Amazon Guayusa

The Ritual of Tea, Changing the World

Guayusa is pronounced “gwhy-you-suh,” and it’s a thousands-of-years-old leaf cultivated specifically for its unique balance of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids. Imparting more caffeine than black tea, but only 80% of the caffeine found in coffee, guayusa comes from the rich, shady soil in the Amazon. The crop is then hand picked and traditionally enjoyed by the Kichwa people as part of their early morning tea ceremonies.

Runa got its start when American students Tyler Gage and Dan MacCombie teamed up with communities of indigenous Ecuadorian farmers to bring guayusa into other cultures and to provide the Kichwa people a sustainable, environmentally responsible way to market their culture's unique tea blends. In this way, Runa shares indigenous traditions on an international scale, and in turn fosters environmental conservation in the Amazon and positive social change for its people. You get delicious, organic, Fair Trade tea; they get economic and social progress infused with cultural tradition.

All varieties produce amber colored, smooth and silky tea. Mix and match from among Traditional Guayusa, Peppermint Guayusa, Ginger Citrus Guayusa, and Guayusa Spice. Balanced energy and rainforest preservation – does your current tea provide that?
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Grommet Launch Conversation

  • Dan

    Trailing Guns N’ Roses 1988 mega hit, “Welcome to the Jungle," Runa would like to extend the same warm salutation from the Ecuadorian Amazon and introduce you to a product that will surely bring you to your knees.

    For thousands of years communities throughout the Amazon have cultivated the guayusa leaf for a natural, delicious source of energy and nutrition. Treasured for its unique balance of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and amino acids guayusa continues to be the center of morning rituals throughout the Amazon. Runa is excited to share this ancient tradition with the Daily Grommet and welcome you to explore the stories, insights, and flavors of our organization and our products.

    Axl Rose wasn’t available for comment today, but we know he wishes he could be with us to properly introduce you to the taste of the jungle.

  • Margaret S.
    Margaret S.
    1/12/2011 1:18 PM

    Why are the boxes of tea bags more expensive at Daily Grommet than

    through the Runa online store?

  • Dan
    Dan – Special Guest
    1/12/2011 1:44 PM


    There was actually a technical error in the posting - The prices on here weren't reflective of the ongoing holiday sale Runa has. Grommet is fixing that as we speak.

    Thanks for alerting us to it!


  • Kate
    1/12/2011 2:10 PM

    I am curious if the flavors are adjusted for an American palette or if these are the same as what the Amazon peoples would drink?

  • Dan
    Dan – Special Guest
    1/12/2011 2:16 PM

    @Kate: Indeed they are. In fact, the Ginger Citrus and the Peppermint were specifically formulated to meet and surpass the sumptious flavors that US tea shoppers have come to expect. The Guayusa Spice is a modern adaptation of a traditional Amazonian blend, but both of those flavors are often used in teas you find here. As far as we know, though, we are the first to make that combination.

    Goes without saying that Traditional guayusa has a smooth and rich flavor that people have found pleasant, sweet, smooth, and a great contrast to the bitterness of green or black teas.

  • Anna
    1/12/2011 2:28 PM

    @Dan MacCombie: Great answer Dan. In the Ecuador office, the staff really loves guayusa with a little freshly squeezed orange juice. @Kate: I would definitely recommend you try this.

  • Julia
    Julia – Grommet Team
    1/12/2011 2:55 PM

    Testing Runa and learning the Amazon Guayusa story has been such a pleasure. There is nothing better than nestling up with a cup a tea first thing in the morning to start the day.

    An additional benefit that I would like to add is that Guayusa Tea doesn’t stain your teeth, because there are no tannins.

    Runa’s Guayusa Spice is my personal favorite and I recommend getting it in loose tea form. It’s is the most economical way to buy tea and it requires less packaging. Just make sure you have a strainer of some kind.

  • Anna
    1/12/2011 3:00 PM

    @Julia Kemp - Daily Grommet Discovery Team: Thanks for the shout out Julia. Speaking of oral advantages, some indigenous people have even used the peppermint guayusa blend as mouthwash because of its crisp peppermint taste.

  • Danielle
    Danielle – Grommet Team
    1/12/2011 3:35 PM

    I'm not sure how tea went through the Daily Grommet offices without visiting my mugs! I love the meaning of the name, as well. Can't wait to try it!

  • Dan
    Dan – Special Guest
    1/12/2011 3:42 PM

    @Danielle: Little-known fact: Runa is a common first name in Scandinavian languages, Russian, and Hindi. Take that, Tower of Babel!

  • Mike
    1/12/2011 4:42 PM

    i'd like to try a sample myself..

    where can i find it.

  • Katherine
    Katherine – Grommet Team
    1/12/2011 4:52 PM

    @Mike: You can order it directly from us! To the right of the video on the feature's main page you will see the ordering options.

  • CreativeArtandSoul
    1/12/2011 5:53 PM

    I drink organic Yerba Mate every day. I know both Guayusa (Ilex guayusa) and Yerba Mate (Ilex Paraguayensis) are closely related (Ilex). How do they differ as far as caffeine, antioxidant, amino acid and vitamin content, and taste?

  • CreativeArtandSoul
    1/12/2011 6:02 PM

    I apologize for the double post. I'm not sure how that happened! :)

  • Anna
    1/12/2011 6:05 PM

    @CreativeArtandSoul: No worries, Ive been doing that all day!

  • Anna
    1/12/2011 6:05 PM

    Guayusa has an average of 90 mg of caffeine per 8 oz cup of tea as opposed to yerba mate which averages 70mg. Interestingly, guayusa also contains other stimulants in the same family as caffeine, known as methylxanthine alkaloids. Theophylline is a clarifying and uplifting compound also found in green tea. Theobromine is the stimulant found in dark chocolate that offers that pleasant whole body feeling many are familiar with. Theobromine is known to offer a settled and bodily energy. Also Guayusa contains 50% more antioxidants than green tea, and is full of polyphenols, flavonoids, and saponins. These compounds in guayusa offer a range of holistic health benefits from calming the nervous system to cardiovascular health.It is also important to note that the lack of tannins leads to a much smoother taste than yerba mate. It does not taste bitter after brewing.

  • CreativeArtandSoul
    1/12/2011 6:14 PM

    @Anna Premo: Thank you for the info! I'll have to give it a try!

The launch day conversation has ended. Please direct further questions about this Grommet to our Community Experience Team.

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