Popular Influencer Bets Big on Coffee Alternative (That Starbucks Doesn’t Have)

Coffee culture in the U.S. is not new, with over 87,000 drink combinations available at Starbucks alone. However, iteration and experimentation with the dark stuff is something new, with the global matcha market size expected to grow to $6.68 billion in just five years. Matcha is known for its bright green flavor and presence of l-theanine, which is said to counteract the jitters and crash of a regular cup of coffee.

One of the fastest growing drinks in the U.S., particularly among young people, is yerba mate. Originally a South American drink, the steeped dry leaf herbal tea can contain more caffeine than coffee if steeped the right way. However, drinkers say it doesn’t deliver the crash and jitters that coffee might. Stanford neurologist and popular podcaster Andrew Huberman has been a proponent of yerba mate for years, claiming it’s one of the healthiest and effective drinks for productivity and focus.

Huberman and Canadian holding company Tiny are teaming up to take their new majority-owned yerba mate brand, Mateina, to the masses. The brand offers a sugar-free option, which is a frequent demand from drinkers who say popular yerba mate cans are too sweet. A popular brand sold at Whole Foods contains nearly 30 grams of sugar per 16 ounce can.

Yerba mate has been a preferred source of caffeine for more than three decades, emphasizing its high antioxidant content, role in managing blood sugar, and possible neuroprotective effects. Collaborating with Mateina to develop a non-smoked, sugar-free version of cold pressed yerba mate was a thrill and Huberman is excited to share this drink with the world.

Currently, Starbucks does not carry a yerba mate beverage, but it offered a blend via its Teavana line in 2016. As the drink grows in popularity and hits the mainstream, it may have to reconsider bringing it back as mainstream consumers venture into previously untapped territories.

Read More @ TheStreet

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