Tea type
Guayusa Tea
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Sweet, Vegetal
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
Boiling 4 min, 45 sec 12 oz / 355 ml

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28 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Another less than exciting selection from this month’s Steepster Select box. I like guayusa just fine, and I have been very impressed with everything I’ve tried from Runa, but,...” Read full tasting note
    LiberTEAS 4846 tasting notes
  • “Thought I would try this since I slept really well last night. I’m not really feeling groggy. I think Guayusa is supposed to be a bit more stimulating than my typical black breakfast blend....” Read full tasting note
    Madmissy 212 tasting notes
  • “Backlogging; This is another tea that I received in the Steepster Select ( box that I won. Thank you Steepster Select, again providing me with a totally new...” Read full tasting note
    azzrian 807 tasting notes
  • “I had this tea this morning, so I guess it’s a backlog? Maybe? I got this one in the Steepster Select package that I won (the April box) and I’ve had it once before this but for some...” Read full tasting note
    ianerickson 119 tasting notes

From Runa

Guayusa (botanical name Ilex guayusa) is a caffeinated rainforest holly tree that grows almost exclusively in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Revered as a balanced stimulant and focal point of indigenous cultural traditions, guayusa has been consumed for thousands of years by the indigenous Kichwa, Shuar, and Achuar nationalities that inhabit the Ecuadorian Amazon.

A truly balanced stimulant with a naturally sweet taste, guayusa not only contains caffeine to awaken the mind, but also is rich in vitamins and amino acids to fortify the body. Its combined effect is one of sustained energy, mental clarity, and what the indigenous Kichwa people call “mental strength and courage.” Indigenous hunters drink guayusa to sharpen their instincts and call it the “Night Watchman” because it helps them stay alert and awake all night. With these unique properties, our Runa beverages offer the energy of coffee without the jitters or crash, and the clarity and simplicity of tea without the bitterness.

About Runa View company

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28 Tasting Notes

4846 tasting notes

Another less than exciting selection from this month’s Steepster Select box. I like guayusa just fine, and I have been very impressed with everything I’ve tried from Runa, but, really? Unflavored Guayusa? It’s not exactly the most exciting tisane I’ve had in the last few months, you know?

Much like the honey bush from last night, this tastes very much the way I expected it to. It tastes like Guayusa. Rich and flavorful, almost coffee-like, but without the bitterness. Very smooth. Enjoyable, sure … but I think that it lacks imagination, much like the Steepster box from this month. Sorry, Jason.


I totally see where you are coming from – I would be a bit bummed if I had tried all of these samplings before. For me it was a perfect steepster box though because I had never any of them before in their unflavored natural form. Actually I had never had Guayusa at all. This is a good reason maybe why a choice would be good – Box A or Box B – but then it would not be a surprise. I like to take my chances I think because I can always pass things onto a trade partner but at the same time I would be bummed if I had tried ALL THREE and nothing new for me.

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212 tasting notes

Thought I would try this since I slept really well last night. I’m not really feeling groggy. I think Guayusa is supposed to be a bit more stimulating than my typical black breakfast blend. I’ve been eyeballing the package since it came it and I just don’t want to wait any longer.
It seems like there is a definite green category of tea with diverse flavors. For example some of the green teas are a fresh, crisp green flavor. The oolong I tried was a sweet, heavy green taste. This is green like grass that just been cut. Yet it is still sweet. A funny toasty like taste has shown up. It’s very faint. Ghost toasted tea. Who ya gonna call?!
I like it but I think I’d like a flavored guayusa just as well.

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LOL Ghost Toast


I just tried this with those dried berries you sent. It’s awesome with the berry addition. Thanks for the sample of berries!


What berries?

Dylan Oxford

The berry tisane from teavivre ;)


Yeah what he said!


was it blueberry? Good gawd I am getting old I think.


The name is blueberry fruit tea.


Yeah thats it! Okay thanks sorry senior moment I guess they come earlier and earlier these days.


Oh and I bet it WAS good in this! Humm wonder if I have more of that sample left to play with.


Hehe you crack me up. Senior moments. I bet it’s more like I have so much tea which one did I send? :D


LOL maybe :)


Hey, so you know, Guayusa isn’t green tea. It’s not tea at all. At least, not in the strict sense of the word, referring to infusions of the Tea plant (camellia sinensis). This is actually a kind of caffeinated Holly (Ilex Guayusa), making it tea in the same way that rooibos is. Still tasty though. And cheap by the ounce.

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807 tasting notes


This is another tea that I received in the Steepster Select ( box that I won. Thank you Steepster Select, again providing me with a totally new experience! This is my first Guayusa tea! It also looks like Yerbra Mate it its dry form.

First smell: I thought to myself Yummmm, I was surprised although I am not sure what I was expecting as I have never had a Guayusa before. Fruity, creamy, bright, eye opening, delightful aromas.

First sip: The flavor is bright, and cherry, with a slight tartness yet with such sweetness, like that of fresh berries. If I had to compare it to another tea it would be a good quality black tea, one without any astringency or bitterness!

The liquor is light brown.

I have absolutely loved my Steepster Select box – and I have more to come, – because it takes me on this amazing journey! I am learning so much about tea! This Traditional Guayusa is farmed by a native tribe in the upper Amazon regions of Ecuador, Peru and Columbia. The tried is called the Kichwa Tribe. This info was provided by Steepster Select on the card they include with all of their tea shipments.

I just think it is so wonderful to have such a fresh tea resting on my palate! To sit back and imagine this small tribe farming, and picking tea leaves that will be consumed by people like me, it is humbling and also I am slightly jealous of what I imagine their lifestyle to be. I also respect Runa Tea for working with the Kichwa tribe in regards to sustainability and socially responsible farming and procuring of teas. This tea is Certified Fair Trade, Certified Organic, and Certified Kosher. It is 5.99 for 1.5 ounces or
17.99 for one full pound! Wow! Talk about a steal for an amazing tea! According to the Runa Tea facebook page – Runa means “fully living human being” in the Kichwa language.

Second cup which is cooler than my first and I am picking out a very caramelized flavor now. Its quite nice and different from my piping hot cup before. I am intrigued by the way this tea seems to evolve right on the palate. I think if I listed all of the different flavor components it would be a very long list. Berry, sweet, bright, cherry, sugary, malty, toasty, smooth, rich, I could go on and on.

I was having such a good time with this tea, trying it iced as suggested on the website it was wonderful. Then I got adventurous and added a touch of Japanese spearmint essential oil to my cup, just a tiny drop, and it made the best tasting sensation with a toasty maple like flavor with a kick of mint. So delicious! I did not try it with any sugar in the raw or milk but I am going to assume it would be excellent as it seems to be a very versatile tea! I also noticed when the tea is colder, either cooled from a hot tea, or iced it has a more malty note to it and a wonderful bread like after taste! This was before adding the mint though.

I also wanted to note that I love their website –
They talk about tea origins, ways to enjoy tea, the tea farmers, and they even have a mission statement! It is also a very eye appealing site that is easy to navigate.

Re-steep on this tea was a huge success! Although I only did one re-steep I feel assured I could have went for another, maybe more. The liquor was even a bit darker on the second steep – releasing more of the complex flavors with some extra sweetness coming through!

I feel honored to be introduced to such a wonderful tea company and tea! Not to mention to feel closer to our global community and the wonderful diverse people of this planet!

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119 tasting notes

I had this tea this morning, so I guess it’s a backlog? Maybe?

I got this one in the Steepster Select package that I won (the April box) and I’ve had it once before this but for some reason I haven’t reviewed it yet…….. Blame it on the laziness. Anyways, I really like this one a lot. I definitely like the stimulation effects of guayusa more than mate. I like mate a lot but it’s more comparable to coffee than guayusa, which gives more of a subtle energy rush than an energy hit. It’s slightly vegetal and grassy in flavor, with a little bit of a lemon taste in the background. It’s smooth and yet bold, and very enjoyable.

I really liked this but I feel like I will like flavored guayusas more (I’ve had the Earl Grey Guayusa from 52teas and it was just okay) and I look forward to trying more from Runa.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

Stash has a lot of flavored ones (loose leaf, online), although haven’t tried them (only w. green tea, which wasn’t bad at all…liked).


I guess I backlog a ton then – I don’t actually log EVERY tea I have. Oh wow that would be a full time job! :)


To get through a LOT of samples that needed tested, I went off the grid for a while. Time consuming for sure.


I log every tea I drink :D Fun for me, but definitely time-consuming. Don’t write notes about them all though.


I wish I could log everything! But unfortunately I just don’t have time to! Once I get a laptop I’m definitely going to log a lot more, it’s just a hassle to have to boot up our computer 4 or 5 times a day to log every single tea I drink. Having a laptop will be easier because I’ll just be able to pop it open and type up a note really quickly


Oh – I definitely don’t catch them all when I drink them necessarily :) But I do have a laptop and a data plan with my phone, so I have Steepster access 24/7 :D


Guayusa definitely has the highest caffeine content of any plant. I wish I had had some for last semester! This would have kicked my butt into shape in the morning if I had a cup of this by my bed for the late night/early morning type days! Next year =)

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185 tasting notes

I do not think this Guayusa thing is for me. It has a sweet, grassy taste that, while not altogether unpleasant… just isn’t something I strive for in a drink.

The smell and taste are very reminiscent of a fresh cut grass clippings, from that first cut in the spring where you’ve never really had enough days in a row for the grass to get dry. So you kind of struggle through the clumping, wet grass, so that you can get a handle on the lawn. That’s what this reminds me of, wet clumpy grass.

The second batch of this sample that we brewed, we included some Ssssspicy from SerendipiTea, and it did improve the flavor some (which means to say that the spices drowned out some of the grassy flavor).

So yeah. Not my cup of tea-like-herbal-beverage, but I kind of guessed that going in, so I don’t think it’s quite fair to give it a lower rating. If I did rate it though, it would probably be… 60s or so. Like I said, it isn’t offensive, it just is far from desirable.

Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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138 tasting notes

Drinking this now..LOVE it! Very smooth and clean tasting. I asked for this as my sample from New Mexico Tea company. I decided to go with just the plain guayusa, I figured I can always add spices to it to make it like the others. I had the first cup plain, the second cup I added 1 teaspoon of Verdant Tea’s Thai Fire blend for a little kick. NICE! I will diffidently be buying this, sucks I can’t buy it locally but this will be on my list.

Boiling 5 min, 15 sec
The DJBooth

I have found Guayusa to be great as well.

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621 tasting notes

I confess that this is about two years old. I bought a pound of it as a study aid back in grad school, hoping that it would work better than coffee or soda. Turns out I’m too distractable to actually finish an entire pound of tea in any reasonable amount of time.

That said, this is still quite tasty. I’ve had it as my morning travel mug tea for the past three days. The first time, I added a touch of honey, which made it fantastic. Since then, I haven’t added honey, but have (re)discovered that the guayusa flavor profile already includes a touch of honey. While the dry leaves don’t have much of a scent anymore, the brewed tea smells like honey water.

It’s possible that time has reduced the potency of the energizing effect. I just can’t tell if that’s the case – it’s hard to compare to a distant memory. Of course the solution is to buy some new guayusa for the sake of comparison…

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10 tasting notes

What a wonderful easy to prepare morning tea. This was the first tea i drank this morning as i was running out the door to class. i was surprised of its wonderful earthy and somewhat buttery taste and texture. i made a mug to go since i was late for class and it was the perfect amount of caffeine for the morning. i did three full steepings of the tea and each steeping brought out a new twist to its simple earthy taste.
if you drink mate in the morning and either like or dislike the taste i recommend this as an alternative because it is not as finicky since you do use boil water.
++ in my book for a morning tea boost

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

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72 tasting notes

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22 tasting notes

A tasty treat. It took me a bit to get used to, but now I brew this awesome tea daily. I have gotten the hang of brewing it correctly. This is an invigorating, tasty, and energizing drink. I had my serious doubts with the taste, and the effect it would give me, but it pulled through and has rocked my socks off. The round, mellow, and sweet taste is so subtle. It is like a fine wine in which the greatness is in its subtleties. I drink this once a day, and feel a great energy everytime.

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