Guayusa (50 grams)

Guayusa (binomial name "Ilex guayusa") is a great substitute for coffee - it has been cultivated in the upper Amazon region for over 2000 years for its caffeine content. Although the dried leaves are used just like tea, Guayusa is not akin to it - actually it is a big holly tree and related to Ilex paraguariensis, which is commonly known as Yerba Mate.

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Guayusa - Cultivated for over 2000 years for its caffeine content

Guayusa (binomial name "Ilex guayusa") is a tall tree of the Aquifoliaceae family or simply put a member of the holly tree family. It is native to the upper Amazonian regions of Ecuador, northeastern Peru and southwestern Colombia and has been cultivated for over 2000 years for its caffeine content. Traditionally, the indigenous Ecuadorian get up as early as 3 a.m. daily to sit around the communal fire drinking a Guayusa concoction until sunrise. During this time, the elders teach the young about ancestral myths of the tribe, hunting techniques and social values - it is their morning drink to get going, it is the coffee of their culture.

Guayusa is a great alternative to coffee - its effect is similar to coffee, bringing on an elevated alertness and boost of energy, but the caffeine release is more smoothly and sustainable, creating a state of mental strength and an increased alertness. There's more to it than that, Guayusa contains amino acids, antioxidants (nifty little helpers in fighting off free radicals), theobromine (an alkaloid also found in the cacao plant, it induces a soothing effect) and L-theanine (suffering from physical and mental stress? This glutamic acid that has shown to reduce it). Another aspect is the aftereffect, and this is in what Guayusa really overtrumps coffee - after the effect has faded away, you won't feel depleted as you would after the comedown from a day at work fueled by coffee.

How to make a Guayusa "tea": Pour 250ml of boiling water on 2 grams of loose leaf and leave it to draw for 4-7 minutes for a regular decoction or longer if you prefer a more tangy (and stronger) one. Guayusa does not taste bitter, the flavor is rich and earthy, followed by a slightly sweet finish. But indeed, there is one thing it is in accordance with tea - you can place the brew in the fridge to make a refreshing ice tea.

Content: 50 grams

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Guayusa (50 grams)
Guayusa (50 grams)
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