Elsewhere I’ve said that I keep a variety of beverage options on hand just to keep boredom at bay and of course to vary the nutrients and antioxidants I can partake. As of this very moment, I have corn coffee which I roasted myself, store-bought but locally-made green tea, non Dutch-processed cocoa powder, non-GMO soy milk powder (gifted to me by a church member), ginger tea or salabat, ginger-and-turmeric tea blend and also, I must admit, instant coffee -- for unexpected company, mostly.
Of the variety of hot drinks however, there’s no denying that I love coffee the most. I may drink herbal teas for the health benefits they give me but I drink coffee more for the experience than for anything. The taste and aroma of coffee just cannot be beat. Ever. Corn coffee is bitter enough, but not as flavorful. Cocoa is rich, but lacks the kick and bite of coffee. Herbal teas are soothing, but they don’t assail the senses with the heady aroma as does coffee.
However, I find that I belong to the few who are kinda sensitive to caffeine -- manifested by a difficulty in sleeping whenever I drink coffee past midday. That’s why I time my coffee trysts to the morning hours, preferably after breakfast or around 10 o’clock in the morning, never beyond that.
Store-bought coffee are usually made of coffee that has been grown with pesticides and synthetic fertilizers and so I try so hard to ignore them (which doesn’t prove successful at times, I must admit). Besides, instant coffee mixes come with non-dairy creamer that’s made of trans fats and GMO corn and the sugar is of course refined, or worse, synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame and maybe even magic sugar.
There are organic coffee beans like Fresh Start but I have not yet, despite several contemplations, come to the point of buying myself a coffee maker. I have also bought nondescript brands of native coffee but I haven’t found any whose taste captured my fancy.
Bottomline, I was looking for coffee that was free from pesticides, tasted good and offered the convenience of instant coffee mixes. Have I found what I’ve been looking for? Maybe. Or not quite.
I found Optimo recently. Here is their company website. Disclaimer: I am not paid, rewarded or compensated in any form by Optimo. This is just a product that piqued my curiosity as it's the first coffee brand I've found that has coco sugar. You can read about what coco sugar is here. I also like that they sneaked in some herbs such as green tea, ginkgo biloba and grapeseed extract. However, they have not indicated as to quality of the coffee they use -- whether it’s organic or not. The creamer is also described simply as non-dairy creamer.
If I had my way, I would make an instant coffe mix that is made of the following ingredients:
- Coffee that is certified organic and thus free from synthetic pesticide and synthetic fertilizer residues. I would love if somebody comes up with different variants of coffee -- arabica, robusta, etc.
- The sweetener should be the healthy kind and the minimally refined ones. I think muscovado sugar would be cheaper than coco sugar. I would probably switch from coco sugar to muscovado sugar-sweetened varieties from time to time.
- I would like the creamer to be coconut milk cream-based, preferably processed so as to retain the naturally-occurring MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides of coconut milk.
- As for the herbs, I think with creativity, socially responsible entrepreneurs could opt to use locally-sourced super foods like moringa powder, mangosteen rind powder, bignay or berry extracts, etc.
- I must also emphasize that this coffee should have no artificial colors, artificial flavors, free-flowing agents and harmful preservatives.
- And if it’s not asking too much, I hope the coffee would be affordable to most Filipinos -- maybe only up to twice or thrice the price of other unhealthy brands and not more than that.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a line of coffee blends that are good for the body, offer variety and give opportunities for local farmers and entrepreneurs?
Who’s up to the task of coming up with an all-natural, convenient, herb-infused and flavorful coffee? Do contact me if you have and I’ll sample, review and promote it in my blog. More importantly, I’ll drink it religiously.