Meet: IKÓ Yerba Mate Drinks

Meet: IKÓ Yerba Mate Drinks

4 minute read

As part of our Meet the Brewery series, we chat with Ralph from IKÓ Yerba Mate Drinks.

Hey, I'm Ralph ("Rafe", weirdly) Founder at IKÓ Drinks.

Tell us about IKÓ Drinks

IKÓ is the daily herbal pick-me-up drink. We make it with Mate ("ma-tay"), the South American tea with the kick of coffee, the health benefits of tea and the euphoria of chocolate. I decided to take the raw tea, add some delicious natural flavours, and make it cold, sparkling and ready-to-drink.

What inspired you to launch IKÓ?

I discovered Mate tea in 2019 after I had finally left my job in the City. I was exhausted and feeling down constantly. After 2 weeks of drinking Mate, I was up earlier, happier, brighter and more focused. I would concentrate for longer, and exercise for longer. My skin improved and I even slept better. It had such a powerful and positive impact on my mental and physical well-being, I decided to bring this incredible drink to the UK and IKÓ was born.

What is Yerba Mate?

Mate (aka Yerba Mate) is actually a kind of evergreen leaf from the sub-tropical rainforest in South America. That's Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil. It's been written in one research paper: "It is difficult to find a plant in any area of the world equal to Mate in nutritional value." Quite a claim. But when you start researching the benefits of Mate, the articles just keep coming. Better energy, better mood, better focus. Better skin, better sleep, better slimming. If you don't believe me - go google it! The main thing Mate is known for is for giving you an energy lift but without any of the usual jittery anxiety or crash of other caffeine-based drinks. It's more powerful than Matcha, and more nutritious.

How are IKÓ Drinks created?

We use Mate grown in agroforestry plantations in Brazil. We give jobs to trees. They're our farmers. Agroforestry is when you grow trees and crops together. So the trees in the plantation effectively help us grow a higher quality Mate. We grow trees to grow Mate. and we grow Mate to grow trees. So the more you drink, the more trees we can employ :) We take the mate leaves, dry them and turn them into an extract using a natural water-based process. We then mix and can our drinks here in the UK, down in Devon.

IKÓ Yerba Mate Drinks & Tasting Notes

Agave & Lime - A light iced green tea flavour, with sweet notes from the agave and a refreshing citrusy edge. You can taste the Mate as a zesty herbal finish. Great in the morning as your wake-up drink if you want something less sugary than juice and less edgy than coffee!

Passionfruit & Mint - An exotic fruity iced tea flavour, with a hint of crushed mint cutting through for a refreshing lift! Excellent for wherever, whenever; to quench your thirst and lift you up.

What’s next for IKÓ?

We want to spread the word far and wide, as fast as we can! The more IKÓ we sell, the more of a positive impact we can have through our agroforestry supply chain, and simply by letting people discover a jitter-free way to keep enjoying a daily pick me up. The big dream? We want to be the nation's pick me up of choice. And if you're wondering if you'll miss a hot coffee in the winter, worry not. We'll be selling the traditional Mate tea very soon!

Discover IKO's functional drinks here

IKO Drinks Yerba Mate

Interested in functional drinks? Read our Meet the Brewery blog with Impossibrew Beer founder Mark

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