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Teecino Sunrise

Posted Mar 20 2010 12:00am
Over the 5 years I've been sick, like all of you, I've given up just about every hedonistic food and drink from my past. Sugar, pastries, soda, alcohol, and lately even coffee. I kept the latter on the backburner of objectivity for the longest time, deploying every arm of skewed rationality to make it sound healthy. I'm deficient in stomach acid, so my stomach would love the acidity in coffee! The liver benefits are readily experienced, and it has potent antioxidants. But at the end of the day, I was ignoring how it made me feel. Caffeine causes a rise in cortisol, often causing adrenal crashes for us. Even decaf has some caffeine, and is even more acidic than regular coffee. I would be severely dehydrated after a cup. And my digestion wasn't improving--in fact it got worse--so clearly the notion of 1-for-1 replacement was a straw man.

Now that I've had no choice but to do away with coffee, I've switched over full-time to tea like many of you. Dr. Mercola has been advertising Tulsi tea as a universally-beneficial drink with no side effects. Excuse me for diverting from mind-over-matter, but tea tastes like nothing more than glorified water to me. Also, despite all the health benefits, green tea and other herbal teas do have caffeine and tannins, which can irritate digestion. The remedy for blase taste buds? I think I may have found it in Teeccino.

The first time I had Teecino was at Real Food Daily, a fantastic vegan restaurant in Los Angeles. I had it as a naturally sweetened beverage made with grains and fruits for flavor, advertised as a coffee-replacement. But upon doing more research at, I found unsweetened versions too under their Maya line, which also happens to be 100% organic. I ordered a swissgold one-cup filter (permanent filter, so no paper filters needed), which made a 10-ounce cup. It has no caffeine and high potassium to neutralize acidity (keeping it slightly alkaline). Listed ingredients: organic roasted carob, organic roasted barley, organic roasted chicory, organic roasted ramon nuts, natural coffee flavor. Sound too good to be true? Tell that to my taste buds. This is my first guiltless cup of "coffee" (I don't mind telling myself white lies). Makes me look forward to waking up again or, due to no caffeine content, turn on the fireplace, put on some Marvin, and get it on Twilight-style. Now I can move onto my 2-yr quest of finding gluten-free, alcohol-free beer. Keep diggin Watson.

For those that don't like the bitter taste of coffee and can tolerate a pinch of sweetness, the mediterranean line uses dates, figs, and other natural flavors to create sweetness. I bought the sampler of 10 flavors for $13, which comes out to $0.43/cup. Not bad for 100% organic. My organic keurig k-cups are $0.75/cup.

Hope this gives you coffee-lovers out there a get-out-of-jail-free card. Enjoy!
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