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COFFEE WITH A KICK

Adaptogenic + nootropic RTD coffee beverages proliferate

Brands that are launching ready-to-drink (RTD) coffee beverages are lately adding adaptogens and nootropics to the ingredient stack of their products, and for good reason. Such natural additives supposedly adapt to what the body needs and might help to reduce fatigue and the toxic effects of stress, which, as it turns out, presents a perfect companion for coffee (especially because these ingredients might help lessen the fallout from consuming too much caffeine). Adaptogens are not FDA approved, but many of these herbs have been used for years for their relieving properties—check out the latest coffee brands tapping into these ingredients below.

PIVOT COLDBREW

Pivot Coldbrew is a new ready-to-drink bottled cold brew featuring nootropics and reishi, a powerful adaptogen. These additions, which Pivot calls “cognitive enhancers,” work in tandem with the cold brew to optimize energy levels, minimize jitters, and eliminate the caffeine crash, all without detracting from the flavor profile of the cold brew. For the coffee itself, Pivot sources single-origin, 100% Arabica beans from Central and South America, and partners with a 120-year-old local family roaster. The brand currently offers five SKUs of its cold brews, which are available at retailers throughout Los Angeles, as well as through a direct-to-consumer launch slated for January 25th, 2021.

QUOKKA BREW

Freshly launched back in December (and on the heels of a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign in August), Quokka Brew offers consumers the first ever “Jitterless” coffee beverage. Quokka’s 8 oz. oat milk latte is made with Fair Trade Coffee, creamy oat milk, and “a proprietary blend of organic amino acids and brain-boosting nootropics” that are meant to to eliminate jitters and the dreaded caffeine crash while still giving imbibers the boost they expect from their coffee. Ultimately, Quokka aims to provide a healthier alternative to traditional coffee; with those benefits—and clocking in at only 60 calories and 4 grams of sugar per can—we can safely say they’re on the mark.

TAIKA

A champion barista and a Facebook vet teamed up to launch Taika, a startup that offers coffee beverages featuring a stack of adaptogens and functional mushrooms that aim to cushion the fallout from accidentally over-caffeinating. Taika currently comes in three SKUs: black coffee (with “no frills”), an oat milk latte, and a macadamia milk latte, all of which feature functional ingredients like L-theanine and ashwagandha, along with the aforementioned functional mushrooms (cordyceps, reishi and lion’s mane, to be precise). What’s more, Taika counts allulose as a sweetener instead of table sugar. As of last spring, the company raised $2.7 million in seed funding.