The push towards organic and sustainably sourced products in the 21st century has been especially important for Yerba Mate production. All of the brands mentioned in the lists use non-smoked or smokeless methods to dry their mate. In contrast, the majority of mate brands on the market use wood burning to smoke the mate leaves and to dry the mate before packaging. This wood-burning technique creates the smoky after flavor frequently associated with mate; and in some studies, it has been linked to increasing the levels of carcinogenic compounds found in yerba mate. Other foods, beverages and environmental factors have also been linked to some of these same carcinogenic compounds. While it is impossible to remove these unhealthy compounds entirely from your diet, drinking organic and unsmoked mate can help. In addition, when drinking mate from a gourd and bombilla it is extremely important to wait to drink your beverage until the temperature has cooled considerably. Drinking very hot beverages, especially out of metal containers, can have adverse health effects. All of the mate brands on this list are smokeless varieties that do not use the wood burning drying method mentioned above. Read below to find Planet Yerba Mate’s picks for Best Organic Yerba Mate Brands.
You can find all of our recommended best Yerba Mate brands selling here.
Eco Teas Organic Yerba Mate Loose Leaf & Tea Bags – 5 Stars
An excellent tasting Yerba Mate sourced from Argentina. All of Eco Teas’ Yerba is both organic and certified Fair Trade. You can choose from 10+ Eco Tea varieties here. Eco Teas’ yerba mate is unsmoked; they use air to dry their wet yerba mate and prepare it for production. Additionally, their farmers grow their mate without the use of herbicides. The mate itself has very few stems which is a big point in favor of this brand. Also, the leaves themselves are not too finely ground. Frequently competitor mate brands will grind their teas to a fine powder, which can easily clog up your gourd, causing a huge mess that you don’t need. Eco Teas larger leaves make clogging less likely.
♣ Positives: Fair Trade. Organic. Reliable sourcing. High quality.
♣ Negatives: Cost. Loose leaf organic is more expensive than non-organic brands (around $16 for 1 pound or $12 per pound when you buy 5+ Ibs).
♥ Bonus: Buy Eco Teas tea bags. You can buy 24 tea bags for just $7.50. These tea bags have a very mild taste, but pack an energy increasing punch. For beginner drinkers Eco Teas tea bags are an excellent choice, and at a very low price point.
Recommended for all those who want the absolute highest quality organic mate.
Guayaki Organic Yerba Mate – 5 Stars
Guayaki is by far the best known North American Yerba Mate brand. They have a diverse line of products and a large share of the market, especially in the U.S. Their yerba is both Fair Tarde & Kosher. Their organic yerba mate is unsmoked and is sustainably sourced by farmers in Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil. Guayaki is even concerned with their packaging post-use; the packages that their mate arrives in are biodegradable, and never need end up in a landfill.
Many first-time and casual mate drinkers prefer the taste of Guayaki. It is milder than most alternatives. Both their loose-leaf blends and tea bags don’t have any additives, so when you drink a cup of their tea you are tasting the authentic and traditional tea infusion drunk by tens of millions of consumers daily in South America. The price of Guayaki’s loose leaf tea is on the high end of the spectrum, costing about $20 a pound or $12 when you buy 5 or more pounds. However, the price of their tea bags is lower than many competitors, you can find 75 pre-packaged yerba teas for $14. Many of their teas are designed for on-the-go yerba drinkers. They also have a large selection of canned and bottled flavored teas which are great to drink on the street, on the beach, or anywhere you need a pick-me-up.
♣ Positives: A milder taste (preferred by most moderate drinkers). Large selection and huge range of products: loose leaf, tea bags, canned and bottled flavored teas, energy shots and more.
♣ Negatives: A milder taste (disliked my many yerba mate enthusiasts). Higher prices, compared to non-organic brands.
Recommended Best Organic Yerba Mate Brand for north American consumers and on-the-go yerba drinkers.
Mate Factor Organic Yerba Mate – 4 Stars
All of Mate Factor’s yerba mate is organic, unsmoked and free of herbicides.
♣ Positives: Unusual flavors and mixes that few other brands offer. Mate especially produced for Chai Yerba Mate Lattes, dark coffee roasts and more specialty brews. Health conscience and environmentally sustainable brand.
♣ Negatives: Traditional mateiros (mate connoisseurs) may dislike the Mate Factor flavored brews. These brews don’t have the same taste or taste profile as a traditional cup of mate.
Mate Factor grows their Yerba in the south of Brazil. Their mate production fulfills fair trade standards and they have been certified as selling USDA grade organic Yerba Mate. They are an eco-friendly company, their headquarters is sustained by solar power.
If you are looking to make specialty mate drinks Mate Factor is the best choice. Their tea can be used to make a superb Chai Mate Late, a coffee alternative that uses mate with a dose of coffee flavoring. In addition, you can drink their original “fresh green” tea which has a similar taste to traditional mate, but with all of the health benefits and brand reliability previously mentioned. Personally, I often drink their Fresh Green brew! You can find the entire line of Mate Factor Yerba Mate at Amazon.
Recommended for use in lattes, coffee alternatives, cocktails, flavored teas and any other specialty recipe.
While the health benefits of yerba mate are frequently cited by yerba mate advocates (including myself) the risks are less frequently discussed and not as well known. It is important that you don’t drink mate with a gourd and bombilla at too high of a temperature (it should be warm, yet not too hot to comfortably drink a large swallow). You should also consider that unsmoked varieties are believed to have a higher quantity of carcinogenic compounds due to the smoking process. While the question of if there is a high enough level of these compounds present to be a detriment to your health is up for debate. We DO KNOW that best organic yerba mate brands are undoubtedly a much healthier option. The smokeless process eliminates any adverse affects resulting from the use of the wood-burning smoking technique, while still giving you that amazing mate flavor that you love.
I hope you enjoy our recommendations and I would love to hear your opinion on which you believe are the best organic Yerba Mate brands!