How Guayaki Yerba Mate Made Me Rethink Canned Tea

guayaki yerba mate cansI don’t know about you, but I developed a strong aversion to canned iced tea very early on. It just didn’t taste like anything I associated with tea (and, yes, I grew up in the South, so the real stuff was readily available). Any hints of tea flavor were overwhelmed by unidentifiable sweetner and clearly artificial lemon flavor. The high acid content didn’t do my stomach any good, either.

So, when the folks at Guayaki Yerba Mate offered to send me some samples of their new canned products, I was hesitant… associations of a chemical taste and burning stomach came back immediately. True, yerba mate isn’t precisely a tea, but, apparently, the sensations I associated with canned beverages like this had stuck.

But, I really like the work they’re doing as a socially responsible company, and enjoyed my first yerba mate experience earlier this year, so I gave it a shot. I’m glad I did… their new canned offerings are tasty, refreshing, and chock full of organic and Fair Trade-certified ingredients.

Guayaki Yerba Mate’s Revel Berry and Enlighten Mint

The company sent me two cans of Revel Berry, and two can of Enlighten Mint (they also have a flavor called Lemon Elation), and I really enjoyed both. The Revel Berry was more tangy than sweet (I like that), and actually tasted like berry juices… rather than something that came out of a lab. The Enlighten Mint had a strong flavor of honey (the main sweetner) that overpowered the mint somewhat; however, I tasted the yerba mate itself more in that one.

Acid stomach afterwards? Nope, not even a little… really enjoyed both (and nice little kick you get from yerba mate… without the jitters).

Win a case of Guayaki Yerba Mate cans

Guayaki also offered me the opportunity to give a 12-can case of cans, so considering I like the product, I thought I’d take them up on it. From now until Saturday, May 8 (which, incidentally, is World Fair Trade Day), you can leave a comment here to be entered in the drawing. Tell us about your favorite Fair Trade beverage, your disdain for canned tea, or your love of yerba mate… or just say “Hi!” On Sunday, I’ll draw from everyone who’s left a comment, and notify the winner.

Tried the cans yet? Let us know what you think…  If you haven’t, and want more info, check out what reviewers at the new Green Options have said, as well as Elephant Journal‘s evaluation of Guayaki’s bottled drinks.

Image credit: Guayaki Yerba Mate

  1. Dee

    I must admit, I am very excited to try this product. I love, love, love yerba mate. And, surprisingly enough, I almost always drink mine in the form of ice tea. Thanks for the heads up about the cans (I’m afraid I wouldn’t have discovered the cans since I usually avoid premade ice teas and soda products) and I have my fingers crossed that I win a case!

  2. Kevin

    I’ve been addicted to yerba mate since my stint from the Peace Corps in Uruguay. I never thought I would see it in a can (it was hard enough to find the herb), and if I did I wouldn’t have tried it. But after your article and hearing they are a socially responsible company, I can’t wait to taste it, thanks.

  3. Jennie W

    Just tried Guayaki Yerba Mate within the last year…LOVE IT! I like the Enlighten Mint in the glass bottle. I’m curious to find out if it tastes any different in a can.

  4. Cisco Kidd

    I seriously love the entire product line, here in Portland, it’s starting to pop up everywhere, I even saw 7-11 racking it in a few cases. Normally I get my fix from bands that they sponsor, deffinately better than other energy drinks over have less sugar than can be normally found in a similar sized container!

  5. April Moody

    I live in a city where there are coffee houses within blocks of each other as well as were the specialty coffee craze started. I no longer consume or contribute to that corporation, 6 months ago I tried yerba mate and will never go back. I know that I am supporting an organization that is conscience of the environment as well as the health of who we are and those that use our jack and jill’s to move on this thing we call earth. I was very thrilled when Guayaki came out with the canned beverage, their consumer base is growing which thrills me ~ I’ve tried the Lemon Elation, and I’m elated to tell you that it is fantastic!

  6. Casey

    I used to live in Argentina and in the summer they would drink a colder version of yerba maté called Teré Maté which is from the north. It would be the yerba (maté leaves) in a glass and they’d pour juice into the yerba instead of hot water. This sounds like a canned version of it. ¡Me encantaría probar!

  7. uriah johnson

    I love infusions of mate and mint, I will have to find me some of that enlighten mint asap. Kudos on all your success Guayaki.

  8. Russ Marchewka

    I love Yerba Mate and Guayaki. They are really doing the right things with their business model of sustainability. I just brewed a big jar of mate and put a bit of stevia in it, set it in the fridge and will enjoy some iced mate for the next couple days!

    I remember the old blue cans of Lipton Iced Tea. Too sweet and I agree about the artificial lemon flavor. I prefer to brew it fresh, but Guayaki’s cans of mate are the next best thing. They had a booth down at the beach a little while ago and I had an energy shot, pretty good too!

  9. Ian

    I have heard about these but can’t find them anywhere. I really enjoy the bottled Guayaki tees. How do they compare?

  10. Tertiary

    Well, why not.

    I like Yerba Mate okay.
    And you are absolutely correct about most bottled and canned teas.
    Just gross.

  11. Bobby B.

    “Any hints of tea flavor were overwhelmed by unidentifiable sweetner and clearly artificial lemon flavor.”

    Some of the major canning and bottling companies (Dr. Pepper, Pepsi, Hunts Ketchup, etc.) are leaving corn syrup and returning to sugar. I am not sure why and suspect it is mostly a PR thing. However, I do enjoy the sugar sweetened Dr. Pepper and Hunts Ketchup more. I do not drink Pepsi for political reasons.

    Also, don’t be too quick to assume that any lemon flavor is artificial. Both of my boys had allergies when they were toddlers, and the youngest was allergic to lemon. The doctor told us that most products flavored with lemon use natural lemon extract, so we had to be prudent to read labels. Turns out the doctor was right. Sprite, 7-Up and most teas had to be immediately removed from the list as they used natural lemon flavoring.

    IMHO, if you like tea that tastes like tea, you cannot beat making it yourself. I prefer Twinings (esp. their Prince of Wales Tea) for individual servings and Community for making pichers of the stuff.

  12. Brandon O

    After a week of long hard practice, my body is completely dead. Tried enlighten mint before a tournament run at practice, i was awake, focused, and i even had lots of physical energy that I wouldn’t of had without yerba.

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