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Home > PowerCafe > Press & News > PowerCafe Comes To The Bay Area Food Market

Maté achievers
Paul Reidinger
San Francisco Bay Guardian, 06/14/00

IF YOU GREW up drinking Jolt Cola (immortalized on The Simpsons as Buzz Cola), you're probably part of the market for PowerCafe. Sounds like a fancy laptop that also brews espresso, but really it's organic French-roast coffee (from Jeremiah's Pick, the seven-year-old offshoot of Caffe Trieste) that's been infused with yerba maté, an herb long used by South American aboriginals to make a stimulating tea.

The Jeremiah's Pick people are touting PowerCafe as providing "more of a buzz than regular coffee" without the side effects of dizziness and nausea (and irritability?) ordinary caffeine can induce. The theory is that the stimulants in yerba maté help "take the edge off" the caffeine without replacing it. No wonder it provides an extra charge, edge or no.

The Nutrition Bible (Morrow, 1995) gives a slightly less giddy account of maté: "A revitalizing bitter green tea," the book reports, "brewed from the toasted leaves of a wild holly that carpets the mountains of Argentina, southern Brazil and Paraguay, ... maté is [like coffee and tea] a stimulant containing caffeine and tannin.... Extracts of maté are also used as a flavoring by American soft-drink manufacturers."

Hmm. Can that possibly be a factoid to tempt coffee drinkers? I will say that PowerCafe, while intense and smooth, lacks the bitter edge French roasts often have. Instead it seems to have distinct chocolate and caramel notes that held up well in my morning café crème. The Jeremiah's Pick people, for their part, believe that the maté lends the coffee a "greenish, citrusy" dimension. Either way, it's quite good, and barely more expensive than ordinary coffee beans. The Bible also notes that maté is "generally regarded as safe." As for the extra kick: I didn't notice any. But no irritability, either – at least, no more than usual

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
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