Here it is. We are super into this AMAZING Ecuadorian herb and happy to share the love. Incredibly smooth, with a taste eerily similar to GABA Oolong. This is a nicely energizing tea, similar in effect to mate, but with much different flavor characteristics. More closely aligned in flavor to yaupon, it's holly cousin.
It has no grassy taste and is incredibly smooth. No bitterness and a hint of natural sweetness. A long steep produces an incredible mouth feel, as well.
Guayusa contains 50% more antioxidants than green tea and is full of polyphenols, flavonoids, and saponins. These compounds in guayusa offer a range of holistic health benefits from calming the nervous system to cardiovascular health.
A traditional drink from Ecuador with thousands of years of history and magic.
Water: 208°F | Leaves: 1.5 tsp per 12 ounce cup | Infusion Time: 4 - 7 minutes
Basic Steeping Tips
- Use filtered or spring water, whenever possible
- Don’t over-boil water
- Remove leaves after recommended time (adjust to taste)
- If you want stronger tea, use more leaves instead of steeping for a longer time. Although, you can steep guayusa as long as you want with no bitterness.
Guayusa does contain caffeine – more than other teas but less than coffee. One cup of guayusa offers 90 mg of caffeine. Interestingly, guayusa also contains other stimulants in the same family as caffeine, known as methylxanthine alkaloids. Theophylline is a clarifying and uplifting compound also found in green tea. Theobromine is the stimulant found in dark chocolate that offers that pleasant whole body feeling many are familiar with. Theobromine is known to offer a settled and bodily energy. Guayusa’s unique mix of caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine is what gives the balanced energy effect without any jitters, crash, or jolted buzz.
Guayusa (botanical name ilex guayusa) is not related to the camellia sinensis plant, the parent of white, green, oolong, and black teas. It is one of three caffeinated holly trees that exist in the world, and is a distant cousin of Yerba Maté (ilex paraguariensis). Guayusa leaves have a smooth ribbed edge, similar to the distinctive shape of a holly tree leaf (but without the spikes). Very large in size, guayusa leaves can reach over 15 cm in length (about as long as your hand)
Guayusa trees can reach a height of over 50 feet and live to be over 100 years old. They tend to produce lots of small trunks on one bush, and therefore are full of leaves (perfect for harvesting).
While guayusa is endemic to the Upper Amazon regions of Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, it is estimated that over 98% of the guayusa trees in the world are located in Ecuador.
Interestingly, guayusa does not produce fertile seeds. This unique botanical characteristic demonstrates the intricate role that guayusa has played with human development in the Amazon. Botanists believe that after being propagated asexually for hundreds of years, guayusa lost it’s ability to produce fertile seeds. Just as we depend on it for a health source of energy, it depends on us to keep growing.
Did you know that caffeine serves as a natural insect repellent? Botanists believe that plants first produced caffeine in order to give insects an unpleasant jolt to their nervous system when they eat a plant’s leaves. We strange creatures find it pleasant.