Matcha tea has gained popularity recently as it claims to be a better replacement of coffee. On the other hand, the Yerba Mate tea is also known to have this energy potential, and they both share a lot of benefits.
Matcha is originally from China, where it was then imported by a Japanese monk back to Japan. The Japanese eventually developed their own unique rituals around this tea powder. It comes from the plant Camellia Sinensis, the same plant of the regular green tea, grown and produced in Japan. However, the making process is different from traditional green tea, making Matcha a more concentrated version.
Yerba mate is originally from the Amazon forest, in South America. This herbal tea is made of the leaves and twigs of a plant found in the tropical forest of Brazil and Paraguay. It’s a traditional drink used by the Guarani natives, but is also very widely imported and consumed in Syria.
The components and taste
Matcha is composed from green tea crushed into a powder. It has a bright green color. The leaves are scuffed, which explains this smooth and fine powder.
Matcha has a natural vegetal savoriness that turns to a bit of sweetness, and that’s the reason why it’s favored as a flavoring (matcha lattes, matcha pastry,…).
Yerba Mate is made of dried leaves from the Ilex paraguariensis, harvested in the forest then dried and slightly burned.
While the Matcha has this little bit of sweetness, Yerba Mate has a bitter taste due to its richness in taste, to the point of it being a vegetable substitute. To make it sweeter and lighter, you can add an ingredient to the infusion like honey or milk…
How they are prepared
Preparation of the Matcha is not like any regular tea where the leaves are soaked. First, you need hot water and add matcha powder to it. You can whisk the tea with a tablespoon or with a special bamboo whisk called “Chasen”. You should mix it well until you see the froth on top.
On the other hand, Yerba Mate is an infusion dried over fire and steeped in hot water, however Yerba Mate’s charm is the use of the traditional container called “Gourd or Calabash” and a metal straw with a filter in its lower end to strain out the leaf fragments.
With toasted or dried Mate leaves, fill the bottom of the calabash and finish with adding hot water. You can also prepare it in a French press. It can be topped off with hot water several times before using new leaves. And it is usually served with sugar, milk or lemon juice.
Antioxidants richness and nutrients
Matcha is very high in antioxidants compared to a regular tea bag as you consume the whole-leaf in powder. There are claims that the antioxidants of one shot of matcha is equivalent to 10-20 cups of green tea.
Matcha has the most powerful antioxidant called Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). It promotes cell repair and fights inflammation. Matcha is also rich in vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C and Zinc and Potassium, it can help you lose weight and promote the health of your heart thanks to the low-calorie intake and low cholesterol level. Not to forget that it contains caffeine and the most important amino acid which only exists in tea and is called theine. This latter controls stress to improve your mood and boost your immune system.
Yerba Mate is very rich in antioxidants too, but the main antioxidant is chlorogenic acid, and has a very powerful impact on the reduction of cholesterol and bacterial proliferation. Yerba Mate contains nearly every vitamin and mineral your body needs. It contains seven out of nine essential amino acids, adding to caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine which are stimulants found in tea, coffee, and chocolate.
Like the Matcha, Yerba Mate is low in calorie, which may help lose belly fat and weight. It is also known to protect against infections like food poisoning.
Matcha contains about 75 mg per 150 ml of the drink, which is close to the Yerba Mate’s 80 mg. Yet, this amount is still small compared to the caffeine found in coffee (160 mg).
This low concentration of caffeine is actually beneficial for your health; it can improve your cognitive performance without the side effects that we get from drinking coffee, i.e. hyperactivity and irritability.
Despite their many benefits, consuming big quantities of Matcha and Yerba Mate can lead to undesirable side effects.
As we use the whole-leaf to make matcha powder, we ingest everything it contains, matcha leaves may harbor contaminants from the soil, such as pesticides, heavy metals… Also, consuming big amounts of antioxidants can cause liver toxicity.
Too much caffeine can cause migraines, headaches and high blood pressure. Pregnant women should limit Matcha and Mate intake to a maximum of a combined three cups per day.
People who have a medication treatment for depression or Parkinson should avoid Yerba Mate due to it acting as an inhibitor to certain related medications.
To conclude, these drinks have a various beneficial effect on our body, but you should only consume them in moderate amounts. If you want to go on a taste adventure and replace coffee with these incredible energy boosters: definitely go for it! But make sure to start slowly and surely.
Then let me know in the comments if you are team Matcha or team Yerba Mate.