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What is Club-Mate?
Club-Mate is an energy drink based on Yerba mate tea extract with some added caffeine. It is well-known as the most popular club drink in Berlin, which is a kind-of cool place. It is mixed with vodka, rum, or Jäger, and helps you keep partying through the night. It’s not just a club drink though: Berliners drink it any time of day, whenever they need an energy boost. It’s especially popular with startups and hackers. It’s so popular that North Americans who got hooked on it in Berlin have been homebrewing it.
Club-Mate also happens to have way less sugar and calories than soft drinks and other energy drinks. There are only 20 calories per 100 mL of Club-Mate, compared with 46 calories per 100mL of the most popular energy drink in North America. That’s less than half as many calories.
Yerba mate: wonder-herb or malady-plant?
Wonder-herb! The Yerba mate plant grows in South America and is brewed into a tea called Mate. It is insanely popular down there, especially in Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina (where it is the national drink). According to the ever-reliable Wikipedia, yerba mate has more antioxidants than green tea, improves the immune system, acts as an appetite suppressant and weight loss tool, increases mental energy and focus, and promotes a deeper sleep. It also really helps hangovers for some people.
How does it taste?
Club-Mate is known for being an acquired taste. The official German slogan translates to “You’ll get used to it.” For most people, you’ll be hooked the second or third time you drink it.
How much caffeine does it have?
In addition to the yerba mate extract 70 mg is added per 330mL bottle. That’s about as much as a single espresso shot.
What’s in it? Is it vegan?
Club-Mate contains carbonated water, glucose-fructose syrup, sugar, yerba maté extract (0.4%), citric acid, caffeine, natural flavors, and caramel color. No animal products whatsoever. That means no Taurine.
How do you pronounce Club-Mate?
Germans say KLOOB MAH-tuh. But you’re good pronouncing it however you want, just remember “Mate” doesn’t rhyme with “gate.”