Runa Amazonian Traditional Guayusa is a naturally caffeinated herbal supplement, contained in individually wrapped infusers. Traditional Guayusa is energizing, smooth, and rich, with a hint of natural sweetness, guayusa helps you be awake and alert. Guayusa (why-you-sa) provides balanced, sustainable energy without bitterness, jitters, or crash. A good source of antioxidants.
Guayusa, a natural, delicious source of energy and nutrition from the Amazon, provides clear and focused energy - what the native Kichwa people call "mental strength and courage." A caffeinated holly leaf native to Ecuador, guayusa contains an exceptional balance of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids for your whole body and mind.
Known for its stimulating effects, indigenous hunters drink guayusa to sharpen their instincts. They call it the "Night Watchman" because it helps them stay awake and alert all night.
- Ingredients: Organic RUNA Guayusa
- 16 infusers in a box
- Certified Organic
- Certified Kosher
Runa believes it's time for new kind of energy. Energy that allows people to live a stimulating life: fully engaged and full of curiosity. Energy to do more of what they love and are called to do. Sustainable energy that attracts, connects, expands, and propels them into the world with a clear mind and an open heart.
Since guayusa is not related to traditional tea varieties made from the camellia sinensis plant, it has a distinct flavor that pleasantly surprises your tastes buds with the first sip. The most frequent comment is "Wow, the flavor is so smooth and clean," to which Runa responds, "Exactly, that is because guayusa does not contain the tannins that can give traditional teas a sharper astringency."
- Texture: Silky, Smooth, Clean, Round
- Aroma: Rich, Earthy
- Notes: Molasses, Caramel, Chicory
- Finish: Hint of Sweetness
You can also read a series of third party reviews of Runa's guayusa on the tea review website Steepster.com.
In an ancient tradition still practiced today, Amazonian families gather at dawn to drink guayusa from gourds around a communal fire. They come together during these early morning hours to share dreams, music and myths in a tradition that is essential to what makes them "Runa" - fully living human beings.
Preparation & Cupping
Cupping guayusa is a discovery of rich flavor and cultural tradition. Cupping is the practice of observing the tastes and aromas of brewed tea and coffee. We invite you to create a space to explore the full flavor and experience guayusa has to offer. Guayusa enjoys being shared in groups. The daily guayusa ritual in the Amazon is a gathering of friends and family where stories, dreams, and aspirations are shared while drinking gourds of guayusa from a communal pot. Sharing guayusa with your community and exploring its flavor replicates this 2000 year old Amazonian tradition.
- Tea Bag - Place one infuser into 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 4 - 6 minutes.
- Tea Pot - Select your favorite tea pot and add 2 grams of guayusa (about 1 spoonful) per 8 oz. of water.
- French Press - The ease and class of a good old French Press. This Franco-Amazonian brewing method is one of our favorites.
- Sun Tea - Guayusa brewed by the light of the Sun. Add 2 grams of guayusa (about 1 spoonful) per 8 oz. in a large glass container and leave in the sun for 4 - 6 hours. Strain the guayusa and enjoy hot or cold.
Traditional Brewing Method
Guayusa is traditionally brewed by boiling whole leaves in a large clay pot on the fire for long periods of time. Farmers harvest whole guayusa leaves, form piles of approximately 15 leaves, fold them in half, and string many of these leaf packets together on a string, forming a large wreath known as a sarta. The sarta is then hung from the thatched roof of the hut over the fire to dry.
When tea time comes around every morning, the women remove a few of the now dried leaf packets and place them in a large clay pot on the fire. Traditionally, every family has one special black clay pot that they use only for brewing guayusa.
The leaves are left to boil in the water for anywhere from 30 minutes to 7 hours. Often times the pot will be left to brew overnight. Because guayusa does not have any tannins like other teas, it can be brewed for long periods of time and never acquires an astringent or dry flavor. Once the guayusa is ready, the mother dips a large gourd into the pot and pours servings into the individual gourd that each family member has.
Guayusa The Plant
Guayusa (botanical name ilex guayusa ) is not related to the camellia sinensis plant, the parent of white, green, oolong, and black teas. It is one of three caffeinated holly trees that exist in the world, and is a distant cousin of Yerba Maté (ilex paraguariensis ). Guayusa leaves have a smooth ribbed edge, similar to the distinctive shape of a holly tree leaf (but without the spikes). Very large in size, guayusa leaves can reach over 15 cm in length (about as long as your hand).
Guayusa trees can reach a height of over 50 feet and live to be over 100 years old. They tend to produce lots of small trunks on one bush, and therefore are full of leaves (perfect for harvesting).
While guayusa is endemic to the Upper Amazon regions of Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia, it is estimated that over 98% of the guayusa trees in the world are located in Ecuador.
Interestingly, guayusa does not produce fertile seeds. This unique botanical characteristic demonstrates the intricate role that guayusa has played with human development in the Amazon. Botanists believe that after being propagated asexually for hundreds of years, guayusa lost its ability to produce fertile seeds. Just as they depend on it for a health source of energy, it depends on them to keep growing.
Did you know that caffeine serves as a natural insect repellent? Botanists believe that plants first produced caffeine in order to give insects an unpleasant jolt to their nervous system when they eat a plant’s leaves. Runa strange creatures find it pleasant.
Curbing the Coffee Buzz with Guayusa
Tired of feeling agitated, crashing mid-afternoon, or having stomach irritation from too much coffee? If you’re trying to reduce or eliminate coffee from your diet, guayusa could serve as a helpful tool to help you reach your goal. Try substituting a cup of guayusa for your afternoon cup of coffee, or start your day off with a strong guayusa brew and see the difference.