The Superfood with an Unusual Cult Following

Why German Hackers, South American Intellectuals, Rave Bunnies and Redd are all looking to this superfood for energy

Yerba Mate for Hackers | Superfood Energy Protein Bar

In Berlin around 2011, a group of young developers sat around the offices of Soundcloud frantically calling beverage suppliers. They were desperate to get their hands on a Yerba Mate based soda that had become the single obsession of the city’s thriving tech scene. After the popularity of Club-Mate spread to electronic dance clubs, it became almost impossible to find. That was a problem. The entire city had become hooked on the low, cool buzz that Yerba Mate is known for.

The tea infused soda shares a similar founder story with Redd. It was created by accident. Made by a small family-owned Bavarian brewery, the explosion in demand quickly overwhelmed their ability to brew and bottle the stuff. For months, the product was bought and sold by prohibition-style back alley deals. That summer is still known in Berlin as the Mate-pocalypse.

This story isn’t surprising at all to the Redd team, considering we are completely obsessed with Yerba Mate tea ourselves.

A chill energy source 

When Alden was creating the original Redd product, he knew a steady energy source was a priority. As a Mate fan, he knew that one of the main ingredients would be the Yerba Mate tea extract. It has been championed for centuries as being a safe and effective nervous system stimulant with few side effects and many health benefits.  

Yerba Mate has the “strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate. The leaves are grown primarily in South America where Mate has a long and interesting history.

Mate has a natural ability to help you focus, and is a calm but invigorating energy. For decades, South American writers and fighters like Borges, Cortazar and even Che Guevara relied on sipping constantly from gourds of Mate for creative inspiration.

Function before flavor

Frankly, Yerba Mate owes its popularity more to its function as its flavor.

With a strong vegetal flavor, people do not drink Yerba Mate for the taste. Even the Club-Mate soda’s slogan translates loosely from German as “you’ll get used to it.” It’s really the feeling that it gives you that makes people coming back.

At Redd, we use a Yerba Mate tea extract to give our bars an energy boost without the crash that coffee and sugar give. When it’s combined with all of the other superfood ingredients- including dark chocolate, goji berries, maca, pumpkin seeds, and others, you get a great flavor with the wonderful and powerful Yerba Mate boost.