Unlocking Wellness: Embracing the Power of Adaptogenic Drinks for a Balanced Life
Not Your Average Joe
If you’re anything like us, you love (or maybe even feel you need) to start your morning with a big, hot cup of Joe. French press, pour over, espresso, latte, cappuccino, americano - the options are endless. While some coffee drinkers might have their consistent go-to, others become ecstatic when the seasons change and new flavors or adaptogenic drinks (more on this below) come around to try.
The coffee and tea menu here at the Green Pineapple Wellness Cafe boasts a variety of preparations of ethically and sustainably sourced Buddy Brew Coffee roasts. Choose your favorite from an iced cold brew to a hot frothy Caramel Latte, steamed with your choice of our plant-based milks or organic whole milk. The options are endless with our styles, flavors, different offerings of milks, and sizes. Any coffee connoisseur is bound to be pleased.
Is coffee not your cup of tea? No problem. We’ve got you covered with our wide selection of TeaPigs herbal teas. They’re also ethically and sustainably sourced with an impressive commitment to environmentally friendly packaging. So whether you take your tea black, with a little milk and honey, iced, or paired with some lavender and steamed milk (like our London Fog Latte) you’ll surely find something to satisfy your sipping desires. With so many flavors to choose from, we’re a tea lover’s paradise!
Coffee and tea aren’t all we’ve got to fill your cup though. You’ll also find the classic Chai Latte, the now familiar Golden Milk Latte, and the increasingly popular Matcha Latte feeling adventurous? Try our brow-raising, eccentric Beet & Reishi Latte and our exotic Butterfly Latte.
Now these lattes are not your average cup of Joe. And as a matter of fact, they’re traditionally made sans coffee (though you’re welcome to “make it dirty” by adding a shot of espresso). Instead, they contain a variety of spices with herb, root and tea powders, which we then pair with your choice of milk and serve steamed up hot or chilled over ice.
Besides being filled with delicious flavors, these latte drinks are also filled with loads of benefits. Providing a plethora of nutrients, many of them are high in antioxidants and have mega anti-inflammatory properties. Some of their ingredients are known as adaptogens, and others have adaptogenic-like properties, having similar effects on calming the body and mind, and restoring balance.
If you’re not yet familiar with adaptogens, they are substances, such as herbs, mushrooms, roots and other plants that naturally assist the body in managing, or “adapting”, to stress, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional. Their goal is to prevent fatigue, and to restore homeostasis after experiencing imbalances caused by stressful situations. Adaptogens work to calm anxiety by adjusting levels of cortisol (aka the stress hormone), and increasing levels of serotonin and dopamine, bringing the body out of fight or flight mode and back to an efficiently functioning base line. Basically, adaptogens are able to assess the body’s needs in the moment, and adapt accordingly.
While coffee packs a strong punch of caffeine, boosting energy and alertness, (all whiles smelling great too!) it’s certainly not for everyone, nor for any time. The caffeine in coffee can sometimes inadvertently lead to anxiety, restlessness, and sleeplessness for some people.
In our busy lives, we often find ourselves physically and mentally drained, short on energy, and high on stress. We’re looking to fill our mugs with something to help us get through the day, yet still sleep well at night.
That said, our specialty lattes are a wonderful option if you’re looking for the perks of mental sharpness, a gentle boost of energy yet calm nerves, and an abundance of good health and flavor all in one cup and at any time of day!
So let’s take a closer look at our selection, and discover some of the surprising benefits we've got brewing to help support your wellbeing.
We’ll start with the ever-popular Chai Latte. Chai is actually a black tea infused with herbs and spices. The spices tend to vary slightly by brandproducer, so we’ll make references here to the most common, and specifically to some of those found in the Holy Kakow brand we carry:
Ginger- Some consider this root to be adaptogenic, as it can calm anxiety and balance hormones that have gotten out of whack due to stress. Ginger is well known to ease stomach upset and aid in digestion, issues which are often triggered by physical and mental stress.
Cinnamon- Just the smell of cinnamon is soothing. It’s known to help stabilize blood sugar, which when out of balance can cause fatigue and anxiety, as well as lead to insulin resistance and diabetes over time. The bioactive compounds in cinnamon have been found to benefit brain health by reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain, thus improving cognitive function, learning abilities, and memory.
Cardamom- Known as the “Queen of Spices”, this spice is used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine. It is believed to have antidepressant properties, helping to calm anxiety and symptoms of PTSD. It is also an anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve muscle and joint aches and pains.
Clove- Clove induces hormones that regulate stress and relieve anxiety, and help fight exhaustion and fatigue. It is soothing to the senses, and also a great aid for proper digestion.
GOLDEN MILK LATTE:
Originating in Asian countries ages ago, the pungent Golden Milk Latte has recently gained tremendous popularity in the United States. We make ours with our own signature Golden Immunity blend. A warming and energizing mix of spices, our blend combines the powers of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and cardamom with nutmeg and turmeric.
Nutmeg- has been shown to promote relaxation, and eases stress and depression by activating serotonin and dopamine. It also has the potential to lower blood pressure during stressful times. Stimulating brain function, nutmeg can improve concentration and focus, and ward off fatigue.
Turmeric- a root which is part of the ginger family, is considered as a secondary and supporting adaptogen. Like ginger, it contains curcumin, a powerful anti-inflammatory. Compounds in turmeric help regulate specific physiological pathways, reducing cortisol and increasing serotonin, and balancing the adrenal glands, aiding in supporting a healthy stress response in the body.
Newly trending, and becoming more widely known, is the Matcha Latte.
Loaded with antioxidants, Matcha is a specific style of green tea where the leaves of the plant are ground into a fine powder, and mixed with either milk or water to drink. Whereas typically, tea leaves are steeped but not wholly consumed, with matcha you are taking in the plant itself.
Although Matcha does naturally contain caffeine, it doesn’t raise cortisol levels. Instead, the L-theanine found in Matcha actually combats the effects of caffeine, providing alertness without draining the adrenals. It acts as an adaptogen by adjusting levels of adrenaline and cortisol according to the body's needs. L-theanine also increases serotonin and dopamine in the brain, helping to fight mental stress and calming the mind and body.
Matcha green tea is said to have the highest amounts of Catechins, compounds found in tea, which are excellent for maintaining stamina and muscle strength during physical exertion. It is an abundant source specifically of EGCG, a powerful catechin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and boosts metabolism.
Now, you are probably asking yourself, “what on Earth is a Butterfly Latte?!” Rest assured, it is not made of butterflies or their wings. To make this beautiful blue-hued latte, we use Butterfly Pea powder, which is made by grinding the petals (similar to matcha) of the Butterfly Pea plant. Like matcha, this beverage is consumed by mixing the powder with either water, for a tea, or milk for a latte.
It is extremely rich in flavonoids and antioxidants and, like green tea, contains EGCG, though the two plants are not related. Butterfly Pea powder is said to be adaptogenic, and a natural nootropic, supporting brain health by boosting cognition, and improving memory and learning abilities. Research has shown it has the ability to relax the nervous system, reducing stress and calming nerves and anxiety.
You can enjoy this soothing, beautiful beverage day or night, as it does not contain caffeine, and may even help promote restful sleep.
BEET & REISHI LATTE:
This earthy, deep red colored latte is made from both Beetroot and Reishi powders, which are mixed in with your choice of milk. It is warming and comforting when served steamed, and grounding and soothing over ice.
The Beetroot powder comes from dehydrated and then ground beets, and just one teaspoon of the powder is equivalent to one medium sized beet! Athletes have grown to value beet powder, as it can benefit both athletic performance and recovery. Beets are high in nitrates, which when consumed convert into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide encourages the opening of your blood vessels, improving circulation, and supplying your respiratory system, muscles, and brain with more oxygen. The increased blood flow to the brain, specifically to the frontal lobe, enhances cognitive function, having positive impacts on memory, focus, and decision making, as well degenerative disease prevention.
Reishi, a type of mushroom, is one most commonly used for its adaptogenic properties. This mushroom is anti-inflammatory, immune boosting, and enhances sharp neurological function.
The adaptogenic compounds found in Reishi boast support for the adrenal glands, lowering cortisol levels and balancing adrenaline, promoting a healthy stress response. It is particularly good with managing stress caused by low oxygen levels and low temperatures, as well as exercise induced stress within muscles. Reishi can also have a calming and sedative effect on the nervous system, alleviating anxiety and helping to promote restful sleep.
Now that you know more of the many perks each of these specialty beverages, it’s easy to see why these lattes are all the latest craze. The hard part will be in deciding which one to try first!
Whether you stop in for a good ol’ fashioned cup of Joe, a steamy mug of herbal tea, or one of our many adaptogenic drinks, we look forward to seeing you at the Green Pineapple Wellness Cafe and serving you a cup of delicious wellbeing.