I quite frequently drink mate with breakfast. It can give a good buzz even though it's lower in caffeine than a similar amount of coffee. I used to share gourds of mate with my friends in high school. I would recommend three brands (in this order):
1) Mate Factor
You should be able to find all three brands at natural food stores, such as Whole Foods and Natural Grocers. However, sometimes the grocery stores mark up the price quite a bit. You should be able to find each of those for around $10 per pound. Be careful, because an open bag of mate goes stale after a few months. I once tried ordering a 5lb bulk bag, but I had to toss around a third of it because I had it for 6 months and it was no longer good. In my experience, mate sold off of the grocery store shelves is sometimes not very fresh. One reason I prefer Mate Factor brand is because they vacuum-seal their bags, which increases the shelf life a bit.