UK-based beverage company BFT Drinks has launched an energy tea made from guayusa leaves which is said to have “twice as many oxidants as green tea”.
Called Yusa, the canned beverage has no tea extract or added caffeine, with all the health benefits coming from guayusa, which is native to the Amazon rainforest, primarily in Ecuador.
BFT Drinks claimed that guayusa is “the second most caffeinated plant in the world after coffee” and provides a clean, balanced and sustained energy boost.
Guayusa-based beverages have previously found popularity in the US, with organic tea brand Runa securing an investment from Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio in 2016.
Targeted at health-conscious consumers, Yusa aims to bridge the gap between health and energy drinks. Its natural mango and pineapple flavour is sweetened with stevia and has less than 2.5g of sugar per 100ml, the same amount of caffeine as in one strong cup of coffee (100mg/250ml) and the equivalent antioxidants to two cups of green tea.
In addition to guayusa, other ingredients in Yusa include a blend of carbonated water, mango and lemon fruit juices and natural flavours. The drink contains no added sugar, preservatives or taurine.
Yusa is the first product to be launched by BFT Drinks, which was formed in 2017 by three millennial entrepreneurs with a shared interest in social and environmental issues.
Founder Andy Bell said: “Yusa, as an energy tea, is bringing a totally new kind of natural, soft drink to the UK market and will appeal to those consumers who are looking for a healthier alternative to traditional energy drinks, whether they’re at the gym, at work or on the go.
“In parts of the United States, where guayusa drinks have been on the market for five years, they are already outselling Red Bull 3:1, so we’re confident that Yusa will provide a real challenge to the energy drinks sector in the UK as people start to take more notice of the ingredients in their drinks.”
The beverage is available in cases of 12 cans of 250ml, with each can retailing at £1.99.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2022
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