Herbal tea? I know, we’ve been calling Teeccino “herbal coffee” for nearly twenty years. But no matter how many times we say, “There’s no milk in soy milk, no butter in peanut butter, and no coffee in herbal coffee!”, people are still confused. It’s just been so hard for people to understand how Teeccino could taste so much like coffee but have no coffee in it.
Teeccino Tee-bags get referred to as tea all the time. Well let’s face it, you can hear ‘tea’ in our name so people think Teeccino must be tea especially when it’s in a tea bag. (FYI: there’s no “tea” in herbal tea either!)
After much brainstorming, we’ve decided to reposition Teeccino’s Tee-bags as “herbal tea” instead of “herbal coffee”. But how to distinguish our herbal tea from everyone else’s? How to convey that our herbal tea tastes like coffee?
That’s when it came to me. Every hot beverage brand is identified with an ingredient. Start with coffee and tea themselves. Then look at brands that have been built around yerba mate, rooibos, tulsi, and so on. But we’ve never chosen one of Teeccino’s ingredients to feature over any of the others because we have so many wonderful healthy herbs that contribute to its robust body. Teeccino’s coffee-like flavor depends on several ingredients that are popular coffee alternatives in their respective cultures. So, let me tell you about the one we chose and why we think it could be the launching point for many more people discovering Teeccino!
French coffee and chicory:
Ever heard of “French Coffee”? That would be coffee blended with roasted chicory root. If you’re in the South, especially Louisiana where French Coffee is so popular, a cup
would have about 30% chicory in it. People who love French coffee drink it for the smooth flavor that chicory adds while it lowers the acidity of coffee too. The French also knew that chicory helps digestion although only recently has the reason why been discovered which I’ll tell you more about in a minute.
So yes, we’ve chosen to reposition Teeccino Tee-bags as, “Chicory Herbal Tea”, because we think it will help people recognize that Teeccino tastes like coffee. Chicory is in every flavor of Teeccino and no other brand of herbal tea can claim that they have a tea that tastes like coffee even though they may have a bit of chicory in their tea blends. Here’s why!
Teeccino’s ‘plump’ Tee-bags:
Only Teeccino Tee-bags have 6 grams of ingredients to produce the body of coffee. You can’t get coffee-like flavor with itty bitty tea bags that only hold 1-2 grams. We had to buy a special tea bag machine that makes that nice big bag to hold enough Teeccino so that when you steep it, you get full, robust body. That’s why it took us so long to produce Tee-bags. We couldn’t find a machine capable of making the size bag we needed until one was finally invented. Do you realize that when you buy a box of Teeccino Tee-bags you’re getting two to three times the herbal tea that is in other brand’s boxes?
Now let’s go back to chicory so I can tell you more about why we chose it out of all our ingredients.
Chicory’s prebiotic: inulin
Chicory root is full of inulin. If you’ve followed my newsletters for awhile, you’ve heard me talk about how important it is to get enough inulin in our diet. Inulin is a soluble fiber that occurs in thousands of plants including bananas, wheat and garlic, but only in small quantities. Chicory has the highest amount of inulin of any plant. Our ancestors used to eat 15 grams of inulin each day, but we only average 2 grams. Unless we drink Teeccino. A couple of cups of Teeccino can double the amount of inulin you consume daily.
Let me digress for a moment to tell you why you want to have more inulin in your diet. Inulin is consumed by the beneficial gut flora that are called “probiotics”, which is why inulin is called a “prebiotic”. It’s necessary to establish a healthy colony of good bacteria in your colon and science is now revealing how much good health depends on our gut flora. In fact, the strength of our immune system is dependent on these microflora that live in our colon!
Inulin also increases the absorption of minerals like calcium and iron, and it helps stabilize your blood sugar. It even helps reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. There’s new science showing that inulin can aid weight loss by supporting the right type of gut flora in the colon. I promise you, new discoveries about the importance of inulin will continue well into the future as science learns more about the billions of beneficial bacteria that live in our intestines and without which we can’t thrive!
Chicory is showing up in all kinds of foods
You may not realize it but the red leaves with white veins in your salad are chicory. Radicchio and endive are both types of chicory salad leaves. If you read food labels, I bet you’ve notice the addition of “chicory flour” and inulin to many foods these days including bread, ice cream, energy bars, cereals, and beverages because chicory ingredients contribute many properties that improve mouth feel, texture and stability.
Teeccino’s blend of roasted ingredients:
Teeccino wouldn’t be what it is without the blend of other roasted ingredients that deliver the wonderful synergy of flavor that we all love. Did you know that “orzo” or barley is Italy’s favorite caffeine-free roasted brew? Have you heard me describe how the Maya roasted ramón seeds and drank them as a coffee-like beverage long before the Spaniards brought coffee to the Americas? Ramón seeds bring depth of dark roasted flavor to Teeccino’s French Roast, Chocolaté, and Dandelion Dark Roast.
Speaking of dandelion root, it too has long been roasted and enjoyed as a coffee-like beverage. When I went to create certified gluten-free flavors for Teeccino, I added roasted dandelion root to replace barley. Dandelion root is famed for its liver detoxification properties and its bitterness adds a new dimension to Teeccino that is getting rave revues.
We all love chocolate and Teeccino gets its chocolaty flavor notes from roasted Spanish carob pods that have a touch of sweetness too. Carob adds the creamy quality to Teeccino that I love to accent with other creamy flavors like vanilla and caramel.
How fans describe Teeccino’s flavor
Here are the common words we hear from Teeccino fans when they compare it to coffee: smoother, richer and creamier. Now it is true that the synergy of all of Teeccino’s ingredients produce those characteristics. But chicory was the clear winner if we had to zero in on only one. Chicory is the best known coffee alternative of them all. It has the most science behind its health benefits. People recognize it as a common ingredient in foods and beverages. That enables everyone to feel like Teeccino is something familiar rather than unknown.
What do you think?
Tell us quick, do you like this change of identity or not? Teeccino Chicory Herbal Tea will be gracing our Tee-bag boxes soon, but let me reassure you of one thing. Teeccino 11 oz bags with the all-purpose grind are staying “Herbal Coffee”. We’re separating “herbal tea” from “herbal coffee” since you brew one like tea and the other like coffee. Seems simple enough, doesn’t it?
We plan to add “Chicory” to “Herbal Coffee” on the 11oz bags but we’ve decided to use a single quotation mark around ‘coffee’ as in Chicory Herbal ‘Coffee’. We’re hoping that will help people understand once and for all: THERE’S NO COFFEE IN HERBAL COFFEE…and none in herbal tea either! Ok, I need to hear from all of you, our devoted Teeccino fans – will this change make it easier to describe Teeccino when you tell your friends and family about this drink you love?