Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guayaki Yerba Mate Trials

Since I don't want to get 'stuck in a rut' with the exact same organic tea all the time, I try to keep my eyes open for other organic teas that might be appealing.  At Trader Joe's they sell a guayaki yerba mate bag of tea for $5, so I picked up a package of it a few weeks ago and started drinking it last week during my work day.  I had no prior knowledge of the guayaki yerba mate organic tea previously, and purchased it because 1) it was organic and 2) it had caffeine and (or at least did not say "caffeine free" on it) and 3) was only the 3rd organic caffeine containing tea that Trader Joe's sells - so I went into it completely blind.

First off, the taste of guayaki yerba mate is very.. um... earthy.  to me, it has a strong "root like" flavor that at first I did not find so pleasant.  I doubled the organic stevia I added to it, and it tasted much better.  This morning, I had a spoon with some residual local organic honey on it that I dipped into the steamingly warm tea cup, and that made it delicious as well, but also added probably a 100 or more calories.  The guayaki yerba mate package comes in a easy-to-reseal outer metallic-like pouch, with a zip-lock inner plastic pouch to conserve freshness - in most environments it's probably meant to keep moisture out and freshness in, but in Phoenix it is to keep the tea from drying out completely in the 6% relative humidity ambient air, so they get a "A" in functional packaging.

After the 3rd day, when I was trying to decide "should I throw this stuff out as a failed experiment because of it's less-than-pleasant taste?" or should I keep it?  I started to read about guayaki yerba mate and all of it's theoretical health benefits (links here, here and here).  I had no idea it is full of micronutrients:
• Vitamins: A, C, E, B1, B2, Niacin (B3), B5, B Complex
• Minerals: Calcium, Manganese, Iron, Selenium, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc
• Additional Compounds: Carotene, Fatty Acids, Chlorophyll, Flavonols, Polyphenols, Inositol, Trace Minerals, Antioxidants, Tannins, Pantothenic Acid and 15 Amino Acids.
• Theophylline, theobromine, and caffeine
It is supposed to
1. Give You Energy (theobromine, theophylline)
2. Enhance Digestive Function
3. Make You More Alert
4. Support Weight Loss (my making you feel more full)
5. Freshen Your Breath (I did not notice this)
6. Boost Your Immune System  (il faut voir)
7. Prevent Heart Disease (supposedly inhibiting arteriosclerosis) it sounds like the best thing since sliced bead, but I am still on the fence.  I'll try to stomach another week of it and see how it goes. 

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