The Matcha Alternatives Blog

Your new favorite source of information about antioxidant-rich teas and tisanes

Yerba Mate Tea: What is it and why is everyone talking about it?

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

Yerba Mate, a traditional South American tea, has been growing in popularity over recent years and is a contender for becoming the next 'superfood' due to its anti-inflammatory properties and incredibly high antioxidants (with an ORAC of 1700, it's even higher than matcha!). Maté can contain up to 85 mg of caffeine per 8oz cup! For that reason, and due to other phytochemicals, it is a popular substitute for coffee. Also, because it's full of minerals like zinc, potassium and iron and vitamins B1, B 2 and C, it makes a nutritious beverage. Additionally, it contains saponins: these decrease blood lipids, lower blood glucose response, decrease cancer risk, and are commonly found in adaptogenic herbs

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Yerba Mate Tea: What is it and why is everyone talking about it?

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

Yerba Mate, a traditional South American tea, has been growing in popularity over recent years and is a contender for becoming the next 'superfood' due to its anti-inflammatory properties and incredibly high antioxidants (with an ORAC of 1700, it's even higher than matcha!). Maté can contain up to 85 mg of caffeine per 8oz cup! For that reason, and due to other phytochemicals, it is a popular substitute for coffee. Also, because it's full of minerals like zinc, potassium and iron and vitamins B1, B 2 and C, it makes a nutritious beverage. Additionally, it contains saponins: these decrease blood lipids, lower blood glucose response, decrease cancer risk, and are commonly found in adaptogenic herbs

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Rooibos vs. Honeybush: What's the Difference?

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

Although the two “teas” are similar, particularly in taste, they come from entirely different African plants and are NOT the same thing. Honeybush is the sweeter of the two, as the name suggests, and Rooibos (aka 'Red Bush') has a woodier taste. Both are delicious, healthy and naturally caffeine-free.

Both Honeybush and Rooibos contain trace minerals, and beneficial phytochemicals. Both have potential anti-cancer benefits, and Honeybush and Red Rooibos are manufactured using the same methods including oxidation to give them their beautiful red hue. Green Rooibos is a less common type of Rooibos, with the only difference from its famous sibling being that it is not fermented/oxidized, and therefore has a greener, citrus-y taste and is higher in antioxidants (because, as the word suggests, oxidizing tea leaves means reducing the antioxidants as they bond with free radical oxygen particles in the air). Red and Green Rooibos come from the same plant, it is just the oxidation process where they differ.

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Rooibos vs. Honeybush: What's the Difference?

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

Although the two “teas” are similar, particularly in taste, they come from entirely different African plants and are NOT the same thing. Honeybush is the sweeter of the two, as the name suggests, and Rooibos (aka 'Red Bush') has a woodier taste. Both are delicious, healthy and naturally caffeine-free.

Both Honeybush and Rooibos contain trace minerals, and beneficial phytochemicals. Both have potential anti-cancer benefits, and Honeybush and Red Rooibos are manufactured using the same methods including oxidation to give them their beautiful red hue. Green Rooibos is a less common type of Rooibos, with the only difference from its famous sibling being that it is not fermented/oxidized, and therefore has a greener, citrus-y taste and is higher in antioxidants (because, as the word suggests, oxidizing tea leaves means reducing the antioxidants as they bond with free radical oxygen particles in the air). Red and Green Rooibos come from the same plant, it is just the oxidation process where they differ.

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Calming Chamomile: Not Only a Sleep Tea

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

When it comes to the world of herbal teas, chamomile sounds like an old friend, ready to send you off to sleep. But bedtime isn’t all chamomile is good for! This versatile tea has many qualities. Herbalists know both varieties (German and Roman chamomile) are attributed with the following properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, stops the growth of bacteria (bacteriostatic), helps relieve flatulence (carminative), relieves muscle spasms (antispasmodic), and helps dissolve and eliminate mucus (making it an excellent choice for chest colds). 

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Calming Chamomile: Not Only a Sleep Tea

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

When it comes to the world of herbal teas, chamomile sounds like an old friend, ready to send you off to sleep. But bedtime isn’t all chamomile is good for! This versatile tea has many qualities. Herbalists know both varieties (German and Roman chamomile) are attributed with the following properties: anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, stops the growth of bacteria (bacteriostatic), helps relieve flatulence (carminative), relieves muscle spasms (antispasmodic), and helps dissolve and eliminate mucus (making it an excellent choice for chest colds). 

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A Tea & Tisane Primer (Everything You Need to Know About Tea and 'Tea')

Posted by Elizabeth Taeed on

Tea is simply dried leaves from one specific type of evergreen: a type of camellia. Its Latin name is Camellia var. sinensis and there are two varieties: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis (translates to the Chinese Chinese camellia) and Camellia sinensis var. assamica (the Indian Chinese camellia). Any other plant that has been steeped in hot water and turned into a drink is an ‘infusion’ or ‘tisane’, not tea. Common (and delicious) infusions include rooibos, mate and all the plants you can think of (chamomile, mint, liquorice, orange, lavender, vanilla, raspberry, and so on). Most of the ‘teas’ at Matcha Alternatives are not actually teas, but tisanes.

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Tea is simply dried leaves from one specific type of evergreen: a type of camellia. Its Latin name is Camellia var. sinensis and there are two varieties: Camellia sinensis var. sinensis (translates to the Chinese Chinese camellia) and Camellia sinensis var. assamica (the Indian Chinese camellia). Any other plant that has been steeped in hot water and turned into a drink is an ‘infusion’ or ‘tisane’, not tea. Common (and delicious) infusions include rooibos, mate and all the plants you can think of (chamomile, mint, liquorice, orange, lavender, vanilla, raspberry, and so on). Most of the ‘teas’ at Matcha Alternatives are not actually teas, but tisanes.

Read more


Adaptogens Part 2: What Foods and Teas Contain Adaptogens?

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

Adaptogens improve the adaptability of the body, regardless of the origin of the stressor (physiological, psychological, environmental, or situational), and increases its resistance threshold. In doing so, they improve organ function and hormone regulation. A brief breakdown would be to consider the Ginsengs as stimulating, Tulsi is calming, and Ashwagandha and Moringa can act in both ways (while also replenishing a deficient and depleted system). 

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Adaptogens Part 2: What Foods and Teas Contain Adaptogens?

Posted by Stephany Morgan on

Adaptogens improve the adaptability of the body, regardless of the origin of the stressor (physiological, psychological, environmental, or situational), and increases its resistance threshold. In doing so, they improve organ function and hormone regulation. A brief breakdown would be to consider the Ginsengs as stimulating, Tulsi is calming, and Ashwagandha and Moringa can act in both ways (while also replenishing a deficient and depleted system). 

Read more