Everything you Need to Know About Matcha vs Yerba Mate

Everything you Need to Know About Matcha vs Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate and Matcha are two powerful teas, each with rich cultural histories and numerous health benefits. Matcha and Yerba are often lumped together when discussing herbal drinks that contain caffeine. Surprisingly, they’re radically different! Read on to learn more about the differences and similarities between matcha and yerba mate.

matcha green tea vs. yerba mate comparison

Similarities Between Yerba Mate and Matcha

Both beverages are prized for their unique flavors and health-promoting properties. They share a common thread in their consumption rituals, fostering a sense of mindfulness and community.

Yerba Mate and Matcha contain high levels of antioxidants, which combat free radicals in the body, reducing the risk of chronic diseases like:

yerba mate compared to matcha green tea

They are also both known for their energy-boosting properties, thanks to their caffeine content. This makes them popular choices if you want to enhance mental clarity and physical performance without the jitteriness associated with coffee. 

Yerba mate and Matcha both have a significant presence in traditional ceremonies. In Japan, Matcha is used in the time-honored tea ceremony, a practice that emphasizes tranquility, respect, and appreciation of the present moment. Similarly, Yerba Mate is traditionally consumed in South American countries, particularly in Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay, where it is shared among friends and family as a symbol of hospitality and bonding.

Differences Between Yerba Mate and Matcha

Yerba Mate and Matcha have distinct differences in terms of origin, preparation, and nutritional profiles. 

Yerba Mate vs Matcha: What's the Difference?

Yerba Mate is derived from the leaves of the Ilex paraguariensis plant, native to South America and Matcha is made from the finely ground powder of green tea leaves from the Camellia sinensis plant, primarily grown in Japan.

The preparation methods for these teas also differ quite a bit. Yerba Mate is typically brewed in a hollowed-out gourd and sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. The leaves are steeped in hot water, and the infusion can be refilled multiple times. Making Matcha involves whisking the powdered tea in hot water using a bamboo whisk called a chasen, creating a frothy tea that is enjoyed in a single serving.

matcha preparation vs yerba mate | how to make matcha vs yerba mate

Nutritionally, Matcha stands out for its high concentration of catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which has been extensively studied for its potential cancer-fighting properties. Yerba Mate, while also rich in antioxidants, contains a different blend of polyphenols and saponins, which contribute to its unique health benefits, such as enhanced digestion and cardiovascular health.

Let’s do a deep dive on the nutritional, antioxidant and caffeine content differences between Matcha and Yerba Mate:

Nutritional & Antioxidant Content

Yerba Mate:

  • Vitamins and Minerals: Yerba Mate is rich in vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, and B5. It also contains minerals like calcium, manganese, iron, selenium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Polyphenols: Contains a blend of polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid, caffeic acid, and quercetin, which contribute to its antioxidant properties. Offers protection against cardiovascular diseases and supports metabolic health.
  • Saponins: These compounds have anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering properties.


  • Vitamins and Minerals: Matcha provides vitamins A, C, E, K, and a comprehensive range of B vitamins. It also contains essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, selenium, and chromium.
  • Catechins: Matcha is particularly high in epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a potent catechin with strong antioxidant properties. Known for its cancer-fighting, anti-inflammatory, and heart health-promoting properties.
  • Amino Acids: Contains high levels of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation and enhances cognitive function.
  • Chlorophyll: The vibrant green color of Matcha indicates a high chlorophyll content, which helps detoxify the body and support immune function.
  • Flavonoids: Matcha contains other types of flavonoids, including quercetin and kaempferol, which also contribute to its antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory effects.

Caffeine Content

Yerba Mate:

  • Caffeine Levels: Contains approximately 85 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce serving, similar to a cup of coffee but with a more balanced stimulant effect due to the presence of theobromine and theophylline.
  • Energy Boost: Yerba Mate provides a sustained energy boost without the jitters and crash often associated with coffee, thanks to its unique blend of stimulants.


  • Caffeine Levels: Matcha contains about 70 mg of caffeine per 8-ounce serving. However, because you consume the whole leaf, the caffeine is released more slowly into the bloodstream.
  • L-theanine: The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in Matcha promotes a state of calm alertness, enhancing focus and concentration without causing nervousness.

Why Matcha Instead of Yerba Mate?

While both Yerba Mate and Matcha offer numerous health benefits, Matcha has several advantages that make it a superior choice for many tea and health enthusiasts. 

Matcha's preparation method ensures that you consume the whole tea leaf, maximizing the intake of nutrients and antioxidants. This is in contrast to Yerba Mate, where the leaves are steeped and some beneficial nutrients could remain in the discarded leaves.

Matcha is also renowned for its calming effect, due to the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid that promotes relaxation without drowsiness. This makes Matcha an excellent choice for those looking to enhance focus and mental clarity while maintaining a sense of calm. 

Additionally, Matcha's vibrant green color and smooth, umami-rich flavor offer a unique sensory experience that is both visually appealing and delicious.

Also, the ceremonial aspect of Matcha preparation adds a layer of mindfulness and intention to the tea-drinking experience. The ritual of whisking the tea and savoring its taste can be a meditative practice that promotes overall well-being. 

The Bottom Line

Yerba Mate and Matcha are both amazing teas with rich histories, health benefits, and unique flavors. They share similarities in their antioxidant content and energizing effects, yet differ in their origins, preparation methods, and specific nutritional profiles. While Yerba Mate offers its own array of benefits, Matcha stands out for its higher concentration of certain antioxidants and nutrients, calming effects, and the mindful ritual associated with its preparation.

Some articles you may enjoy: 

20 Delicious Drinks to Make with Matcha We Can’t Get Enough Of

Quality & Different Grades of Matcha Green Tea Powder

What to Add to Make Matcha Taste Better | 8 Ways to Make Matcha More Delicious


These statements in this blog post have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It's essential to consult with a qualified healthcare professional before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.


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