Yerba Mate vs. Coffee: Which Caffeine Fixes Your Cravings?

crazy by Editorial Staff | Updated on March 12th, 2023

Yerba mate and coffee are two popular beverages that have a loyal following around the world. While coffee has been the go-to beverage for many people, yerba mate has gradually gained popularity due to its numerous health benefits, unique taste, and cultural significance.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between yerba mate and coffee, their origins, nutritional values, caffeine content and effects on the body. We will also discuss how these beverages compare in terms of taste and cultural significance.

yerba mate vs coffee

Whether you’re a coffee lover or a yerba mate enthusiast, this post will give you an insight into the characteristics of these two beverages and help you make an informed choice based on your preferences and needs.

CategoryYerba Mate (per 1 oz)Coffee (per 8 oz)
Caffeine Content30-50 mg95-200 mg
Health BenefitsAntioxidants, Improved digestion, Boosted immune system, Reduced risk of heart disease, Improved mental clarity and focusAntioxidants, Lower risk of Type 2 Diabetes, Lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, Lower risk of liver cancer, Improve cognitive function
Pros– Contains less caffeine than coffee
– Provides a smoother energy boost
– Contains antioxidants and nutrients that support overall health
– Contains more caffeine for a stronger boost
– Has a bolder and more complex flavor profile
– Can be enjoyed in many different ways (e.g. brewed, espresso, latte, etc.)
Cons– May not provide enough energy for those looking for a strong boost
– Requires special preparation tools (gourd and bombilla)
– May cause jitters or anxiety in some people
– Can cause acid reflux or digestive issues
– May be addictive and lead to dependence
– Can be expensive depending on the quality
PreparationSteeped in hot water using a gourd and bombilla (metal straw)Ground and brewed in a coffee maker or French press, or brewed as espresso
Brewing Time3-5 minutes2-4 minutes for drip coffee, 1-2 minutes for espresso
FlavorEarthy, herbaceous, slightly bitterBold, bitter, nutty, chocolatey, or fruity depending on the roast and bean origin
OriginSouth AmericaEthiopia
Drinking CultureSocial, ceremonial, and medicinal drink in South AmericaPopular worldwide as a morning or afternoon pick-me-up
Typical Serving Size1 oz of yerba mate steeped in 6-8 oz of hot water8 oz cup of brewed coffee
Caffeine Calculation30-50 mg of caffeine per 1 oz of yerba mate95-200 mg of caffeine per 8 oz of brewed coffee
close-up photography of container

Yerba mate and coffee both contain approximately 75-80 mg of caffeine per cup.

As mentioned earlier, both yerba mate and coffee provide a similar amount of caffeine in each cup. With approximately 75-80 mg of caffeine per serving, they offer a reliable energy boost that many people enjoy.

But unlike coffee, which can deliver a jolt of caffeine that may cause jitters or a crash, yerba mate’s caffeine content seems to work differently, providing a smoother energy transition. This makes yerba mate an excellent choice for those who want to avoid the ups and downs often associated with coffee.

Additionally, both drinks offer distinct flavors and potential health benefits, making them popular choices for caffeine seekers. Whether someone prefers the taste of coffee or the unique flavor of yerba mate, they can find a reliable caffeine source with a similar caffeine content in each cup.

Yerba mate has more caffeine than tea but less than coffee.

Another interesting fact about yerba mate is that it contains more caffeine than tea but less than coffee. In fact, a cup of yerba mate has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of green tea. This makes yerba mate a great alternative to coffee for those who want to reduce their caffeine intake.

However, the caffeine in yerba mate seems to work differently than that in coffee, providing a smoother energy boost without the jitters or crash that can come with coffee consumption. The unique combination of caffeine and other phytochemicals in yerba mate may also offer different health benefits compared to coffee.

So, if you want to switch up your caffeine routine, give yerba mate a try!

Traditional brewing of yerba mate can contain around 200 mg of caffeine per serving.

While yerba mate generally contains around 75-80 mg of caffeine per cup, traditional brewing methods can result in a much higher caffeine content. In fact, a serving of yerba mate prepared in a gourd that is infused between 15 and 20 times can contain up to 200 mg of caffeine.

Despite this, yerba mate is still considered a more balanced caffeine option compared to coffee. Its unique composition allows for a smoother energy transition and may offer different health benefits. So, if you’re looking for a caffeine boost without the jitters, give yerba mate a try – just be mindful of how you prepare it if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

Yerba mate offers a smoother energy transition compared to coffee.

Yerba mate has been known to offer a smoother energy transition compared to coffee. Its caffeine content may be less than that of coffee, but this unique drink provides a balanced caffeine option with its slow-releasing energy boost.

Unlike coffee, which may give you a sudden spike of energy and a subsequent crash, yerba mate provides a more moderated intensity of effects. This makes it easier on the stomach, and its rate of absorption is smoother than that of coffee. With its distinct taste and health benefits, drinking yerba mate can be a refreshing change from the usual cup of joe.

Yerba mate provides a more balanced energy boost.

Compared to coffee, yerba mate offers a more balanced energy boost with around 85 mg of caffeine per cup. The slower-release of caffeine in yerba mate helps avoid the jitters and crash associated with coffee consumption.

It provides a smoother and more sustainable energy transition, that can keep you focused and alert for longer periods. Besides, yerba mate’s components also contribute to its health benefits, such as antioxidants and nutritional value, which makes it an excellent alternative for coffee lovers who are looking for a healthier and more natural energy source.

So if you’re looking for a refreshing and more balanced energy boost, yerba mate could be the perfect choice for you.

The caffeine in yerba mate seems to work differently than that in coffee.

Compared to coffee, the caffeine in yerba mate seems to work differently. While coffee provides a quick energy boost, it can also cause jitters and crashes.

Yerba mate, on the other hand, offers a smoother energy transition. Its caffeine is accompanied by other compounds like theobromine and theophylline, which have a relaxing effect on the body, resulting in a more sustained and balanced energy boost.

These compounds also seem to enhance mental clarity and focus without the anxiousness that coffee can cause. Overall, yerba mate may be a preferred choice for individuals looking for a more balanced and gentler caffeine source than coffee.

Coffee can contain more caffeine per cup depending on the type and brewing method.

While yerba mate and coffee both offer similar caffeine content, coffee can actually contain more caffeine per cup depending on the type and brewing method. For example, a cup of dark roast coffee will have slightly less caffeine than a cup of light roast coffee.

Additionally, brewing method plays a significant role in caffeine content, with drip coffee typically having higher levels than espresso. It’s important to note that the exact amount of caffeine in coffee can vary depending on the type of coffee bean and brewing equipment used.

Nevertheless, both yerba mate and coffee are popular caffeine sources, with their own unique flavors and effects on the body.

Compared to coffee, yerba mate may provide different health benefits due to its unique components.

Compared to coffee, yerba mate may offer a different set of health benefits as it contains unique components.

Yerba mate is a rich source of antioxidants called polyphenols similar to tea. These antioxidants can help in reducing oxidative stress, which is linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Yerba mate also contains theobromine, which causes vasodilation, promoting blood flow and reducing blood pressure.

Theophylline, another compound present in yerba mate, can act as a bronchodilator, helping in the treatment of respiratory conditions such as asthma. Its combination of nutrients and caffeine can also provide a balanced energy boost without undesirable side effects such as jitteriness and crashes usually associated with coffee.

While coffee contains compounds that can provide certain health benefits like reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease, yerba mate’s unique components offer some distinct advantages.

The caffeine content in yerba mate may vary depending on the brand and brewing method.

It is important to note that the caffeine content in yerba mate may vary depending on the brand and brewing method. Different brands of yerba mate may have varying levels of caffeine due to differences in harvesting, processing, and aging.

Additionally, the brewing method can also affect the caffeine content in the tea. Traditional brewing of yerba mate in a “gourd” (known as a “cuia”) can result in higher caffeine levels compared to using a tea bag or infuser in hot water.

However, regardless of the brand and brewing method, yerba mate offers a balanced source of caffeine that provides a smoother energy boost compared to coffee.

Overall, yerba mate and coffee are both popular sources of caffeine for those looking for a boost of energy. While they contain a similar amount of caffeine per cup, around 75-80 mg, yerba mate provides a smoother transition of energy compared to coffee.

Yerba mate also has a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from coffee, making it a popular choice for those looking for a different taste. Additionally, yerba mate contains more nutrients than coffee, providing potential health benefits.

It’s important to note that the caffeine content in yerba mate and coffee can vary depending on the brand and brewing method, so individuals should be aware of their own caffeine tolerance. Overall, whether it’s yerba mate or coffee, each offers its own distinct flavor and effects, making it a matter of personal preference.

Traditional Brewing Method

As previously discussed, yerba mate can be brewed in various ways. However, the traditional method remains the most authentic and preferred by many. The traditional brew method involves using a gourd and a metal straw called a bombilla.

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First, the gourd is filled one-third of the way with yerba mate leaves, after which hot water is added to the leaves. Then, the bombilla is inserted into the gourd, and the infusion is ready to drink.

This method may take some practice to perfect, but it has been used for centuries and is a significant part of South American culture. It is said that sharing a gourd of mate strengthens bonds between friends and family.

This traditional brewing method not only produces a flavorful beverage but also provides a unique cultural experience. By trying the traditional method, one may feel connected to the heritage of yerba mate and gain a new appreciation for its rich history.

It’s usually drunk via a metal straw, with a filter on the bottom to strain the leaf fragments away. Fill the bottom third of the calabash with dried or toasted Mate leaves before adding hot water to make Mate. If you don’t have a calabash, make it in a French press.

The tea is frequently served with lemon juice, burnt sugar, or milk and can be topped with hot water numerous times before making a new batch with fresh leaves. Although Yerba Mate is generally drunk hot, it can also be served cold, especially in warmer climes.

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So, is Yerba Mate healthier for you than Coffee?

Each beverage has its distinct flavor and aroma. It is up to you to decide which one is best for your well-being and health. We prefer to follow the findings of the scientific studies listed, and we urge that you drink Mate tea. Its contraindications are less stunning than those of the other drinks, but the benefits to our bodies and growth are greater.

Mate users recognize and confirm the good changes they have experienced since adopting the beverage as a habit: energy, peace, tranquillity, balance, and vitality. If you are still skeptical about one of the world’s most populous drinks, we recommend you read the five reasons you should incorporate Yerba Mate into your diet.

Which is better: Yerba Mate or Coffee?

What’s the bottom line? Yerba Mate may be for you if you enjoy tea and want to try a new herbal drink. On the other hand, coffee may be your best option if you want a more approachable drink that allows you to experiment.

What is our recommendation?

Before you decide, order a Yerba Mate and a cup of coffee from a coffee shop. You might be surprised by which drink you prefer – and you won’t have much money. We hope you enjoy your caffeinated beverage, no matter what you choose!


Editorial Staff

The editorial staff at Crazy Coffee Crave is a team of coffee enthusiasts & Baristas who enjoy the one thing we all think about as soon as we get up in the morning. Trusted by thousands of readers worldwide.