Possibly, although I've never come across it here. It's much more common in Peru than Ecuador. Unless you have real problems with altitude, you won't need it in either Quito or Otavalo. Lots of water, no alcohol the first couple of days, and pacing yourself until you acclimate should do it nicely. Enjoy your trip!
Many hotels will provide tea bags for you. I've seen it sold at Megamaxi and in the mercado de artisanias in the Mariscal.
Does the coca tea have caffeine? I am thinking of drinking some when we land, but worry about not being able to sleep...
Not sure about the caffeine part, but I'm sure the tea is a stimulant; I don't remember ever feeling "buzzed" on it like with too much coffee or anything.
Azbuceadora - thanks for the suggestion, I will look for it in the Megamaxi, would you know if Megamaxi is opened on Sundays?
Snorkel-luvin, I would not recommend it to drink mate de coca before the bed.
When we did not know any better, we drank it at the bed time and it kept us awake.
Once we learned from our mistake, it was our morning tea in higher altitudes (above 4000m).
I agree, that it does have a stimulant, not sure about caffeine.Edited: 10:22 am, January 05, 2013
Yes, Megamaxi is open on Sundays.
It's a peruvian product. You can find it at Mercado de Iñaquito. I haven't seen it in Megamaxi for a while but YMMV. Sometimes it's sold across the street from CCI by peruvians. Again, what you usually get is a product from Perú. I seldom take it, and only by day. When trekking I usually eat panela to fight soroche, instead of coca tea. But it's still a good energizer. Quito is a great place to have tea :)
thanks again for the replies
I was in Mariscal this morning, and saw the mate de coca tea in a tienda on Calama, right next door to the English Book Store. It's in their window, very easy to get to, half-a block off of Reina Victoria towards 6 de decienbre.
bless you tropmem, thank you!