Yerba mate is a caffeinated tea that’s been around for eternity, derived from the South American plant of the same name. You’ve probably noticed it appearing more and more as an alternative caffeine source in mood/performance enhancing drinks in modern times. This brings us to Vida Mate’s version, a series of non-alcoholic releases by Schilling Cider, based in Washington state, whose team has apparently been “enjoying Yerba Mate for decades” and were inspired to come up with something better and more authentic than what is currently on offer. In their words:
Why is Vida Maté better? Vida Maté is made with real yerba mate meaning the caffeine is naturally occurring unlike many other canned yerba mate drinks where the caffeine is synthetically extracted and then re-added later. Vida Maté is also made with real fruit juice. This means it is not overly sweet with lots of added sugars. We didn’t stop there, Vida Maté also contains L-Theanine, GABA, and B-12 functional ingredients to help regulate the caffeine for a no spike and crash, stress-free focused caffeine experience!
So let’s dive into this experience and taste the company’s three expressions.
Vida Mate Yerba Mate Lemon Mint – This expression has a nice tartness with just a touch of sweetness, as they had intended. It indeed tastes fresh, and is a clean beverage, albeit lacking in a little carbonation that would have boosted the refreshment factor. B+
Vida Mate Yerba Mate Mango Lime – The creamy subtle sweetness of the mango comes through immediately, and the beverage again tastes fresh and natural. Well balanced and refreshing. B+
Vida Mate Yerba Mate Blackberry Lemonade – This variation is bolder in both color and flavor, with a deep mauve tint to the drink and a more prominent presence of the blackberry fruit. The lemonade gives a nice bite to the flavor. B+
On the whole, these drinks are straightforward; balanced, drinkable, and offer an authentic fruitiness that sits just right without being too “juicy,” but with more presence than what you’d find with fruit-infused water. As a mood enhancer and regulator, these are all a fine, clean-tasting alternative. I recommend having a few on hand in the fridge, though I still wish for that extra fizzy kick that carbonation would have added.
drinkvidamate.com / each $3 per 16 oz can