateo air-dried Yerba Mate has a significantly lower PAH level compared to other commercially available Yerba Mate’s tested. Comparing our air-dried yerba mate to that of the smoke dried yerba mate, we have seen an ~80% reduction in overall PAHs. Our organic Traditional Yerba Mate as well has lower PAH levels compared to other traditionally smoked varieties of Yerba Mate by incorporating mostly air-dried mate into the blend. We are confident that these results indicate that our air-drying processing method enables us to greatly reduce the formation of PAHs compared to the smoke- dried method most commonly used. We have been and will continue to focus on using the best available processing technologies to produce our Yerba Mate. In addition, we have been and will continue testing our PAH levels with the highest quality testing methods to offer you safe, healthy and nutritious Yerba Mate.

We would also like to recommend that you consume your Yerba Mate at a comfortable temperature.  Consuming any beverage including tea, soup, and water at very high temperatures can be detrimental to your health and cause damage to the esophageal lining.  We would also like to recommend trying our bottled and canned Yerba Mate offerings since they are made with air-dried yerba mate and test within the PAH limits set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for drinking water.

What is most important for us is that we have seen that it is not Yerba Mate itself that is of concern, but rather the additional confounding factors that can be attributed to both its processing and consumption style. 

If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us.