Naturally Artisanal

Passionate About Natural & Organic Food with An Artisanal Twist

Posts Tagged ‘artisan food manufacturer’

Caffeine Sensitive? Caffeine-addicted/Coffee Lover? Not caffeine-addicted/Like Coffee? Health Conscious? Environmentally Conscious? A great coffee alternative for those of us who like coffee…

Posted by smfierro on May 21, 2010

“I love my coffee and am not giving it up!”  “I have only one vice, and that is that I can’t start my day without my coffee!  “I need to have that caffeine fix or I drag for the rest of the day.”  “I can’t quit because I get headaches.”  These are just a few of the comments I have heard from so many friends, colleagues and acquaintances over the years.  And for those of you who count drinking coffee as your only vice, well congratulations to you!  This article is not about quitting coffee and is good news to those of you who are coffee drinkers and concerned about your health.

Please, continue to have your daily coffee.  But what about folks who love coffee and have been told they have developed a health condition that precludes them from ever drinking coffee

Teeccino 11oz. Resealable Bags, 10 Flavors

?  And what about those of you who are morning only coffee drinkers who wish you could enjoy coffee throughout the day, but cannot have that much caffeine later in the day?  Are there any alternatives for them which could possibly stack up to a full-bodied cup of coffee and satisfy that desire?  My experience is a resounding yes!

Again, for those of you who feel as though you can’t live without at least your daily morning cup of coffee, this article is not about dissuading you from continuing that practice.

However, if you are honest with yourself, haven’t you ever secretly dreamed about finding a great tasting coffee that does not produce the negative side affects of caffeine, has a positive impact on your health, that you can drink all day long while producing healthy side effects, including giving you that same energy boost you rely on caffeine to give you in the morning?  Caroline MacDougall, the CEO and Founder of Teeccino, shared with me when we spoke recently before she flew off to Europe, that she literally did have a dream about this very topic because she is caffeine sensitive, loves the flavor of coffee and kept thinking about a way to create a caffeine-free coffee.  In her dream she was saying “My next product is to create a caffeine-free cappuccino and it will be called Teeccino!”  She woke up saying just that and the rest is history!

With over 30 years in the herb tea industry, being caffeine-sensitive herself and loving the flavor of coffee, MacDougall set out to create a drink that would be roasted and ground to brew like coffee.  After creating well-known tea lines such as the Republic of Tea’s “Be Well Red” line of 17 teas and Organic India’s 18 Tulsi teas, while acting as the Minister of Herbs, and apprenticing under world-renowned herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy, it is no wonder she was able to create a ‘non-caffeine coffee’ in her kitchen that achieved the flavor of coffee she loves so much!  In 1994 she founded her company, Teeccino.

She found a way to combine herbs, grains, fruits and nuts roasted to brew and taste like coffee.  I drink Teeccino every week and love it.  The great thing is I prefer non-caffeinated beverages and healthier drinks, but do enjoy that occasional cup of coffee.  Teeccino is a great alternative to coffee.  My favorite flavors are Mocha and Vanilla Nut.

The great thing about Teeccino is it is truly a healthy indulgence.  Unlike experiencing some of the negative health effects of consuming too much caffeine, Teeccino is a drink you can enjoy throughout the day, on a daily basis, and experience multiple health benefits:

–  non-acidic

–  gluten free

–  heart healthy potassium and soluble fiber

–  naturally caffeine-free

–  improves digestion, elimination and intestinal health

–  great coffee replacement for those who have health conditions which eliminate coffee and caffeine from their diets

Other lifestyle benefits:

–  Enjoy it with your children!  Remember, it only brews and tastes like coffee, but is non-caffeinated and healthy…

–  “Kick The Caffeine Habit in 2 Weeks” Teeccino program

–  Combine Teeccino with coffee to decrease your amount of caffeine intake

–  Ways to drink like coffee:  Iced, Espresso, French Press, Filter Cone, Drip Coffee Maker, Latte, Cappuccino…..

–  Kosher

So Teeccino can be enjoyed by anyone…even kids!  And there’s more good news…

Teeccino has 75 and 100 percent USDA organic flavors, and has a commitment to fair trade.  All of Teeccino’s ingredients are grown by farmers exclusively for the company in the US, Europe, India and Guatemala.  In India, organic chicory is grown and in Guatemala, Teeccino only sources USDA organic ramon nuts, which limits them, as there is only one rain forest certified USDA organic, the Maya Biosphere Reserve.  In Guatemala, Teeccino supports family farmers and rain forest village families by creating new trade in this developing country in the area of promoting organic and fair trade values.  The challenge is that in the various countries where Teeccino sources their ingredients, the trees which produce and drop fruit, for example, do not all act together and this makes harvests unpredictable.  MacDougall and her team continue to seek out additional sources for organic ingredients to continue to bring Teeccino to stores across the country.

Currently you can purchase Teeccino online and in most health food/specialty retail stores at around $10USD for an 11oz. bag (312g).  It is also available in specialty stores in Canada, the UK, China and Japan.  Flavors and roast types include:

–  Mediterranean (75 percent organic):  Almond Amaretto, Vanilla Nut, Hazelnut, Java, Original, Mocha, and Chocolate Mint;  Roast Types: Medium and light

–  Maya (100 percent organic):  Caffé / French Roast, Chocolaté, and Chai; Roast Types: Dark, French roast, and Medium

–  Boutique (75 percent organic):  French Vanilla, Pumpkin Spice, Caramel Nut, Chocolate Raspberry, and Southern Pecan;  Roast Types: Dark and Medium

So what’s next for Teeccino?  Several new and exciting products set to be launched between this and next year.  Those include:

–  August 2010, Teeccino Tee Bags:  Individual ‘tea’ bags with Teeccino’s top selling flavors (French Roast, Hazelnut, Maya Chocolate, Vanilla Nut)

–  Fall 2010, Teeccino with roasted dandelion root (barley-free):  This product line is barley-free for people who still don’t want to drink Teeccino because of their fears about gluten.  The current Teeccino line of products is gluten-free, however, there are some who are uncomfortable with the barley ingredient, so the company developed this new line to address those concerns.  They are waiting to harvest the new crop.

And next year don’t be surprised if you start to see any Teeccino products in independent coffee shops!

Teeccino is easy to purchase online or in your local natural food retailer.  Also, join their active online community.  It is a great place to speak with others who probably are talking your language!


–  Sign-up for the newsletter at

–  Follow them on Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, YouTube

Try Teeccino and tell me what you think!  I would love to get your feedback and thoughts about this product.  And feel free to share your recipes.


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Vino Cotto is great on grilled pork chops! Montillo Italian Foods

Posted by smfierro on April 28, 2010

Who would have thought a response to Deena Montillo’s discussion in LinkedIn would have led me to try her Vino Cotto!  Vino Cotto as it’s been called throughout history in various parts of Italy, or “cooked wine,” is a sweet, cooked grape syrup.  The name “cooked wine” is a bit misleading because authentic Vino Cotto has no alcoholic content. For over 100 years in Calabria, Italy and since 1970 in Massachusetts, the Montillo family has been making this syrup for their own use.  In 2008 Montillo Italian Foods began making it for you and I to enjoy.

This past weekend I had a few friends over and we marinated thick pork chops with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and Vino Cotto.  To make a long story short, we really enjoyed how the product caramelized on the chops and produced a combination of sweet, savory and smoky flavors that really were delicious with our grilled vegetables which we drizzled with the syrup.

As for consistency, Vino Cotto isn’t thick like honey or maple syrup but thinner, more like a simple sugar syrup.  Don’t let that fool you though.  It’s highly versatile in its application with both savory and sweet ingredients in a variety of dishes.  It can be used on meat, seafood, vegetables, in sauces, drizzled over cooked meat or desserts, or even as an ingredient used in baked goods.  And, you know that sweet taste you get in condiment-grade balsamic vinegar?  Guess what?  It is vino cotto, often written on the back label as “cooked must” or “mosto cotto.”  Using Vino Cotto di Montillo, now you can create your own balsamic vinegar and salad dressing, too!  The list goes on… I found that this unique product even has a slightly smoky scent to it, even though

Vino Cotto, 8.5 fl. oz. bottle, Montillo Italian Foods

I have never seen it described that way.  In addition, Vino Cotto can be a healthier sweet ingredient choice.  Its nutrition label shows that it is low in calories and is cholesterol free, has no fat or salt, is a natural antioxidant, has no artificial colors or flavors, and contains no vinegar or alcohol.

I realize a lot of the information on the product is around sauces and sautéeing.  For those of us who also love to grill and the fact that it is that time of year again, I strongly recommend you try the sauce as a marinade for the grill.  It worked well on our chops, and I would imagine it would be great on salmon, steaks, shrimp and grilled veggies.

Check out Montillo Italian Foods at where you can learn more about this delicious product and even get some for yourself to try.

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