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Kick the Coffee
Yerba Mate & Caffeine
Citation:   Eulachon. "Kick the Coffee: An Experience with Yerba Mate & Caffeine (exp36002)". Mar 7, 2007.

0.5 tsp oral Yerba Mate (tea)
Most experiences here seem to center around caffeine pills or extreme caffeine use, and not the daily use of caffeine - so here's a review of my first experience with Yerba Mate and replacing that old vice, coffee, with it.

After being a coffee addict for years I recently heard about Yerba Mate, a caffeine-containing herbal tea that is supposed to have less of the side-effects of caffeine due to the synergistic effect of the other compounds.

My caffeine tolerance is relatively low - perhaps I am sensitive to it. When drinking coffee my hands get shaky, my mind feels spacey for awhile at first and I always suffer a bad 'crash' as the effects wear off. I don't like the experience, however I need it to wake up in the morning.

I bought a 1/2lb of GUAYAKI Yerba Mate tea for $12 at a local headshop. Recommended dose as a coffee replacement was 1 tsp in 1 cup of tea. I decided to try it half strength due to my low tolerance. I tried it in the morning after half a week of bad insomnia, while barely able to open my eyes.

8:30AM - Drank 1 cup Yerba Mate tea, 1/2 tsp powder steeped 3min, drank straight up. A pleasant taste not unlike most teas. Also ate a bowl of honey nut cheerios.

+5min - no caffeine 'rush' as coffee has.

+10min - increased alertness, kind of creeping up on me as opposed to coffee.

+15min - talkative/energetic/alert, vision crisp and clear. Very awake. No side effects (jitters, spacey feeling) as from coffee. Slight exhilaration.

+30min - plateau, no feeling of excess energy anymore but still alert and awake. Got to work and did some work that I'd been putting off for awhile. General mood elevation.

10:30 (+2h) - very slight drowsiness creeping back in but still clarity of vision and thought, concentration fading a little.

11:00 (+2.5hr) Getting kind of drowsy but still capable of doing work well. Hungry

11:30 (+3hr) - Approaching baseline. No 'crash' but more of a gradual fading.

12:00 (+3.5hr) - More awake than I would be with a cup of coffee in the morning, about the same as if I skip the coffee.

14:00 (+5.5hr) - This is when I would normally be devastated by coffee crash and need to drink more. Instead I'm just kind of drowsy.

Overall I was very happy with the experience as a coffee replacement and would recommend it to anyone who wants to break the hold of coffee. I found it pleasant and enjoyable as opposed to the daily ritual of coffee and will continue using it in the mornings.

I will try increasing the strength next time to see if it will last longer, or perhaps I will just drink another one later in the day to top up. I recommend purchasing a gourd and bombillo to drink from, or a press-type coffee maker to use as the little bits of leaf tend to end up in your mouth, a teaball cannot strain them all out, yuck. Luckily they sink to the bottom, so it is possible to brew with a teaball.

Exp Year: 2004ExpID: 36002
Gender: Male 
Age at time of experience: Not Given
Published: Mar 7, 2007Views: 56,476
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Yerba Mate (282), Caffeine (11) : General (1), Glowing Experiences (4), Health Benefits (32), First Times (2), Alone (16)

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