Frequently asked questions

Guayusa is an incredibly special plant. It makes the most delicious tea we've ever tasted. 

We've tried to answer some of the questions that people have about Guayusa.

What is Guayusa tea?

Guayusa is a shade-grown caffeinated Amazonian holly leaf. It has a unique and clean flavour. It is high in antioxidants and vitamins and has been drunk for thousands of years by indigenous Amazonian people. A stash of Guayusa leaves was found in an ancient tomb in Bolivia that was 1500 years old. You can learn more about guayusa here.

How do you pronounce Guayusa?

There are many spelling variations which give a good idea of the range of ways it is pronounced. It's so interesting to see the common thread running through:

  • Guayusa
  • Aguayusa
  • Huayusa
  • Guanusa
  • Wayusa
  • Wais
  • Why-ees
  • Why-sa

The general way it's said commonly is 'G-why-u-sa' with the 'G' being almost silent, almost 'why-u-sa'.

What is Guayusa good for

Many believe it's a much healthier alternative to coffee. 

While it contains caffeine, it is so much more easy on the system. People report to feel the caffeine effect is much less agressive, offerine an easy and sustained focus and energy. 

It's great as an all day drink and many people are flocking to it as their day to day source of caffeine.

What does Guayusa taste like? 

A good way to describe the taste of Guayusa is to think of it as a really nice, clean green tea, but without the bitterness.

But it's really a lot more complicated than that. It could be described firstly as very clean, with slightly sweet, grassy notes. But it also has an almost savoury, earthy depth with spicy, biscuity notes.

Depending on how long you brew it, and how strong you brew it, the different flavours which can be achieved are remarkable. You can pair it with almost anything - try mixing it with lemon, lime, ginger, mint, cinnamon, coconut. It carries other flavours so well - yet the unique taste of Guayusa always shines through.

We sell two kinds of Guayusa on our website - Black and Green. Green Guayusa tastes like we've described above and Black, which's leaves have been fermented for a longer period of time, tastes similar, but with bolder, fruitier notes and a noticeably darker brew.

Is Guayusa a good way to give up coffee?

While it obviously still contains caffeine, we have personally found that since discovering guayusa we've hardly drunk any coffee at all - and we were big, strong coffee drinkers.

Guayusa is so much easier on the system, and feels packed with goodness. You still get all the alertness you'd seek from a cup of normal coffee, but it's a much more subtle and drawn out energy.

It lasts a long time and rises and leaves the system very gently, unlike the rather fast up and down / undesirable jittery effects of normal coffee.

Where is it grown?

The guayusa you can buy from our site is shade grown in agroforestry systems and harvested by indigenous farmers in the Amazon. 

How to make Guayusa tea? 

Like any tea or coffee you are going to find the optimum volume of product and brewing time that suits you best. 

The general volume of Guayusa per cup seems to be around 2g. This is what we put into our pure Guayusa tea bags - and it make a perfect brew for us - delivering just the right taste and energy hit.

Of course, with our loose leaf Guayusa, you can choose to put less or more in. I would say at home we probably do make it a bit stronger - in the same way you might have an extra shot in a cappuccino or a double espresso, etc.

One striking difference with Guayusa is that it's pretty much impossible to over brew it - it has very low tannin content so does not have the bitterness of tea or coffee (it also won't stain your teeth or cups - cool, huh?)

How much caffeine does Guayusa contain?

A cup of tea made with 2g of Guayusa would give around 38mg of caffeine where a normal cup of coffee might be more in the region of 95mg. Of course you can make the Guayusa stronger to your taste. It releases the caffeine more slowly into the system. This makes its energising effects less aggressive than coffee and generally feel easier on the body, while still giving a stimulative effect. 

Can I drink Guayusa if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

The general advice on consuming caffeine would be to not consume any caffeinated products it if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, so we would not advise drinking Guayusa if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as it ultimately contains caffeine.

Is it really a kind of holly?

Yes. The way plant species are named is generally as follows: The Latin 'genus' (family) comes first, followed by the 'species'.

The holly you will be familiar with in Europe is 'Ilex aquifolium'. Guayusa is 'llex guayusa' - so they are the same family (holly (Ilex)), but simply a different species. You may have heard of 'Yerba Mate' - this is also a more well-known caffeinated holly. This can be bitter when prepared, where Guayusa is not at all bitter. Yerba Mate is 'Ilex paraguariensis'.

Where does Guayusa grow?

Primarily, Ilex guayusa grows in the eastern Ecuadorian provinces of Pastaza and Napo. It is also found in parts of Columbia and Peru.

Where to buy Guayusa

As a commercial product you may be surprised to learn that it's only been available for sale, mainly in the USA, for about the last ten years.

We were the first Limited Company to sell Guayusa in the UK and Europe, launching way back in June 2015.

We've always sold the highest quality, organic tea. We have a range of the best Guayusa on sale on our site right now - for the best prices in Europe for the quality and the promise of completely biodegradable packaging.

We have premium biodegradable pyramid bags in Black and Green varieties of Guayusa. Likewise we have loose leaf packs of both Black and Green. We've even got Guayusa chocolate! 

Shop the entire range here

What are your shipping costs?

Please note these are the maximum prices you will pay. For smaller value packs (e.g. 75g packs of loose leaf or our tea bags) the prices may end up cheaper! You'll see the calculated shipping as you move through the checkout.

The table below is a good guide but there may be some variance depending on what you order. Please note we are unable to send orders to countries outside of the EU.

United Kingdom Cost
1 packet £3.50
2 packets £3.75
3 packets £4.00
4 packets £4.50
5 (large) - 10 (small) packets £5.00
£60 order value and over Free postage
   
Europe only (We don't ship outside the EU)*  
1 packet £6.00
2 packets £7.00
3 packets £8.50
4 packets £9.00
5 (large) - 10 (small) packets £10.00
£60 order value and over
Contact us for a quote


*We are only able to ship to the EU at the present time. If you order from a country outside of the EU we will regrettably need to cancel your order and refund you in full.

Explore our range of Guayusa tea