Our favorite drug

By Mark Skoultchi

August 13, 2008

I am happily addicted to caffeine – until I skip my normal morning dose. There follows an inevitable sluggishness and an afternoon headache. As this is immediately cured by a cup of coffee I haven’t seen much reason in the last few years to quit. Scientific findings oscillate between praise for coffee’s health benefits and the risks or detrimental effects on the body. I usually stick to reading the good findings, but this recent article in the NY Times provides a nice synopsis.

Product branding is starting to pick up on the “good for you” aspects of coffee that attempt to shift the beverage from an indulgent vice into the medicinal cure-all. Some relatively new products highlight coffee that incorporates supplements or that is specially roasted for unique health benefits. The product branding of Caffe Botanica communicates the health of the harvest and is infused with calcium while GanoDerma draws on the Latin name of the Reishi mushrooms that are included in its special recipe (and perhaps unintentionally, that it is good for the skin). Caffe Sanora gets the roots of its name in “sano” which means healthy in Spanish. This Boulder, Colorado roasting company, claims its roasting process keeps anti-oxidants in beans that will help keep you young while getting what you need to get through the day.

For now I’m happy to take my coffee with milk and no mushrooms, but you never know which new branding gimmick is going to catch on next.

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