Yerba Mate VS Matcha: Similarities and Differences

Nick Mirev
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    Are you still wondering what is matcha and how it became so popular? Just like everything around us, the beverage industry is also changing thanks to the rapid development in technologies and globalization processes. In our article about matcha vs coffee, we explained the similarities and differences between the two drinks. However, according to recent consumer data, there is another caffeine drink that is rapidly rising in popularity - yerba mate tea. In this blog article, we’ll check the health benefits and differences between yerba mate vs matcha.

    What Is Yerba Mate?

    Yerba mate is a tree plant that has South American origins. For the past centuries, its leaves have been used for the production of mate, an energizing caffeine-rich infused herbal drink. Even though the beverage is called only mate, around the world it is popular as yerba mate.

    The drink is popular in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, and other countries in Latin America.

    One of the reasons for the popularity of yerba mate is its natural caffeine content. Even though the amount of caffeine is lower than that in coffee, mate also contains alkaloids that contribute to the energizing effect of the beverage.

    Key takeaway: Both mate and matcha are natural stimulants. They are very different in taste. Restaurants should include mate and matcha drinks in their menu as they are healthier alternatives to coffee.
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    Yerba Mate VS Matcha - Benefits of the Favorite South American Tea

    • Nutritional content. Mate contains various essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and E. Additionally, the drink is rich in potassium and magnesium.
    • Digestive benefits. Mate tea acts as a natural stimulant that aids in digestion. 
    • Cultural traditions. One of the reasons why many prefer yerba mate vs matcha is the fact that it has rich traditions in South America. A lot of people who live in the US are of Latin American origins. That’s why, mate is culturally closer to our society compared to matcha drinks. However, the rapid growth of the matcha industry in the past decades has made it a better-known ingredient than mate. The fact that there are a lot of recipes for cooking with matcha is yet another reason for its popularity rise.
    • Natural caffeine content. When discussing the benefits of yerba mate vs matcha, we should mention that the former has more caffeine content than the latter. If you’ve been enjoying caffeine drinks for many years, you’ve probably developed some tolerance towards the stimulant. Thus, matcha might have a weak energizing effect on you.

    Yerba Mate VS Matcha - Benefits of the Traditional Green Japanese Tea

    • High antioxidant properties. One of the main health benefits of matcha is the fact that the precious green powdered tea is very rich in antioxidants. They help the body fight free radicals and relieve stress.
    • Calming effects and increased concentration. As matcha contains the amino acid L-theanine, it has a relaxing effect on both the body and the mind. The caffeine content, combined with L-theanine, increases the alertness of the drinker. This improves cognitive function and focus.
    • Metabolism benefits. Studies have shown that matcha boosts metabolism and helps with weight management. Its thermogenic effect helps the body burn more calories too.
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    Similarities between Yerba Mate and Matcha

    When comparing yerba mate vs matcha, you’ll see that they are more different than they are alike. However, there are some similarities between the two ingredients as well.

    Stimulating Effect

    Both drinks have energizing and stimulating effects. However, their caffeine content is lower than that of coffee. 

    Health Benefits

    Both ingredients have great health benefits. One of them is the antioxidant content. These compounds help protect the body against cellular damage and oxidative stress. Matcha contains catechins while mate contains polyphenols. In addition to their antioxidation properties, both drinks help digestion and metabolism.


    Traditionally, matcha is produced in Japan while yerba mate is produced in South America. There are other regions where the two ingredients are produced but in very small quantities. That’s why most businesses that offer these products buy yerba mate and matcha wholesale

    Differences between Yerba Mate VS Matcha

    Even though the two ingredients are mostly known for making tea, they are very different from one another. Let’s examine the main differences in yerba mate vs matcha.

    • Taste. The flavor profile of matcha is vegetal and rich. It has a grassy taste and is slightly sweet. Depending on the quality, matcha can be bitter as well. On the other hand, mate has a robust flavor with strong herbal notes. 
    • Preparation. Mate is made by steeping dried leaves and twigs in hot water. The drink is then consumed with a metal straw called bombilla that filters the leaves. Mate is also consumed in the form of iced tea with lemon, mint, and other ingredients. The traditional way to prepare matcha has deep roots in Japanese culture. The drink is part of the Japanese tea ceremony. In the West, most people consume matcha in other forms such as matcha latte or matcha frappuccino. Matcha suppliers also offer different types of matcha. The most expensive one is ceremonial matcha and the cheapest one is ingredient-grade matcha.
    • Caffeine content and energizing effect. Matcha contains less caffeine than yerba mate. Nevertheless, as it gives a steady energy boost for 4-6 hours, most people prefer it compared to mate which has higher caffeine content, but it’s released much faster than matcha.

    Why Restaurants Should Offer Matcha and Yerba Mate

    Even though they have been popular for a while, not all venues offer these tea options. If you’re a professional in the restaurant industry, here are some of the reasons why your place should consider expanding its tea varieties by adding matcha and yerba mate. 

    Alternative to Coffee

    A lot of people need their caffeine energy boost. However, coffee is often associated with jitters and shaky feelings. That’s where both matcha and mate can help. Both tea options provide an energizing effect but in a more balanced way. Additionally, they can be consumed cold as well. That makes them a great addition to seasonal menus or brunch menus.

    Beverage Pairing Options

    Since tea is among the most popular beverages worldwide, tea and food pairings are important for every restaurant. Restaurants can use mate and matcha tea as ways to upsell their guests and increase restaurant revenue. Additionally, having them on the many will most certainly enhance the customer experience as there are many matcha enthusiasts. Make sure to train the waiters and other staff members so that they know in which cases to recommend these drinks.

    Appeal to Health-Conscious Customers

    Eating healthy is only going to become more popular. That is why, a restaurant can attract customers by offering mate and matcha drinks. Both beverages are associated with health benefits like antioxidation and detoxication. Furthermore, they assist with weight management and lowering cholesterol levels.

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    Frequently Asked Questions about Yerba Mate VS Matcha

    If you’re still unsure what your cup of tea is, the following questions and answers about yerba mate vs matcha should help you decide.

    Is It Ok to Drink Yerba Mate Every Day?

    Yes, it’s perfectly fine for adults to drink yerba mate tea daily. You can benefit from the positive effects as well as get a caffeine boost.

    What Are the Main Types of Yerba Mate Tea?

    There are various categories of yerba mate tea. By country, it’s divided into the following main types - Argentinian yerba mate, Paraguayan yerba mate, Uruguayan yerba mate, and Brazilian erva mate. Other popular types are traditional, aged, roasted, organic, flavored, and yerba mate sin palo.

    Can You Mix Matcha and Yerba Mate Tea?

    Yes, you can. There are even blends that include both yerba mate and matcha powder. The herbal taste of yerba mate combined with the grassy flavor and vibrant green color of matcha is a guarantee for an excellent beverage.

    What Is a More Profitable Business - Yerba Mate or Matcha?

    A business is likely to be more profitable trading matcha. Matcha powder, especially ceremonial grade one, is a more expensive product compared to yerba mate. The potential profit margin when trading matcha is higher. If you want to know more, check out our article on how to start a matcha business.

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