But is there an herbal tea that doesn’t have fluoride but does have caffeine? This question was driving me nuts until I hunted down three nutritious herbal teas that DO contain caffeine. They include: Guayusa, Yaupon, and Yerba Mate.
The first two require tenacity to get your hands on however Yerba Mate has become popular in recent years so can be purchased locally. A member of the holly family, Yerba Mate grows mainly on the Atlantic side of South America. As for the caffeine, it has a moderate amount: about 33mg per 8 oz cup of tea. For comparison, an average 8 oz. cup of black tea has 50 mg of caffeine and green tea has 30 mg – so Yerba Mate is in the caffeine ballpark.
There seems to be something different about the caffeine in Yerba Mate from the caffeine that’s in coffee and in green and black teas. No jitters, no laying in bed awake at night, no hyperactivity – at least that’s its reputation and I’ve personally found it to be true. Pretty mellow stuff, really. It’s good for mental clarity, decreasing fatigue and sustaining energy levels.
But wait, there’s more: Yerba Mate is chocked full of nutrients and antioxidants. Here’s the nutritional analysis of Yerba Mate Tea.
And about the fluoride content, according to Eco Teas , “An 8 oz cup of yerba mate with one 2g tea bag yields about 0.021 mg of fluoride, which is about one-fifth the fluoride content of green tea.” Not perfect but muchly much better.
I do have one concern regarding Yerba Mate. The herb is often dried with smoke, creating a desirable smokey taste in the finished tea. However there has been research showing that smoking the Yerba Mate leaves appears to create cancer causing properties.
If that’s the case, I’ll take mine straight from the plant, no passing the barbie first. Trading cancer causing fluoride for just another carcinogen seems silly. Yerba Mate all by itself is fine. It’s the smoking process that I have concerns about.
So far Yerba Mate seems like the most viable caffeine containing tea for us caffeine loving, hot beverage addicted, tea cup toting sippers. As of yet, I don’t have a favorite Yerba Mate blend.