Disclaimer: You are on the website of a company that sells Guayusa. This could mean we are severely biased. However please give us the benefit of the doubt, we wouldn’t have started a company to sell Guayusa if we didn’t believe it had its merits. Of course we are bias, a little, but it’s hard to get around the fact that Guayusa is the best. If you want to find out more about Guayusa before the comparison, click here.

In this article we will cover the similarities and differences between coffee vs guayusa (aka the night watchman) with as much objectivity as we can muster.

Once we’re done we are sure you will find that Guayusa is the alternative to coffee to end all coffee alternatives, so lets go!


  • They both provide a similar caffeine content in a brew.
  • They are both from plants.

Key Differences:

  • The equivalent caffeine consumed from Guayusa elicits a 6-7x smaller adrenal response*1 No wonder coffee drinkers often experience side effects such as anxiety and the jitters. See the result that the team at AMATEA got with their double blind study in the table below:
Guayusa adrenaline release
  • The Guayusa plant is grown in a Chakra agroforestry system (at least ours is) in the amazon rainforest (in south America) that encourages flora and fauna around it. Most coffee is grown on open plantations that are uninhabitable by wildlife and often created by deforestation.
  • Because of the high level of polyphenols that Guayusa contains, there is a slower absorption of caffeine, the caffeine is released into the bloodstream bit by bit giving you a prolonged energy boost. Coffee is conversely famous for the “crash”.
  • Coffee is acidic with a ph level of around 5, while guayusa has a ph level around 6.4-7.1.*2 Teeth start to demineralize with ph levels under 5.5, so Guayusa is significantly safer for your teeth (read more about how guayusa benefits oral health here)
  • Guayusa has more nutrients, amino acids and polyphenols, part of the reason to this is it is unroasted (actually you can make coffee with green unroasted coffee beans and its healthy stuff (except for the acidity), it just doesn’t taste as good as roasted coffee, nor as good as Guayusa!)
  • Guayusa leaves are brewed like a tea while coffee is, well, brewed like coffee. With Guayusa you can experiment with loads of different blends, bring forth the tea connoisseur!
  • Guayusa is more fun to say. Gwhy-you-sah. This is the main reason to switch.

Results: Guayusa wins. 8 points Guayusa, 0 points Coffee.

Guayusa vs Coffee Drinker – A Short Story of (hypothetical) Identical Twins

Imagine two identical twins who have the exact same day ahead of them. They both overslept and are late for work.

One drinks guayusa in the morning the other drinks a cup of coffee.

The coffee drinker feels wired, he gets out the door 5 minutes quicker than the Guayusa drinker, although in his anxious rush he forgets to give his wife a kiss or even say goodbye, he also forgets to brush his teeth (so he has a wonderful combination of ‘coffee breath’ and ‘morning breath’!

The Guayusa drinker on the other hand is feeling a warm sense of liveliness. He is alert and focused, yet calm and amiable at the same time. He kisses and laughs with his wife before leaving on time to get out the door. He too forgets to brush his teeth, but at least Guayusa has antimicrobial properties! (the tribes in Ecuador sometimes even use it as a mouthwash).

Once out the house and on the way to the bus-stop the Guayusa drinker calmly assesses the situation. By the normal route he takes he will arrive to work at 9:20am, 20 minutes late. He’s on pretty good terms with his boss and has history of timeliness, however he is meant to meet an important client at 9:15am to close a large deal. He calls his boss and explains the situation. His boss covers for him for 5 minutes, warming up the client before introducing him at 9:20am. The deal is made and the Guayusa drinker enthusiastically faces the next task after he thanks his boss with a cup of Guayusa. No problem.

The coffee drinker arrives at exactly 9:15am rather frazzled. He didn’t have the foresight to simply call his boss, nor was he in the mood to chat. He doesn’t manage to build any rapport with his client and the deal unexpectedly falls through. What’s more, he is unable to focus after such a stressful morning. While his boss wonders if he’s lost his mojo, he goes on to alienate a couple co-workers and by 10:30am he’s starting to feel a great sense of fatigue. He has another coffee and tries to press forward. Not a great start.

Meanwhile the Guayusa drinker is still going strong. At 13:00 he takes his lunch break. He knows that by now the effects of the Guayusa must have worn off, yet he couldn’t say when exactly, because he feels absolutely fine. He still decides to have another cup of Guayusa, because he knows the caffeine will help his performance in the gym, and he really wants those rock hard abs before the next holiday.

It’s lunchtime for the coffee drinker too, but his coffee has worn off again, so he has another. At this point he is starting to feel burnt out. Even though he is awake and alert, he can sense that his body and mind are stressed out. He thinks about doing some gym, when out of nowhere the worst tooth ache attacks his gums. It feels so terrible, he goes to the bathroom to check out his teeth in the mirror. No wonder he has had trouble charming his clients! What he thought was a charming smile was actually a display of yellow and grey teeth!

So who do you want to be?

The Guayusa Tree and the Coffee Tree

Coffee is grown on ‘the bean belt’ along the equatorial zone in tropical and sub-tropical climates, best growing conditions are found between 800-2,200 metres above sea level. As mentioned before most of the coffee is grown in large monoculture farms to provide for the high global demand.

Guayusa, or Ilex Guayusa, is a species of Holly tree native to Ecuador and surrounding regions (although the dutch are experimenting with growing it in greenhouses). Guayusa is grown by the people and communities that live in the rainforest on family farms who benefit from the growing interest in their harvest. Guayusa is significantly more hardy than coffee and a lot less prone to disease, making it a more reliable source of income compared to coffee (which can also be grown in Ecuador).

But I love coffee! I could never switch!

To those who find it difficult to say good bye to coffee, let me just tell you this: he’s just not good enough for you, you had a great run – but it’s time you both move on, it’s just not working out.

But seriously, I think the health benefits are night and day between the two drinks. It’s common knowledge that stress and anxiety are terrible for the health of the mind and body, and if coffee artificially raises the stress hormone, epinephrine, to levels 6-7x higher than Guayusa, then I would say it’s a no-brainer. Besides, do you remember the first time you ever had coffee? I bet you didn’t like it, I bet you only learned to like it. In which case, it is time you learned to like a drink that is actually worth the love. Actually it shouldn’t take so long, because it’s really quite nice.

Guayusa is better than coffee

It’s time to replace coffee with Guayusa, for an energy boost that keeps on giving.

Want to learn more about Guayusa? Click here to find our more!


1* https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/News/Promotional-Features/Guayusa-gwhy-you-sah-the-Next-Generation-of-Caffeine

2* https://number18dental.com/is-coffee-bad-for-your-teeth/

We tested the guayusa ourselves using a calibrated PH meter with a 5 and 10 minute brew of our guayusa teabags and loose-leaf in 250ml of water. The 5 minute teabag brew yielded a PH of 6.60 and the 10 minute brew was measured as 6.40. The 5 minute loose-leaf brew gave a ph of 6.9 and the 10 minute brew resulted in ph of 7.1. It seems that loose-leaf is more neutral due to the larger cut of the leaves which slows down the absorption of the acids.