Sometimes I find myself wondering which energy drink I should choose...
But the other day, I spent all day crushing my work.
I looked up at 5 pm and had already hit inbox zero and it felt amazing.
The cool thing was that I had tons of energy left to give. I was even excited about going to the gym.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I remember when I used to crush yerba mate energy drinks. And the results were sub par.
I would always get jittery. And I'd feel tired later. The funny thing...
I'd stare at the ceiling that night in bed. Even though I wanted nothing more than to close my eyes, I was wired.
How could this be? Desperate to sleep more than anything, exhausted - but unable to doze off?
I made the switch to matcha years ago and I've never looked backed since.
Learn the difference between a yerba mate drink and matcha and why you should consider making the switch, too.
Yerba Mate Energy Drink vs Matcha
Yerba mate and matcha are both different types of energy teas. But they're from opposite sides of the world.
Both of these teas come with their own mystery - questions like these are not uncommon...
Can yerba mate kill you?
Can yerba mate make you high?
Is matcha really the "elixir of immortality?"
While matcha and mate both have amazing health benefits, you need to know exactly what you're getting.
Where is yerba mate from.
First off, yerba mate is not green tea.
Yerba mate is made from the leaves of the holly genus ilex plant native to South America, specifically Paraguay and Argentina.
This drink has a long history dating back to before Europeans arrived.
AKA the tea of the gods.
Where is matcha from.
Similarly, matcha has a storied history as well. It dates back to the 8 th century in Japan, but comes from the camellia sinensis plant (aka green tea).
This drink was originally used by Monks to stay awake during long periods of meditation.
Both matcha and mate are prized for their health benefits and energy giving properties. That's about all they have in common.
AKA the "elixir of immortality."
What is the difference between a yerba mate energy drink and matcha.
The main difference is that Mate is more like a traditional tea drink. It's brewed like normal tea and you throw out the leaves.
Matcha is more like an espresso shot and can be served either thick (koicha) or think (usucha). Unlike other teas, you drink the whole leaf!
How yerba mate is made
Take a look at yerba mate...
You will notice almost right away that mate is much coarser than matcha.
Mate leaves are shredded into large pieces and dried over a fire. They're often aged for up to a year to mellow out the taste of the leaves.
You may even find small pieces of shredded young twigs in your yerba mate loose leaf bag.
Once brewed, the mate leaves are discarded before drinking or bottling. You're drinking the tea infused water.
Mate is prepared throughout South America in a similar way to other teas.
Here's how you brew yerba mate:
Hot, but never boiling, water is poured directly onto the mate leaves and you let “steep” for three to five minutes.
While bags of mate tea are now available, true mate aficionados use a specially designed straw to filter out the mate leaves while drinking.
Instead of a cup, they'll often drink it from a traditional yerba mate gourd.
How matcha is made
As a traditional Japanese drink, Matcha is an extremely fine, bright green powder.
You won't find any shreds in high quality match powder. It shouldn't be clumpy either.
A matcha drink is made with its own unique and prized method.
But - here's the biggest distinction...
It's a whole leaf tea.
This means it's not steeped and then the leaves get discarded.
You drink the whole leaf when you consume fine matcha powder once it's dissolved in liquid.
Here's how matcha is made:
Unlike mate, you add the actual matcha powder into a small bowl.
Then, the matcha powder is whisked into a frothy concoction using hot water and consumed immediately.
Since you are consuming the finely ground camellia sinensis leaves with your matcha beverage, there is no reason to let the mixture sit.
No brewing required with matcha
In addition, you want to preserve the clean, bright finish of your high quality matcha tea.
Burning the leaves with boiling water or letting them sit too long can bring out unwanted bitter tasting notes.
You'll notice it's a lot less water than yerba mate, so it's ideal for a quick energy shot.
Just make sure you get your matcha tea powder from Japan.
They've been honing the growing process for centuries. It's the highest quality in the world.
How does yerba mate taste.
Mate does have an earthy or vegetal note that's similar to other teas.
Mate also tends to be a little less astringent or bitter when compared to traditional
green teas or matcha.
The taste is also nutty, woody and smoky in its notes on the palate.
The smoother, richer, and more balanced yerba mate flavors will come from cedar aged varieties.
They will give you a milder, more herbal flavor.
How does matcha taste
Rich earthy notes, with a grassy and vegetal finish are aspects of matcha. But the higher quality matcha tea powders will mitigate this.
The highest quality, ceremonial grade Japanese matcha leaves are strictly shade grown.
This brings out a sweeter and less bitter flavor profile.
Lower quality matcha grades do tend to be a little more bitter.
This is why a lot of places serve matcha lattes or add in sugar or honey.
But I recommend you keep the superfood benefits of this health tea in tact by using a more natural sweetener.
But it really comes down to the quality of your matcha powder. The healthiest matcha is going to be in the traditional preparation with water.
So go with the good stuff when it comes to matcha powder!
Why yerba mate is good for you.
Mate does have caffeine. And caffeine has many benefits like improving reaction time, helping to feel more awake, and boosting cognitive function.
Plus, you'll get an exercise boost from the caffeine too
Mate also has ursolic acid - a compound also found in apple skins that can help to reduce body weight.
However, the most unique health benefit of mate is that is does contain seven out of nine essential amino acids.
In addition to a whole host of important vitamins and minerals your body needs, this is good news for nutrient density.
These plant nutrients, or phytochemicals, support the body's natural defense systems.
Why matcha is good for you.
Here's where I give you the matcha pitch.
Because there's many things that matcha has going for it that you won't get with other teas.
- mate does not have catechins like matcha - these are unique plant compound that has been associated with reduced inflammation, weight loss, the prevention of heart disease, and enhanced brain health.
- mate does not contain the amino acid L-theanine - this helps smooth out the natural caffeine in matcha and helps with your ability to focus with enhanced cognitive function.
- mate has higher caffeine than matcha - higher caffeine means jitters, along with feeling of anxiety and overwhelm.
The caffeine in matcha is not only lower, it's the presence of the high amounts of L-theanine that make it smooth while promoting a more positive mood.
This is why matcha is the perfect beverage for your busy workday and your ultimate productivity hack.
Ultimately, this is why I was getting so wired with yerba mate energy drinks.
Something about it just left me more irritable than energized. And the starring at the ceiling thing was annoying.
Plus, the yerba mate energy drinks often have way more added caffeine than what you'll find in the loose leaf tea.
It's why I've made the switch to the calmer energy and mood enhancing benefits of matcha.
Ultimately, whether you choose a yerba mate energy drink or matcha, you can't lose because they both have major health benefits.
It's the energy experience that's unique between the two types of tea.
Of course, we’re partial to the highest quality pure ceremonial grade matcha that we use in each 6oz can of Moontower Matcha.
It’s the perfect size to get you energized and focused and to get on with your day.
If you're looking to make the switch to matcha energy, use code MOONTOWER20 at check out and get 20% off your first purchase with free delivery straight to your door.