Grocery News: The All-Important Hot Morning Beverage

[ 3 ] April 28, 2010 |

By Katy Killilea

Caffeine-addicted parents cherish that first hot sip from the morning cup. We need it more than food. More than companionship. runaIt’s painful to converse before the hot morning beverage. Children warn each other, “Leave her alone. She didn’t have her drink yet.” While I’d never try to convert a coffee user, there are two local companies offering alternatives worth your consideration.

Runa is a local (headquartered right on Power Street on the East Side) company offering guayusa (pronounced why YOU suh). To make the drink, you steep dried leaves, just as you would for tea. Guayusa promises all the caffeine of coffee, but with no jitters and no mid-morning crash. It’s not the same as South America’s yerba mate, but may be its more potent Central American cousin. It’s promise is very appealing: drink it and you’ll be alert, yet relaxed. The PR materials make guayusa sound almost illegal: “as you take your first sip, you may feel a slight tingle down your spine, or a smile creeping over your face. Tea_Guys_Tea_Tins_3These are the rejuvenating effects of this enchanting leaf.” It brews up dark like black tea, but tastes fresh and herby. As promised, it got my brain humming, jitterlessly. Guayusa is grown sustainably in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and Runa’s mission is to improve the  lives of Ecuadorian farmers economically, environmentally, and socially. At $14 for 100 grams, it’s not Tetley. But it’s a small price to pay for a rainforest adventure in a cup, the potential for mind-altering benefits, and for all of the goodwill this small, local company is bundling up in each package.Tea_Guys_Tea_Gift

At our house, when we’re not deep in a pot of guyusa, we drink black tea. Strong black tea. PG Tips, served with a glug of milk. I love my morning drink, and wasn’t looking for a replacement. But recently at The Duck and Bunny I had the nicest pot of tea (organic Ceylon, to be exact). It came from Tea Guys in Hatfield, Massachusetts. Tea Guys offers a dazzling menu of loose teas, some with very silly sounding flavors (Carrot Cake, Green Walnut), with a range of caffeine levels. For serious caffeine, try Morning Americano (170 grams, $10) which combines a little bit of ground cocoa bean with black tea. Not sure what varieties to try? Order samples (for $2.25 Tea Guys will send enough leaves for about 4 cups.)

What do you like best in your morning cup? Share your favorites with us.

Editors note: Runa and Tea Guys provided samples for review.

Category: grocery news


Katy Killilea

about the author ()

Katy Killilea lives in Barrington with her husband, their sons (2001 + 2003), and a dog named Grover. Katy loves reading, cooking, loud pants, the Beehive in Bristol, and learning everything she can about Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. She says more about that at Bigfoot Child Have Diabetes.

Comments (3)

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  1. Decaf black tea with raw honey and coconut milk. Yep, it’s the stuff I dream about and when my husband makes it for me in the morning, it can taste that much better.

  2. calendar katy says:

    what’s your brand of decaf tea?

  3. Anisa Raoof Anisa says:

    My morning cup is a handmade coffee mug made by Jamie Guggina (http://www.coolpots.com/) filled with hot coffee and a bit of cream, no sugar. Favorite brand is New Harvest.

    At night my favorite beverage is simple decaf green tea by Stash.

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