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Guayusa Tea: Like Yerba Maté, But Better

I can be an extremist with things, at times. When I find something I really like, I become wholly consumed by it and feel a need to tell everyone it's the best damn thing I've ever had. My newest tea obsession is no different, though it's not technically a tea at all. It's a drink made from the dried leaves of a member of the holly family, and I've gotta say... I think I'm in love with it.

It's called guayusa (pronounced gwy-yoo-suh), and it's Ecuador's answer to yerba maté, providing a similar caffeine jolt but without the pronounced bitterness you find in ye olde yerba. And guayusa's kick is different, as it provides a focused energy and alertness, earning it the nickname "night watchman's tea." I've only been enjoying its smooth, round, earthy flavor in the mornings thus far, but when taken at night, it's believed to induce lucid dreams, allowing you to be completely aware—and sometimes in command—of your dreams' progressions. (Note to self: totally drink some tonight at 11 p.m. while listening to The Dark Side of the Moon, maaaaan.) 

And while the caffeine boost is a nice perk—on par cup for cup with that of coffee—the extra bonus is that guayusa boasts twice the antioxidants of green tea. Though now that I'm on my second cup for the day, I'm not sure I'm feeling any different from the antioxidants, but I can absolutely attest to the alertness and energy boost, as evidenced by the fact that I wrote this entire post in 2.5 seconds flat. True story.

Guayusa can be found at:
Beverly Hills Market, 303 N Crescent Dr., Beverly Hills, and most Vitamin Shoppe locations. It can also be ordered online from Teaometry.