Stay Calm, Carry On, and Put the Kettle On!
By Caroline MacDougall
March 20, 2020

Dear Teeccino family,

We hope that all of you are safe wherever you are riding out this crisis, staying healthy by limiting exposure, and keeping connected despite the social distancing that is required at this time.

There are so many things to be grateful for. We give thanks for our cherished loved ones and pray for their safety. We are also so grateful that the internet plus our cell phones keep us in contact with one another and bring us inspiration from people around the world.

Let’s take the advice of the British during World War ll. They survived unbelievable bombardment and endured terrible deprivation but they managed to keep their equanimity. As the top tea drinking culture in the western world, they taught us that a hot cup of tea brings comfort in times of great challenges. Put the kettle on and make yourselves a satisfying cup to sip and enjoy!

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Teeccino is still producing and shipping:

As a food and beverage company, we are recognized as an essential business to carry on working. Fortunately we’re well stocked on ingredients and our production is running to keep the grocery shelves, our etailers and the Teeccino website fully supplied.  We always follow all good food manufacturing practices (GMPs) including gloves worn by our production team while complying with strict hygiene protocol and not being allowed to work if they are sick. We already offer paid sick leave and have expanded it so none of our employees will be deprived of income if they fall ill during these trying times.  We also have most of our office staff members working remotely.

Exciting news!

New package design:

To celebrate 25 years of marketing Teeccino, we’re excited to announce a new brand image to better convey the health promoting values we hold dear. We look forward to sharing an all-new package design from a very talented woman whose background includes designing for national brands like Starbucks® and Teavana®.

We hope you’ll love our new color palate highlighting each of Teeccino’s family of blends with their unique mandala designs and botanical illustrations. With a cleaner presentation of product information, the goal is to make it easier to understand all the health giving properties and delicious flavor in a cup of Teeccino. Have fun checking out the beautiful images on our Mediterranean, Maya and Dandelion packages!

Two new Teeccino lines:

Nothing like celebrating your 25th anniversary by creating 9 new flavors for Teeccino! I’ve been inspired by the growing interest in adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms which I’ve been consuming myself for decades. Teeccino has always been ahead of its time, and now the time is compelling us to expand our wellness offerings.

Mushroom Adaptogen Blends

I’ve paired renowned wellness mushrooms with adaptogenic herbs to bring you 6 new Teeccino blends that help you reduce stress and stay healthy.

Adaptogens are those plants and mushrooms that help the body adapt to stress, whether external or internal, while normalizing physiological functions, increasing energy and endurance, and strengthening the immune system.

Soon you’ll be able to drink a cup of Reishi Eleuthero featuring a dark roast flavor for coffee lovers, Coryceps Schisandra featuring cinnamon berry flavor for a spicy finish, and Turkey Tail Astragulus featuring toasted maple flavor for a sweet treat without added sugar. Have fun reading about these mushrooms and herbs on the internet and stay tuned to our email announcement for when our new blends are ready to ship.

Prebiotic SuperBoost™ Blends

As you know, every cup of Teeccino has prebiotic inulin that extracts naturally from chicory and dandelion roots during brewing. Prebiotics are what your probiotics need to flourish and thrive.

From the early days of Teeccino, our customers have claimed that Teeccino has made a difference to their digestion and elimination. In the last five years, new scientific studies about the microorganisms that live in our gut have revealed many revolutionary findings about what these critters do for our health. Now we know that about 70% of the immune system and over 80% of cells that produce immunoglobulin A actually reside in the gut!

I have been following this prebiotic research eagerly and just recently, I found two concentrated prebiotics that could be added to a cup of Teeccino to enhance its prebiotic properties. I’m excited to announce that two new Prebiotic Superboost blends of Teeccino will be available soon. Mango Lemon Balm featuring one of my favorite herbs to drink before bedtime and Macadamia Nut with all the rich, bold flavor that Teeccino is famous for will be shipping in the next few weeks.

Available only to our teeccino.com customers!

Although we are waiting for our new packaging for our new blends to arrive along with some of the organic adaptogenic herbs coming from India, we are able to roll out 3 of these blends in the all-purpose-grind before then. It seems so crucial at this time to deliver them to your cup to support your health. We hope you don’t mind if we sticker over some of our existing packages to get them out right away.

Today is the first day of spring so please join us in taking a moment to enjoy it by strolling through nature. It will refresh you and lessen your stress. We so look forward to hearing your feedback and thank you for your continued support!

Celebrating Women Around The World Who Harvest and Prepare the Herbs in Your Cup

By Caroline MacDougall
March 5th, 2020

One of the most satisfying things about my 40+ years sourcing herbs around the world has been providing opportunities for women to earn income where income opportunities for women in particular are scarce to nonexistent.

Study after study has shown that when women earn money, they spend it on improving the lives of their family. They invest in education for their children, better food and health care, and income-generating micro-enterprises like buying chickens and goats or growing fruits and vegetables to produce products to sell in their local market.

There is another really important aspect to women being able to earn an income. I’ve found that their social standing within their family is dramatically elevated. No longer are they looked upon simply as “cooks” like they were in the small villages I worked in in Mexico. Income gave them an element of independence producing new respect in the eyes of their husbands. They had more say in how the family budget was allocated. They had pride in themselves and also their children saw their mothers with new respect and authority.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, I’d like to honor these women by showing you some pictures of them at work harvesting, drying and preparing the herbs for your cup of Teeccino!

Every vanilla flower has to be hand pollinated in order to grow a vanilla bean. The native bee that can pollinate vanilla flowers only lives in Mexico where vanilla is indigenous. Pollinating flowers is a delicate procedure requiring small and nimble fingers. Women excel at this vital job! Every vanilla bean is handled some 600 times during the course of curing it over 4 months and women often work in the curing facility as well.

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Teeccino’s organic chicory is grown in India by smallholder farming families. Women do much of the essential weeding work in the fields in their colorful saris which has to be done by hand instead of sprayed with herbicides like conventional chicory. They spread the roots to dry after harvest and clean and sort them once they are ready for shipment.

The most rewarding project in my sourcing career has been developing the commercial value of wild ramón seeds that were going to waste on the forest floor in Guatemala. Ramón trees were called the “corn tree” by the Maya who planted them in the forest around their cities. They drank a brew made from roasted ramón seeds way before the Spaniards brought coffee trees to Central America and they ate ground ramón flour mixed with their corn flour to make it more nutritious.

When I started investigating ramón seeds as an ingredient for Teeccino, none of the people living in the Maya Biosphere Reserve knew they were edible. As a super hard, zero-fat seed, you couldn’t just pick one up and eat it. In these villages, hunger and malnutrition was a big problem and I realized that ramón seeds could help solve it. Not only did the harvest of ramón seeds provide income for women who could pick up seeds while still minding their young children, but also, it helped women create commercial enterprises.  A group of women formed a cooperative to start drying the seeds and then baking them into breads, muffins and cookies to sell in the local market.

Teeccino supported workshops given by women from the original cooperative to women in other villages to spread the knowledge of how to prepare and eat ramón seeds. Eventually the government of Guatemala became involved and started buying ramón seed baked goods to distribute to the local schools. Teachers reported that attendance was up and illness was down after the children started eating cookies and muffins made with ramón seed flour.

When we “gringos” began the harvest of wild harvested ramón seeds, they were considered “basura” or garbage because the seeds dropped to the ground from 130 ft tall trees. Our development of this wasted nutritious seed changed the nutrition and income of these villagers!

Bees, Butterflies & Your Cup of Teeccino

By Caroline MacDougall
February 27th, 2020

Bees, butterflies and other insects are essential to our food production as pollinators. Your cup of Teeccino depends on bees, both honey bees and wild bee species to ensure that crops are well pollinated. Chicory, carob, almonds, dates, figs, and dandelions are all pollinated by bees.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the massive colony collapse disorder that is plaguing honeybees. It is also affecting wild bee colonies. Last year, 40% of honeybees – over 50 billion bees – died before the spring pollination season started up again. It’s devastating to beekeepers, farmers and of course the bees!

Here in Santa Barbara, October to March, monarch butterflies return to our local grove of eucalyptus trees where they cluster to keep warm for the winter months. Last year, instead of tens of thousands of monarchs, whose golden wings make an extraordinarily beautiful site to behold, only 230 butterflies showed up. 230! In Mexico, at the reserve in the mountains northwest of Mexico City where butterflies fly over 2500 miles from the US Northeast, a similar dire reduction in butterfly numbers was recorded.

Then came the highly distressing news that two of the top local conservationists in the Mexican Monarch Biosphere Reserve were murdered this month. In many parts of the world, being an environmentalist working to protect wild habitat is a dangerous career. Yet these people are so dedicated, they continue their work despite the risk to their lives.

I was so shocked and saddened, I decided that Teeccino as a company has to do something about this. Each of us, whether as individuals or as companies, have a role to play in protecting our environment. Now more than ever, we have to take the steps that ensure there is a healthy planet for our children to inherit!

Here’s what Teeccino plans to do!

Teeccino’s Mediterranean blends depend on golden roasted almonds from California to imbue their delicious nuttiness into a brewed cup. Think Hazelnut, Vanilla Nut, Mocha, Java and many other delicious –nut blends. Over 80% of the world’s almonds are grown in California’s Central Valley. Almond orchards cover over 500,000 acres. With 2 hives per acres required for pollination, a million hives and billions of bees are at risk. One beekeeper likened the conditions in these orchards to sending bees to war. It is time to start supporting the bees instead of killing them!

Bees can fly 5 miles in search of food. Even if a farmer is organic, bees may fly to conventional fields where they are exposed to a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids that act like nicotine. These pesticides weaken bees’ immune systems and can kill them the whole hive when the pesticides are brought back from the fields. The EPA has banned 12 neonicotinoids but left 47 still on the market.

With some research, I discovered that there is a new “Bee Better Certification” for farmers founded by The Xerces Society, which supports science-based conservation and protection for pollinators. Farmers can get certified if they commit to the following:

  • No-till and no pesticide application approaches
  • Keeping a growing cover crop on soil between rows of trees or between income crops
  • Dedicating 5% of land to habitat for wild bees and growing food plants for butterflies.
  • Providing nesting sites for wild bees and butterfly host plants.

Teeccino is now committed to buying certified bee-friendly almonds that increase the survival of both honeybees and native bees. I’ve found an almond grower who is visionary about growing both conventional and organic almonds employing bee friendly methods. I’m excited about sourcing our almonds exclusively from this grower!

If you’d like to join us in supporting conservation of bees, butterflies and other pollinators, please learn more about the Xerces Society and become a member!

The Evolution of teeccino

Celebrating 25 years of Teeccino!

When I was inspired to create a caffeine-free cappuccino in 1994, I never would have ever imagined that I’d still be marketing Teeccino 25 years later. As an entrepreneur, the challenge of getting herbs to run through an espresso machine just possessed me. I don’t know about you, but when I’m struck with a vision, I never imagine all the hard work that will go into manifesting it. I just am filled with enthusiasm and think it will all be fun!

Well, it has been fun…and hard…and everything in between. The greatest reward is always hearing from all of you, whose enthusiastic embrace of Teeccino continually juices my inspiration to new heights.

For this 25th year, we are planning big things. I’m busy in my kitchen creating two new families of Teeccino flavors: Mushroom Adaptogen Herbal Coffees & Teas and Prebiotic SuperBoost Herbal Coffees & Teas. We’re planning on helping you “Stress less and digest best!”.

When you’re 25, it’s time for a new look. Soon you, our readers, will be the very first to see all new Teeccino packaging rolling off the production line. To get you ready for the change, I made a video with Galen, my son and Teeccino’s VP of Sales, showing you the evolution of Teeccino packaging from the beginning until now.

Hope you enjoy watching it! Stay tuned for more details on the launch of our new flavors in March. You’ll read it here first!

 

Tasting 25 Year Old Vintage Teeccino

 

Teeccino is 25 years old! Seems like ancient times to look back at it now. No cell phones, no internet, no social media, photographs on film that had to be developed and printed. We actually did business by making phone calls, writing and mailing letters!

 

Teeccino was started in my garage like all great entrepreneurial start-ups in America. At the time, I worked for Odwalla Juice Company selling their dried orange peel from their newly built juice plant in Dinuba, CA. We had a big blender and that’s where the very first batches of Teeccino were made in August of 1994.

 

This summer I made a discovery while cleaning my garage. Ok, I have cupboards that are deep and full of herbs and other ingredients I use in my product development. Way back in the recesses of the bottom shelf, I found a box marked Teeccino. Inside were ziplock baggies holding the retained samples from that very first production run. Yes, 25 year old Teeccino!

 

Watch my son, Galen, our VP of Sales who was 6 years old in 1994, join me in tasting vintage Teeccino 25 years later. It was a lot of fun and we lived to tell the story!

 

Happy Holidays to you and your families,

 

Pausing to Feel Grateful

It takes just a moment, only a second or two. It requires simply pausing. It can happen in the middle of anything you’re doing and if you’re like me during the holiday season, that’s an overwhelming amount of tasks.

Pause to take an in-breath. Pause to center yourself. Pause to feel gratefulness well up from the heart. Pause to exhale gratitude into the world.

It’s pretty simple and yet it’s probably the most profound thing we can do to shift our mood, change the atmosphere, and generate goodness. Feeling grateful is something we humans are uniquely capable of emanating. It benefits both ourselves, our health and it positively affects everyone around us.

 

When we radiate gratitude, when we give thanks for our beautiful planet that supports our wellbeing, when we are grateful for each other and the worldwide community that we depend upon, we shift away from fear and anxiety and renew our deepest sense of connection.

Here’s my Thanksgiving wish for all of our wonderful customers – you!

When you take a cup of Teeccino into your hands, remember how grateful we are for you. Take a sip and know that the brewed liquid we call Teeccino is just a symbol of that gratefulness.

Sipping Teeccino or any other hot beverage this holiday season is the perfect moment in which to pause and feel grateful. We will be sipping our Teeccino and sending our gratitude to you. You are our community. We strive to bring you the best possible herbs full of health benefits to enhance your optimal wellbeing.

Join us in sipping and being grateful this holiday season and throughout the coming year!

                                                    Fasting Tips To Reap Healthy Results!

Have you ever fasted or does the idea make you immediately feel starving? There was a time not long ago when fasting was out of fashion with claims that it slowed down the metabolism, wasted muscle and made blood sugar unstable. Now there’s a surge in fasting popularity as new science has proven its many health benefits that have been touted throughout the ages.

If you haven’t yet experimented with fasting, allow me to give you some tips that will help you get started. Over many years, I’ve tried every type of fast from juice fasting to water fasting, from fasting for weeks to fasting a day at a time. As my body has aged, I’ve learned how to fast differently than I fasted in my twenties and yet still get great results.

This summer, I decided to lose some weight (the age weight creep is the worst, isn’t it?). I turned to fasting when nothing else was moving the scale downwards. Having successfully lost 8 lbs or 6.5% of my body weight, I’d like to share with you how to fast and reap the health rewards!

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If you are ready for a break from caffeine, yet want a cup of tea, what are you going to reach for? Decaffeinated tea or naturally caffeine-free herbal tea?

Well, you’ve read all those health benefits that come in a cup of black and green tea, shouldn’t you just drink a decaffeinated version of them?

Not if you understand what decaffeination does to tea. It’s like drinking already brewed tea and then having someone try to put the flavor back into it and sell it to you.

Okay, there are fancy CO2 methods of decaffeinating tea, but the argument still stands. Why drink something that has been processed and has lost vital phytonutrients along the way?

If you look at the USDA data on polyphenols – the antioxidant compounds found in green and black tea – and compare it to their decaffeinated versions, you’ll find that they are greatly reduced from what they would have been if no decaffeination had occurred.

Instead, consider the choice of a cup of herbal tea, brimming with all the phytonutrients that nature put there and all the flavor just waiting to infuse into your cup. No exposure to chemical solvents or water steam baths. Lots of antioxidants just like you want. Now is your opportunity to drink a different tasting brew that brings a wider variety of phytonutrients and antioxidants into your body.

There are so many herbal choices. Like milk in your tea? Drink red teas. Like citrus or fruit flavors. There are a dizzying number of herbal teas with fabulous fruity notes from the herbs themselves complemented by natural flavors. Like spicy teas? Now you’re in for a great treat. Spicy herb teas create gentle stimulation that warms us up.

By the way, forget instant teas. There’s barely a trace of polyphenols antioxidants left in them. Brew your iced teas, be they herbal or not!

One more thing, there is caffeine in some herbal teas. Yerba maté contains caffeine at about the same level as green tea. Guarana is another caffeine-containing berry that you will see added to so-called “energy” drinks. It contains about twice the caffeine that coffee beans have. Guayusa is a relative of maté that also contains caffeine.

Marketers will tell you that their caffeine is different and is much better for you than coffee’s caffeine. Don’t’ be fooled. There is no chemical difference in the structure of caffeine, no matter what plant it occurs in. There is, however, a difference in the other phytochemicals in the plants themselves that can modulate how caffeine affects your body to some extent.

It all depends on how caffeine sensitive you are. If you don’t want any caffeine, stay away from these plants too and enjoy a wide selection of naturally caffeine-free herbal teas.

When herbal tea was introduced to the American market in the early 1970’s, tea drinkers complained that herbal tea wasn’t really tea at all. Herbal tea doesn’t contain Camellia sinensis, the caffeine-containing plant known as “tea” from which we get black tea, green tea, oolong tea, white tea, matcha and many other varieties of tea depending on where tea is grown and how the leaf is fermented and dried.

British tea connoisseurs think that herbal tea should be called an “infusion” while the French call herbal tea a “tisane”. But Americans are more practical. If it brews and looks like tea, but it’s caffeine-free and made from herbs, it’s simply called “herbal tea”.

When the 1990’s came along and coffee bars were being opened everywhere, Caroline was inspired to create Teeccino, a whole new concept for an herbal beverage that brews, looks and tastes like coffee but is made from naturally caffeine-free herbs. In the beginning, she called Teeccino an “herbal espresso” because she began brewing it in an espresso machine to make caffeine-free cappuccinos. After hearing from enthusiastic customers who wanted to brew Teeccino any way they brew coffee, it finally dawned on her that she has created “herbal coffee”! It was one of those things that after you say it, it’s so obvious, you wonder, what took you so long?

Herbal beverages offer a wide variety of healthful properties without any caffeine or acidity. Both tea and coffee contain caffeine, a drug that triggers the body’s stress response called the “flight or fight” syndrome. Too much caffeine can aggravate stress by elevating cortisol and keep you awake at night. There are many health conditions whose symptoms are made worse from too much caffeine. Naturally caffeine-free herbal teas and herbal coffees can be drunk any time of the day or night and they can help promote a good night’s sleep.

Both herbal teas and herbal coffees are made from herbs with a long tradition of being enjoyed throughout the world for many millennia. Herbs are valued for their health and wellness properties with age-old reputations for promoting optimal health. Herbal teas and herbal coffees are made from herbs that are safe to drink on a daily basis. Rest assured that pharmaceutical botanicals that shouldn’t be consumed regularly are not used in herbal beverages or wellness teas.

We hope you enjoy the many herbal beverages Caroline has developed for your tasting pleasure and to promote optimal health.

Getting the appetite under control after the holidays is a big challenge for everyone. Those frequent hunger signals may not really be necessary, but ignoring them is so difficult. The blood sugar has been on a rollercoaster of sharp spikes and subsequent crashes as insulin is pumped out in response to yet another sweet morsel or caffeine-laden jolt. If you’re feeling out of control, here are six tips for bringing balance back to your life.

Curb the caffeine

Caffeine triggers the “fight or flight” stress syndrome. When you body is in a state of stress, cortisol, the stress hormone, is elevated. Studies show that high levels of cortisol increase fat storage in the abdomen and make you want to eat fatty, high calorie foods. Best ways to reduce caffeine dependency: Blend Teeccino Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee with your coffee, gradually using less coffee over a two week period. If you think you can’t do without, restrict coffee to mornings only and replace cups of coffee with Teeccino in the afternoon and evenings. Your adrenal glands will recover their natural hormonal daily rhythmic cycle that keeps you energized without stimulants and sleepy only when it’s time to go to bed.

Watch out for chocolate

The holidays are full of chocolate treats and suddenly you find your body has daily cravings for the lift that the two stimulants in chocolate, theobromine and caffeine, bring. Give yourself a natural energy boost with a cup of Teeccino and choose one of the chocolate flavors like Mocha, Chocolaté, or Chocolate Mint to satisfy your chocolate-craving taste buds.

Relieve afternoon fatigue without stimulants

You’ll get a natural energy boost from a mug of Teeccino that makes it much easier to wean off of central nervous system stimulants from both chocolate and coffee. Drink a cup around 3 PM when you’re feeling that mid-afternoon dip and watch how you perk up again with a smooth energy lift that stays steady until it’s time to eat.

Eat 1 crisp apple before meals

Apples make a perfect snack that you can eat twice a day or 15 minutes before lunch or dinner. Apples surprisingly satisfy the appetite and studies show that eating one before a meal reduces the amount of calories consumed during the meal. A medium apple has 80 calories and won’t produce a sugar rush as the fiber helps slow the release of the sugars during digestion. Its 5 grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber gives you 20% of the daily recommended fiber intake. Fiber helps us feel full and keeps our colons healthy.

Drink a tall glass of filtered or mineral water

Wait ten minutes and oftentimes your appetite will completely go away. Water rehydrates your body and often hunger signals are satisfied once rehydration has occurred. Not so thrilled about water? Try herbal teas made with rooibos, the red tea, or Tulsi tea, either hot or chilled. The flavor will help you drink more fluid and their herbal phytonutrients like antioxidants and flavanoids help fight free radicals, lower stress and support your immune system. You can find flavors that are sweetened with stevia or licorice without any calories to fool yourself into thinking you’ve just had a sweet treat!

Satisfy your desire for sweet & rich desserts without the caloric load

Our taste buds get programmed for sweets after dinner when we’ve been regularly indulging even if we ate a filling meal. Breaking that habitual urge for just a little something, that oftentimes becomes more than just a little, is the trick. The dates, figs and roasted almonds in Teeccino’s Mediterranean flavors satisfy the taste buds for both rich and sweet flavors. Make a big frothy mug of Teeccino as a cappuccino or latte with 2% milk. Use 4 – 6 oz of heated, frothed milk added to strong brewed Teeccino. You’ll feel very content with only 85 calories balanced between protein, fat and carbohydrates and plenty of calcium and potassium for a good night’s sleep.