Yerba: Caffine in Mate, tea and coffee.


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

Yerba: Caffine in Mate, tea and coffee.

Postby edkrueger » Jul 4th, '08, 23:01

There is a lot of misinformation on mate and caffeine.

The oldest myth is the mateine myth: "Mate contains no caffeine, it has mateine, a different isomer, instead. The problem here is there is only one isomer of caffine. Long ago there was this same debate with theaine/teaine [not to be confused with theainine an amino acid in tea] versus caffeine.

The next myth is that Mate is high in caffeine. Actually mate is lower in caffeine than coffee and much lower than tea.
Mate is about one percent caffeine by dry weight [source:http://www.erowid.org/plants/yerba_mate/yerba_mate_chemistry2.shtml]
Coffee is between .8 and 2.5 percent caffine [source: http://www.douwe-egberts.co.uk/uk/Retai ... CoffeeFAQ/]
Tea is between 3 and 5 percent caffeine. [http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:2zLRC6gLA1AJ:www.toolsofnature.com/gpage140html.html]

So, why does every one say the opposite order? Because of amount used.
People fill gourds 3/4 full with mate. People use one tablespoon of coffee per cup. People use one teaspoon per cup of tea.
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Re: Caffine in Mate, tea and coffee.

Postby keelyn » Jul 7th, '08, 14:57

edkrueger wrote:The oldest myth is the mateine myth: "Mate contains no caffeine, it has mateine, a different isomer, instead. The problem here is there is only one isomer of caffiene. Long ago there was this same debate with theaine/teaine [not to be confused with theainine an amino acid in tea] versus caffeine.


Yes thank you. I took one look at the title of this thread and thought i was about to explain this exact concept. Retailers tend to spread this misinformation on their sites, such as on Aviva Yerba Mate's site, with added emphasis:

"Dr. Mowrey is a self-proclaimed expert on herbal remedies from around the world. His work is quoted by everyone selling mate. He was the first to suggest that mate does not contain caffeine, but rather another xanthine alkaloid known as mateine. The doctor refers to a handful of studies to backup his claims, but we have been unable to confirm the existence of those studies. We're not suggesting he is wrong or mistaken, we just don't want to make a claim without supporting evidence. "


If a published scientific study can not be located, it probably doesn't exist. The "different isomer" argument is common, but anyone who has taken beginner organic chemistry can tell you there is no stereocenter in a molecule of caffeine, and therefore it cannot have other isomers. Caffeine is mateine is theine is caffeine. We've known all about the chemical structure of caffeine for a long, long time now and there are plenty of simple tests that could be done in a proper chem lab to determine the presence of caffeine in yerba mate if it was seriously doubted.
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Postby Wesli » Sep 8th, '08, 00:59

Don't forget that caffeine percentage in dry product is very different from how much gets released into infused water, regardless of amount of dry product used.
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