Yerba: Adding Mate to other teas for caffeine

Healthy herbs, rooibos, honeybush, decaf tea, and yerba mate.

Yerba: Adding Mate to other teas for caffeine

Postby iroc8210 » Jan 21st, '08, 16:24

I was told by a guy at Teavana that you can add straight Mate to just about any tea to give it a bit of caffeine, without it changing the taste. However after reading through some of the threads here it sounds like it has quite an acquired taste.

Can someone please help clear this up for me? The Teavana guy suggested like 1 part mate to 2 parts of whatever it is I want to drink.

Thanks in advance!

P.S. I just read in another post and on another site that Mate yerba is considered caffeine free by some places. The brochure I have from Teavana says it has the same % of caffeine as coffee...I'm confused :?

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Postby Mary R » Jan 21st, '08, 17:51

Maté definitely has a taste to it. However, it's brewing parameters are totally different from regular tea. Black tea is steeped for a maximum of 5 minutes. I don't do my maté for any less than 8 (and I usually neglect it for about 12).

So if you do add maté to any tea, chances are you won't taste it because the maté isn't steeping. And I sincerely doubt the caffeine will readily diffuse either. I believe your Teavana rep is a little misinformed.

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Postby Mary R » Jan 21st, '08, 17:56

Oh, and maté does have caffeine. Some dealers will say "no, no...it has mateine...a stereoisomer of caffeine that will give you the rush, but is completely safe for those who can't have caffeine" other dealers will just say "no caffeine."

Both are blatantly false. Maté packs a decent wallop of caffeine. It was called mateine at some point before chemists were able to determine that the two were identical. (The same thing occurred with caffeine in tea. For years it was called theine.) I have no idea where some people got the stereoisomer from. Caffeine is actually incapable of having a stereoisomer.

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jan 21st, '08, 18:06

Thank you Mary! Stereoisomerism requires that there be a chiral center somewhere in the molecule, and caffeine is achiral. It's just a dumb argument that has no basis in any sort of scientific reasoning.

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Postby Salsero » Jan 21st, '08, 18:33

Mary and Scruff--

Have I mentioned lately how smart you guys are?

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Postby Mary R » Jan 21st, '08, 18:34

4 serious, Scruff. This 'stereoisomer ploy' is one of the only things in the tea world that truly angers me. I think it's basically an unethical practice by second rate vendors who basically think that if they throw enough big, smart-sounding scientific words into a sentence, any fool will buy it.

Unfortunately, this is downright dangerous with caffeine. There are many people who really can't consume it because of medical reasons...such as my grandfather. Sure, he's a frail 80 year old guy...but if he has a cup of caffeinated coffee (and even decaffeinated now...I have him on a steady stream of Vanilla Rooibos), he's in the ER with uncontrollable heart palpitations. And just today, Reuters reported on a study that found caffeine doubles a pregnant woman's miscarriage risk.

Argh!

Sal: Aw, thank you!

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Postby iroc8210 » Jan 21st, '08, 21:45

Wow thanks for all the great info. Now you really have me scratching my head about these Teavana guys...both in store, and their brochure saying to steep the Yerba Mate for 4-5 minutes. I feel like I've just been sold blinker fluid! :roll:

I need to find a tea shop that is NOT in a high-end retail mall.

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Postby Wesli » Jan 21st, '08, 23:20

Don't worry about that iroc. You'll learn to ignore most everything the tea shops say about their teas.

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Postby Chip » Jan 22nd, '08, 14:06

Scruff and Mary...two more TeaScientists of TeaChat...

I agree with Fuka as well. I just have to wonder how much product knowledge training there is, or how good the training is.

It seems the training is just geared to increasing the bottom line. Little love or passion goes into their tea sales. And then they complain about internet sales.

It seems most tea shop business models are based more on trends and hype. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but the foundation needs to be there, and it usually is not. Thus when they get a serious question, their house of cards crumbles.

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Postby iroc8210 » Jan 23rd, '08, 10:49

Yea, I almost felt like I was being sold a car or something. I wanted some chai to try and he got me on the "up sale" for this other spicy blend of white teas he thought I might like. Little did I realize it was about 3x the price of most of the other teas. I do like the tea, but the way it was sold to me left me with a bad taste in my mouth (no pun intended). Unfortunately the next closest loose leaf place I can seem to find is 25-30 miles away.

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