Top Pick Of The Week

March 8, 2011


Like chai tea? Try Guayusa Spice. The other varieties include Ginger Citrus, Original and Peppermint. Photo by Leah Hansen | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: A delicious herbal tea laden with amino acids, antioxidants and vitamins.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It’s an herbal tea with caffeine, but the caffeine is jitter-free.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Refreshing energy, a comfort drink and a good deed: What more could one ask?

. Guayusa Tea
Page 2: Overview & Health Benefits


Guayusa Tea Overview

Some food producers like to test writers like us, to see if we know our stuff. A few years ago, a manager from Guayaki Maté threw this one at us:

Name all the foods that contain natural caffeine. There are six.

We knew the answer: cacao (in chocolate products), coffee, guarana (a component of energy drinks), the kola nut (used to make Coke and other colas), conventional tea (Camellia sinensis) and yerba maté.

But it turns out that we were both wrong.

There’s a seventh member of the sorority— guayusa—and no doubt, more members will be found in the as-yet unexplored jungles, valleys and mountains of the world.

The Morning Libation

The morning hot drink is a ritual common to many societies. Italians stop at the espresso bar, Brits at the tea salon, Americans at a coffee shop, a deli or around the workplace coffee pot.

A much older tradition—more than 4,000 years old—starts the day among the Kichwa people of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Before the workday begins, the guayusa farmers gather at dawn for a daily sharing of storytelling, music and learning. The meeting takes place around a communal fire, with a large boiling pot of guayusa tea. The tea is served in handmade gourd cups. This tradition is what Kichwa say makes them “runa”: fully living human beings.

These indigenous farming families then attend to the work of the day, under the canopy of the Amazon rainforest. At harvest time, they hand-pick guayusa leaves from the rich soil of their ancestral lands.

The Runa Tea project, which has brought guayusa to America, began in 2008, when a team of students participated in this ancient tea ceremony with the Kichwa in the Ecuadorian rainforest. There, the two groups developed a vision to share guayusa tea with the outside world.

You’ll enjoy sharing this rich-tasting tea. Each variety—Citrus Ginger, Peppermint, Spice and Original—is refreshing and delicious. Your purchase supports an ancient culture and its traditions, helps small farmers and helps to maintain the integrity of the Amazon rainforest.

All this, plus an energizing hot drink!

The article continues below.


This is Page 2 of a two-page review. Click on the black links to visit other pages:


Guayusa Health Benefits

While Guayusa has a different chemical structure than Camellia sinensis, the plant that produces black, green, oolong and white teas, its benefits are just as impressive. It has beneficial antioxidants and provides a jitter-free caffeine-induced energy and mental focus.

  • Guayusa’s health benefits meet and exceed those of those of any other tea, including yerba maté. Unlike yerba maté, guayusa has a naturally smooth, crisp taste and is never bitter.
  • Guayusa’s balance of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids provides an energizing effect similar to coffee or yerba maté.
  • Guayusa is considered to have 50% more antioxidants than Camellia sinensis.
  • Its unique combination of caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline enhances mental acuity.
  • The natural caffeine is released more slowly into the bloodstream, preventing jitters or caffeine crashes.

Have a healthy drink of guayusa. The product is available in bags as well as loose tea. Photo by Leah Hansen | THE NIBBLE.

Here are comparisons among guayusa and other beverages:

Caffeine Comparison* Antioxidant Comparison†



Yerba Maté

Black Tea

Green Tea







Green Tea



*Average milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce cup or equivalent.

ORAC value per 8-ounce cup.

Wake up to guayusa: for brunch, host a guayusa party.

Recreate the Amazon experience with your friends and family. It’s all about good company and good conversation. You don’t have to do it at dawn.

—Karen Hochman

Caffeinated Herbal Tea In Citrus Ginger, Peppermint, Spice & Original

Certified Organic
Certified Kosher by Earth Kosher

Fair Trade Certified

  • Box
    15 Infusers

Purchase online* at


*Prices and product availability are verified at publication but are subject to change. Shipping is additional. These items are offered by a third party and THE NIBBLE has no relationship with them.

Traditionally, guayusa is sipped from a hand-carved gourd. We prefer a mug with a handle. Photo courtesy


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