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Guayusa tea is a traditional South American variety of tea that can improve mental acuity and boost energy. This tea is overshadowed by its cousin yerba mate, but rainforest holly tea deserves a closer look.

Guayusa has a smoother flavor than yerba mate, yet offers dozens of he alth benefits. It's also extremely easy to brew. Find out how to prepare Guayusa tea and enjoy this South American elixir for body and mind.

Enjoy Guayusa tea

The Guayusa plant grows in the rainforest of Ecuador

Guayusa Tea

Guayusa tea is an herbal tea made from the leaves of the holly tree. This is also known as Ilex guayusa and is native to Ecuador.

The rainforest holly trees used to make Guayusa tea are native to the Amazon rainforest and are an integral part of Amazon cultural traditions.

Pick Guayusa leaves


Guayusa tea has been used for centuries by the Ecuadorian Kichwa people as part of an early morning ritual.

Local people wake up at 3am to socialize and drink guayusa tea. The elders share hunting techniques and promote common values, while shamans play traditional music and interpret dreams from the previous night.

A local tradition


This Amazonian tea is grown in the rainforests of South America. The tea is mainly produced on small family farms using organic farming methods. Rainforest holly is hardy and is found almost exclusively in the northern regions of Ecuador, particularly in the province of Napo. The conditions here are similar to those in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. This is one of the most diverse regions of the world and the plants thrive in rich, loamy soil.

Most Guayusa plants are grown along the border between the Amazon rainforest and the Andes. The trees grow almost exclusively in the shade as they thrive under the canopy of the lush Ecuadorian jungle.

This is what the Guayusa plant looks like


Guayusa contains naturally occurring caffeine and is commonly used as a pick-me-up. Because of this, guayusa is a popular ingredient in energy drinks. The plant also contains a blend of amino acids and antioxidants that provide an energy boost, similar to yerba mate tea.

The amino acids and catechins in guayusa slow down the absorption of caffeine, resulting in a smoother, longer-lasting energy hit. Guayusa does not cause jitters or the caffeine withdrawal typically associated with strong coffee. Drinking guayusa helps promote mental focus.

Dried and crushed Guayusa leaves

He alth benefits

Guayusa tea offers a variety of he alth benefits. The leaves contain chlorogenic acids, theophylline and theobromine, which are also found in green tea. Guayusa can help speed up weight loss thanks to its low calorie content and compounds that boost metabolism. Guayusa tea can also improve mood and increase relaxation.

The leaves are rich in antioxidants

Guayusa contains high levels of antioxidants. In fact, guayusa contains twice the antioxidants of green tea. These antioxidants help eliminate free radicals that can cause oxidative stress, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer and premature aging. Guayusa also helps reduce inflammation and improve digestion through nutrient absorption.

Guayusa is proven to be good for the body

How to prepare guayusa tea

Guayusa tea can be made with loose leaves or tea bags. We recommend using loose guayusa leaf for the best flavor and he alth benefits. Tea bags often contain only broken pieces of leaves and leave them Leaves do not fully expand to release flavor.

Tea leaves for loose tea

It's also a good idea to buy certified fair trade guayusa tea from brands like Runa or Whole Foods to ensure the plants are grown ethically. Organic Guayusa Tea also ensures that your tea is made using sustainable methods and is free from chemicals that can have harmful side effects and alter the taste.


  1. Take 200-250 ml of fresh, cold water and bring it to a boil. Always use spring or filtered water for best taste.
  2. Put a teaspoon or two grams of guayusa leaves in a teacup and pour the boiling water over it.
  3. Let the loose tea leaves steep for 4 to 7 minutes. We recommend brewing the tea for 4 minutes and then tasting every 30 seconds. You can steep Guayusa tea longer than 7 minutes if you prefer a stronger aroma.

Preparing loose tea

and enjoy early in the morning

Drink Guayusa and immerse yourself in a tea drinking experience revered from Argentina to Ecuador. Enjoy it first thing in the morning like the South American natives or use it as a pick-me-up to get you through a long afternoon.

Awaken your senses with a cup of Guayusa tea!

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