Like the Brew, Hate the Caffeine?

Cuppa Joe Doesn't Have to be Java

Written by Gayle

Caroline MacDougall is no amateur when it comes to the Natural Foods industry.  I had a great time visiting with her in Santa Barbara and learning about her company, Teeccino.

Caroline started working in a health food store in the 1970s in Palo Alto, and then moved to the Celestial Tea Company.  There she developed a love of all things herbal.  Celestial's teas were caffeine-free, and Caroline loved to enjoy a hot drink without the problems associated with caffeine.  She traveled around the world buying herbs for the company.  

coffee+alternative, caffeine+free, coffee+substitute
Caroline and Galen MacDougall in their Santa Barbara Office
In the 1980, Caroline began to develop tea flavors for Celestial as well as for other companies.  The Republic of Tea, Rooibos Red Teas, Yogi, Organic India, and Tulsi Teas all have teas that she developed.  She loved traveling to other countries to learn about their herbs, and in the 1990s began working in the rain forest areas of Central America.  

And Then There Was This Dream...

A literal dream.  In 1994 Caroline dreamt that she was talking to someone from the Republic of Tea.  She told him that she was going to develop a non-caffeine cappuccino.  The dream was very detailed and even included the name of the new product--Teeccino.  So with that kind of inspiration, how could she resist?

She didn't.  She went to work developing a non-caffeine, brewed coffee alternative.  She wanted it to have the brewed taste that coffee lovers desire.  She blended herbs, grains, fruits and nuts, roasted and ground to brew and taste like coffee.  She used nutritious ingredients that have been used safely for thousands of years.  It was especially satisfying to discover and use herbs, nuts, and seeds that other cultures have enjoyed.  

coffee+alternative, caffeine+free, coffee+substitute

Caroline started with her Mediterranean flavors--Java, Original, Vanilla Nut, Hazelnut, Mocha, Almond Amaretto, and Chocolate Mint.  

In the 2000s, she found the Ramon Tree seed in Guatemala.  The Ramon tree--all 130 feet of it--is from the Mulberry family.  It is a traditional food of the Mayans, and it can be roasted and brewed just like coffee, and ends up with a dark-roasted flavor.  It was quite a challenge to begin using this seed in her blends.  Caroline had to do studies for both the Guatemalan and United States governments to make sure that it was safe for consumption.  But she was able to complete the work and started to develop her Maya line of flavors--French Roast, Chocolate, and Chai.  

coffee+alternative, caffeine+free, coffee+substitute

Since then it has been one development after another.  Caroline changed her packaging from a can to the more consumer- and shelf-friendly bag, and in 2010 purchased a machine to make it possible to put the ground teeccino into tea bags.  So since 2011, consumers have been able to make and enjoy teeccino coffee alternative without a coffee brewer.  Teeccino on the go!

coffee+alternative, caffeine+free, coffee+substitute

And speaking of on-the-go, her son Galen spent two years traveling around the country in their van, doing demos in stores, and helping people learn about and try Teeccino.  He enjoyed seeing the country, rock climbing, and meeting all kinds of great people who are concerned about their health.  

There are so many health benefits to the unique blends of Teeccino.  Caroline's webite (found here) is full of great information about the dangers of caffeine, and the benefits of the super ingredients found in Teeccino.  It is non-acidic, contains potassium, and helps the body to let go of sodium and absorb potassium.  It provides a natural energy boost, without the caffeine!

A few years ago Caroline realized that along with their morning coffee ritual, people needed to have something nutritious with great staying power.  She developed TeeChia, a line of cereals, released just this year, that are packed with super seeds, soluble fiber, vitamins and minerals, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, carbohydrates and protein.  Just add hot water for a filling and delicious breakfast, or sprinkle it on to yogurt and fruit.  

coffee+alternative, caffeine+free coffee+substitute

Caroline is committed to making teeccino and teechia organic, and works with her ingredient suppliers all around the world to practice organic farming.  But many of her ingredients are gathered from the wild, or there is no reliable organic source.  So she has chosen to inform consumers on her packaging of the organic percentage (rather that just, "Made with Organic ingredients").  

coffee+alternative, caffeine+free, coffee+substitute

So as the weather cools, change your coffee habit to a teeccino ritual--full bodied and healthy, not just a jolt.  

And thank a woman with a dream!

Love,

Lassen's