Ecuadorians drink around 1,560 million liters of tea per year.
Guayusa tea is the most consumed tea in this South American country, especially by the indigenous people.
Chamomile, mint, oregano, anise, and hierba luisa (lemon beebrush) are some of the other teas that Ecuadorians enjoy, especially in the highlands.
History of Tea in Ecuador
Tea ceremonies in Ecuador exist for millenniums and are closely related to the Amazonian indigenous communities such as Kichwa, Shuar, Waorani, and others.
One of the most ancient tea rituals known in Ecuador is the Ayahuasca ceremony popular for its extraordinary spiritual depth and mind and body cleansing.
On the other hand, Guayusa is the other widely known tea originating from Ecuador that is commonly consumed in the morning due to its high caffeine content.
95% of all Guayusa tea in the world grows in Ecuador.
Tea Culture in Ecuador
The tea culture in Ecuador is mostly connected to medicinal purposes, whether during a special ceremony (Ayahuasca) or any other tea safe to drink at home.
As mentioned, the high-in-caffeine Guayusa leaves are often a part of morning tea rituals for energizing purposes.
Tea in Ecuador is mostly consumed in the highlands and the Amazonian region while the coastal provinces are more prone to coffee consumption.
Horchata tea is a popular herbal mix, especially in the highlands and it’s common to drink it at lunchtime because it improves digestion.
Teas like oregano and anise are consumed to soothe stomach discomforts, valerian root tea is consumed to aid sleep, while mint and chamomile are the most common choices when someone has flu.
Black and Green tea varieties can be purchased in specialized tea stores in the major cities, while teabags can be found in every store.