To give an extra boost to the caffeine in coffee, the folks at Catapult Coffee have added Yerba Mate, Dong Quai, and Guarana to their Arabica beans. You can see the flecks of herbs in the photo on the right. What are these herbs?
Yerba Mate is a tea-like beverage consumed mainly in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay and southern Brazil. It is brewed from the dried leaves and stemlets of the perennial tree Ilex paraguarensis ("Yerba Mate").
Dong Quai is derived from the gnarled root of the Chinese perennial Angelica sinensis and the root of the native Japanese A. acutilobahas. It has been used for thousands of years in Asia and it is almost as popular as ginseng. Some researchers contend that active ingredients called coumarins are responsible for its effectiveness. Coumarins dilate blood vessels, stimulating the central nervous system and increasing blood flow throughout the body.
Guarana seed powder is made from the seed of the Paullinia Cupana vine - a climbing shrub found in isolated areas of the Amazon rainforest. The seed is about the size of a pea, looks like a brown pebble and has a slightly bitter taste. Guaraná has gained a reputation as a potent stimulant and aphrodisiac because of its high caffeine content. Future research may well show that various saponins also play an important part in the drug’s pharmacology.
We have been drinking the Dragon Roast blend for the past few days here at RainyDayMagazine. I have noticed that I didn't need the second cup in the afternoon. Others have noted the same as well.
It'll be interesting to see what happens when we switch back to regular coffee in a week. Of course, to do this experiment properly, we need to do it in a double blind fashion. Perhaps we'll do that after this initial test :-)