Meet Guayusa: Clean Energy From The Rainforest
Fancy a caffeinated drink without the edge coffee and twice the antioxidant content of green tea? Then let us introduce you to guayusa - the new ‘superleaf’.
To say that guayusa is new is actually a bit misleading, it is an ancient plant found in Ecuador that has been used for at least 1,500 years by the local indigenous tribes. However, it is new to the Western markets, and is taking them by storm.
What Exactly Is Guayusa?
Guayusa is a botanical brother from Yerba Mate - they both belong to the family of the holly tree, and are both native to the Amazonia rainforest. Yerba Mate is botanically known as Ilex paraguariensis, while Guayusa is Ilex guayusa. They are similar in taste and effect, however, Guayusa comes with the distinct advantage of containing much fewer tannins which create the bitter flavours of Yerba Mate. As a result, Guayusa tastes smoother and the effects are equally more uplifting than those of Yerba Mate.
Guayusa is almost exclusively cultivated in Ecuador, where it thrives under the protective shade of the canopy. Its leaves have traditionally been used to brew into a tea that contains caffeine levels similar to coffee, but with the addition of polyphenols (antioxidants) and L-theanine (an amino-acid that causes relaxation and tranquillity).
The resulting effect is one that can get you up and active in the same way coffee does, but in a much more smooth and calming way – you can say goodbye to those morning jitters.
How Is It Grown?
98% of the world’s supply of guayusa comes from Ecuador, where it is widely cultivated. The method used is known as forest gardening, meaning it can be grown within an old rainforest. Guayusa thrives in the shade of larger trees, which means land doesn’t need to be cleared for its cultivation - thereby protecting the rainforest. Guayusa is cultivated without the use of pesticide or insecticide, making it a perfectly organic and sustainable source of energy.
Brewing Guayusa Tea
To brew guayusa tea, you need to get hold of some of its dried leaves. They are available here!
The beauty of guayusa tea is that it is nearly impossible to over-steep or get wrong; and unlike green tea, drinking guayusa on an empty stomach won’t give you a stomach ache. The leaves can even be re-steeped a couple of times before they begin to lose their flavor and potency, making guayusa a very economical ingredient!
To make the tea use 1 tablespoon of dried leaves per 100ml of boiling water. Allow too steep for 5 minutes, strain out the leaves, and then enjoy!
There are no side effects to Guayusa. It’s as strong as coffee, but without the edge, and contains an large dose of beneficial antioxidants - double that of green tea! If you need a healthy hit of caffeine, check out guayusa!