A lot of people wonder what the difference is between Yerba Mate and Matcha. We wanted to give some insight as they truly are different in many ways. It’s good to be informed and educated so you can make the right decisions.
Yerba Mate (predominately from Argentina) is an evergreen member of the holly family. It grows wild in the sub-tropical regions of South America. Technically, yerba mate is not a tea. It is a tree where both leaf and stem are cut, dried and brewed to make a medicinal concoction that the Guarani natives called the Drink of the Gods, due to its powerful healing ability. Many studies have been done showing the benefits of Yerba Mate.
Matcha, however, IS a green tea of high quality that has been milled to a powder. It’s a special form of green tea and it has a very strong taste. Some people have claimed it has a grass or spinach-like taste. Matcha has been associated with meditation and is usually sipped slowly.
Basically, the main difference is that Matcha is actually a green tea (in powdered form) while Mate isn’t a green tea at all. It’s
Polyphenolic compounds found in Mate tea differ significantly from green tea because Mate tea contains high concentration of chlorogenic acid and no catechins.
—De Mejia Gonzalez, 2004; Toxicology Scientist
Among the 196 volatile chemicals found in yerba mate tea, only 144 are present in green tea.—Kawakami and Kobayashi, 1991
Contrary to the reported carcinogenic properties of Mate, there are scientifically backed reports of anticancer effects. Mate tea has been shown to have high cytotoxicity for cancer cells, which is even higher than that of green tea.
—De Mejia Gonzalez, 2007