Have you ever wondered how much caffeine is in yerba mate? Or how it compares to coffee and tea?
Yerba mate tea is a drink traditionally consumed in South America. Nowadays it’s becoming more popular all over the world because of its refreshing taste and energizing effect. Many people are also switching from drinking coffee to drinking yerba mate, or replacing part of their coffee consumption with it.
In this guide, I will explain everything you need to know about yerba mate caffeine content and how it matches with coffee and tea.
One surprising fact is that 250 milliliters (about 1 cup) of yerba mate tea made with the traditional method, can have almost twice as much caffeine as 1 cup of coffee!
If you just want to quickly compare the caffeine content between yerba mate tea, coffee, black tea, and green tea, take a look at the chart below:
As you can see the caffeine content of yerba mate greatly depends on the brewing method. Of course, the same applies to coffee and tea as well.
There are also other factors that have an effect on the amount of caffeine. The type/brand of the product, and brewing time, to mention a few. Thus, the above chart presents the estimated averages per cup, not exact values that always apply.
How Much Caffeine Is In Yerba Mate Tea?
Yerba mate leaves contain a relatively high amount of caffeine.
The caffeine level of an 8 ounce (0.24 liters) cup of yerba mate tea can range anywhere between 20mg and 180mg.
Maybe you’re wondering, what can cause such a huge variation?
The type of yerba mate product, the amount you use, and the way you brew it, all have a significant effect on the caffeine level of your mate tea.
According to a study from 2009, yerba mate brewed with 50 grams of loose-leaf yerba mate and 500 ml (17 oz) of water had a caffeine content of about 380mg, which equals to about 4 standard cups of coffee.
Some people may claim that yerba mate contains matteine which is different from caffeine. However, there is no research that supports this claim and it seems that matteine is just a different term for caffeine.
The effects of yerba mate are truly different from other drinks that contain caffeine, but this is because it also contains two other stimulants: theobromine and theophylline (more about this later).
These days many different types of yerba mate products are available. Yerba mate energy drinks can have very high amounts of caffeine and yerba mate energy shots can go even further in maximizing the level of caffeine.
Coffee vs Yerba Mate Caffeine Content
Dry yerba mate leaves usually contain between 1% to 1.5% caffeine compared to about 1.2% to 3% for ground coffee.
A cup of yerba mate tea contains about 70 mg of caffeine on average, while a typical cup of coffee has 100 mg of caffeine. But as mentioned earlier, the caffeine concentration of mate tea can vary greatly.
In South America, yerba mate is almost exclusively consumed with the traditional method. According to my experience, in North America and Europe, it’s also common to use yerba mate tea bags or French press for brewing this tea.
Therefore, the above-mentioned average caffeine content of a cup of yerba mate tea might not be the most suitable way of measuring.
Difference in Energizing Effect
The caffeine in yerba mate tea seems to act differently compared to coffee.
So what do I mean by this? And how is it even possible?
If you drink too much coffee it can make you feel jittery and uncomfortable. Many people have noticed that yerba mate lacks these side effects entirely.
Yerba mate appears to have a stimulating and calming effect at the same time. The reason is that, in addition to caffeine, yerba mate also contains two other components that stimulate our central nervous system.
Yerba mate leaves contain theobromine, a stimulant that makes you feel good and is also found in chocolate. In addition, it contains theophylline, a stimulant that is said to give you mental energy and is present in green and black tea.
The combination of these three boosters (caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline) works together and creates an effect different from coffee.
Go ahead and watch this informative video that compares yerba mate and coffee:
Looking for information? Read this article that compares yerba mate and coffee.
Tea vs Yerba Mate Caffeine Content
Usually, a cup of yerba mate tea contains a much higher amount of caffeine compared to a cup of green tea. However, as explained earlier, this depends greatly on the brewing method of the mate tea.
A cup of green tea has about 25 mg of caffeine. It is comparable to yerba mate tea brewed with a tea bag.
A cup of strong black tea has approximately 50 mg of caffeine. This is still much less than what yerba mate tea has on average.
So compared to tea, yerba mate is definitely a better energy booster due to its higher caffeine level.
Why I Love Yerba Mate Energy Boost
Yerba mate tea has a long history among South American people. Runners, surfers, football players, martial arts practitioners, and many other athletes use it. Also, regular people are consuming it in order to feel more vibrant and energetic.
Today, yerba mate is available all over the world. Along with coffee and tea, it has become a favorite refreshment for many people — including myself!
I like to drink yerba mate before doing sports because it gives me nice energy levels and focus. Yet, it doesn’t make me jittery or cause a sudden crash after the effect starts wearing off.
Yerba Mate Caffeine Content FAQ
How much caffeine is in yerba mate?
Dry yerba mate leaves usually contain between 1% to 1,5% of caffeine. The caffeine content of yerba mate tea depends on the brewing method and varies between 20mg and 180mg per cup.
How much caffeine does yerba mate have compared to coffee?
A cup of yerba mate tea contains about 70 mg of caffeine on average, while a cup of coffee averages at 120 mg of caffeine. However, the caffeine concentration of both beverages can vary greatly depending on the type of product and brewing method.
How much caffeine does yerba mate have compared to black tea and green tea?
On average, a cup of green tea contains about 25 mg of caffeine while a cup of strong black tea has approximately 50 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content of one cup of yerba mate tea is about 70 mg (it depends on the brewing method). Compared to both green and black tea, yerba mate has more caffeine.
Instead of drinking yerba mate tea, you can also use yerba mate capsules or other supplements. I have also put together an article with more information related to yerba mate extracts and supplements.
As a conclusion, we can say that yerba mate tea is a very refreshing and energizing drink that has relatively high caffeine content.
It is also a healthy drink but you should still avoid consuming excessive amounts of it. Especially if you’re pregnant or sensitive to caffeine. You can read more about the possible side effects of yerba mate here.
If you are planning on buying some mate tea, check out this review article with 5 different yerba mate products. It will help you with choosing the right kind of product for your liking.
I hope you found this article useful. Post a comment in the comments section below and tell me about your experiences related to mate and its energizing effect and caffeine content.