Citation: Azratax. "Good, legal high?: An Experience with Yerba Mate (exp16246)". Erowid.org. Jan 5, 2005. erowid.org/exp/16246
Yerba Mate is an herb from South America traditionally used as a tea. It contains caffeine, as well as a slew of vitamins and antioxidants (or so says the package). I had, in my endless web wandering, found several papers stating that Mate contained a different isomer of caffeine than is in coffee; they referred to this as Mateine (they also stated that Guarana contains yet a third isomer of caffeine). [Erowid Note: See 'Does Yerba Mate Contain Caffeine or Mateine?
'] These papers went on to describe that mateine is non-addictive, unlike caffeine, that it is less of a diuretic than caffeine, and that it was over all far healthier than caffeine.
Having used caffeine to a reasonable extent in the past, I had a lot of complaints about it. It gave me headaches after it wore off sometimes, it made me have to urinate more, and if I took in more than once or twice a week, the effects started to lessen, and the comedown got stronger and more unpleasant (I was very sensitive, small things upset me, I was exhausted, etcetera). Although it could be fun occasionally, caffeine really isn't much of a drug. Bout the only good thing with caffeine is that its dirt cheap. I got 400 pills online for under $20 AFTER shipping.
Therefore, I was interested in obtaining some of this Yerba Mate. It sounded like it had all the good effects of caffeine and none of the bad! After a bit of searching I found, at the local Bread and Circus ('Bread and Circus' was what the roman emperors would give hungry peasants during the decay of Rome, to pacify them. 'Circus' referred to bloody, brutal events, not like a modern circus. It strikes me as peculiar for a supermarket aimed at the upper-middle-class to use that as its name... Anyway...), a bag of Yerba Mate teabags for sale (all naturally rainforest grown, certified organic, Guayaki brand). $5.99 gets you 25 teabags, 3 grams each. I tossed some of these into the cart. The first time I tried a cup, it didn't do anything. My second and subsequent times, it induced an effect quite different from caffeine, and a hell of a lot better. I usually drink one or two cups. A description of a typical use of this tea follows:
On this day, I had just eaten supper. It was summer vacation, and I was bored. Just after supper, I made two cups of Yerba Mate tea. After they brewed and I had milked and sugared them, I brought them upstairs to my lair (err, room, though that is hardly an appropriate term, because there is no room left in my room) and drank the two cups over the course of about 15 minutes or so. Even before I was finished, I was already in a good mood. For at least half an hour after consuming the tea, I was somewhat hyper and was smiling and laughing for no reason. After that, the hyperness and euphoria subsided, but I was still happy and calm for at least another hour after that. I was sitting at my computer at the time, which is usualy a sub-optimal environment for taking drugs - I tend not to notice the effects of most drugs while at the computer. Not so with Yerba Mate. I would rate Yerba Mate as the best legal drug I have found so far (I have used alcohol, caffeine, Kava extract, homemade chlorobutanol, and ephedrine.). I have to think that there is something other than just an isomer of caffeine in it.
As for preparation, i first tried the tea as the package recommends - steeping in hot but not boiling water. This tasted like hay. Bleh. Adding sugar helped a little. The method I use now is to boil the water in the microwave (one measuring-cup of water), take it out, and as soon as it has stopped boiling, I drop in the tea bag (which usually causes it to boil a bit more - microwaves have a tendency to superheat water) and stir it for a minute or so. I then let it steep for a few minutes (5 or so) before removing the tea bag. I add half a spoonful of sugar, and some milk. The resulting drink tastes alright, though not as good as my normal tea (Though better in my opinion than cheapo tea), though it has a rather sickly green color, especially after milk has been added. The actual tea bags also seem to be rather marginal, and leak a very fine green-brown powder into the drink, which sinks to the bottom, making the last gulp of the tea thoroughly disgusting.
I have searched for Yerba Mate products online, with rather little success, surprisingly, seeing as I can find GBL, ephedrine, and bomb making instructions with a single search. A few places sell Yerba mate tea, but no place seems to sell any concentrated extracts except mixed with other active ingredients.
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