Thursday, January 28, 2016

You Hearda Yerba?

I'm a coffee fanatic. Love my java. I probably drink too much, but I usually back off when I start feeling my blood flowing through my body.

A long while back, I noticed something new in the coffee/tea section of the local health food store. Of course, once you spot something new, you start seeing it everywhere. That's they way it was with this tea:

Image result for yerba mate
Yerba Mate tea
Tea is another favorite of mine - green tea, black tea, chamomile and honey, Chai and, sometimes, even lemon tea (so I can add a little whisky for, uh, medicinal purposes)... When I saw the Yerba Mate (especially this particular brand) at the local Carrs/Safeway store, I decided to check it out online first. I actually asked some friends about it, but no one I knew had tried it yet.

This is what I learned about Yerba Mate in general:

  • It's a traditional South American beverage.
  • It's a tea (I thought it was coffee at first)
  • It comes from a plant in the Holly family (not Buddy, just a plant)
  • It's supposed to have various health benefits, but...
  • ... frequent and prolonged intake is associated with some cancers
On the one hand, I was thinking: Well, damnit! On the other hand, I guess it's like anything that tastes or feels good: it's all about control and moderation. From what I had read here about the taste, I didn't think I was going to be overdoing it.

Coffee is my main squeeze, so I decided to just flirt a little with Yerba Mate. I picked this one because of the labelling:

I went over to the Guayaki site to learn more, and there's quite a nice (and very idealist kind of) story behind the brand and its founders.

For me, the taste was going to be the main thing. At first. Then I realized that, just as I do with lots of other healthy stuff, I could probably just add the Yerba to my coffee. That's what I do with coconut oil, tumeric, nutmeg, and cinnamon. With the Yerba Mate, I steep a bag of the tea dang near overnight, then I just add a little to my coffee throughout the day. Coffee masks the taste of just about anything, so I couldn't tell what Yerba tasted like on its own until last night.

When I drink a hot cup of the Yerba, I mix in some of my Almond Joy creamer. The taste, in my opinion, is like a nutty-flavored coffee. Maybe I'm doing the brewing wrong, but it's actually weaker than a rich black tea. If the flavor of Yerba is icky, my creamer must mask that. I like it. I still prefer adding it to my coffee.

What I figured out from looking at the Guayaki site is that I can get the Yerba in different packaging: cans, bags, bottles, loose leaf, and even in energy shots. For now, I'm okay with the tea bags.

As far as how this tea makes me feel, I have to say that the energy I get is much the same as from coffee (maybe a blonde roast coffee), but there are laxative effects. It's decent stuff, and I'll probably be drinking it off an on (you know, to keep down any risks to health).

Last thing to mention is that I noticed lots of info about using Yerba Mate for weight loss. From what I have read so far, that is a minimal thing and, like most other plans, depends a lot on a person's overall diet and exercise regimen.

Raising my cup of Yerba (and coffee) to you.



I've been drinking the tea (a bag in my coffee) a couple times a day for the past week. What I notice at this point is I do feel more focus, but my energy level is still about the same (kind of low). I also notice the mild laxative effect of the tea. The biggest effect that the tea is having is on my appetite. I'm not a big eater anyway (just lots of soups and maybe a flatbread/turkey sandwhich for lunch), but I now have to remind myself to eat. Since this is not a bad thing, in my opinion, I've just added more kale and other greens to my diet and cut back some on the soups. Another thing that I need to do is keep up my water intake. The Yerba seems to satisfy my cravings for anything I normally ingest. I will try to update again later on what weight loss benefits (if any) I experience.