I have never been fortunate to drink real Yerba Mate before. I know the ritual- involving gourds and grinding down herbs to mix with very hot water. I have been able to try Yerba Mate as an ingredient before though, as it is fairly common in energy drinks. Yerba mate is one of those cool drinks that have long been touted for its health and well being, even though this particular site has found research that it has so many carcinogens it is like smoking a pack of cigarettes a day! However, Guayaki is so wholesome and healthy that you know this will be a big seller at your local Trader Joes or Whole Foods.
However, I have tried out so many crazy substances in my search for the most perfect caffeinated products that I am am sure I have ingested far more scary things than this cool looking can of delicious mate soda. The thing that really makes this stand out from other mate products, and even the other Guayaki energy drinks is that it’s Yerba Mate front and center, not an ingredient in some energy blend. This one clearly is going for the very classic traditional look buzz and taste of a traditional Mate Drink.
Another cool thing about buying Guayaki is they are working hard to be a very ethical company. They internalize the costs of sustainable production, community development and reforestation in the rainforests of South America.and are working to restore 200,000 acres of South American Atlantic rainforest by 2020 and creating at least 1,000 fair wage jobs by 2020. Pretty lofty goals for a tea and soda company…
Rather than cartoon faces or starbursts, this Guayaki energy drink is pretty traditional, going for block letters and the feel like this just came off the boat of Argentina. The fonts and indigenous pattern on this really help sell it and keep it from blending in with the multitudes of Rockstars and Monsters where I found it. This Sparkling Yerba Mate really sets itself apart nicely.
It also does well functionally too. it lists the caffeine content, And it is very easy to read what is going on with the ingredients. They need to have their paragraph on here explaining the drink and why Mate is so cool and different, and manage to do so without going for the usual energy drink stereotypes. They list contact info and all the stuff you could want, only slightly slipping by not double facing the can or putting the lid on straight (so the label faces outwards while you are drinking it).
This is one where I was really not knowing what to expect. I went for the Cranberry Pomegranate version of Sparkling Yerba Mate, even though Guayaki does have this in two other flavors. IT was good that I did not know what this should have tasted like, because it tasted like nothing I have had before.
Some of the flavors I was definitely able to pick out, like the berry juice from the pomegranates and cranberries, and it was pretty easy to taste that this has pure sugar in it – not anything processed or stevia-ed. It reminded me a whole lot of a tea soda, only strong enough to have a very nice but no over-sweet flavor. If you find yourself in the health food aisles and are looking for something very refreshing without over the top sweetness or hars flavor, this would be an obvious pick.
In terms of energy, this is pretty weak. The sparkling Yerba Mate has only 80mg of caffeine in the 12 ounce can, which means this has about 53mg in an 8 ounce serving size – about half that of a coffee and considerably less than you would find in a similarly nutritious Guru or Steaz energy drink. This is, however, Yerba Mate, so it is either insanely healthy or will give you cancer, depending on what study you read.
There are supposedly a bunch of numerals and vitamins in Yerba Mate, but they don’t list any in their ingredients, except for a tiny bit of vitamin C and calcium. Energy-wise, there is just the caffeine to get you moving and not really enough in the can to feel a whole lot of anything. For the 100 calories in here, I would hope for a bit more oomph than what you can find in the gorgeous can.