Based out of Boulder, the adaptogenic coffee alternative, Rasa was created by Lopa van der Mersch out of a need to find something energizing and healthy to drink other than coffee to help her get through her new role as a mother.
“There’s this unspoken credo amongst moms in our society that you just guzzle coffee to get through motherhood,” said van der Mersch. “Coffee has never been a good fit for my body, I get jittery and anxious. So I was like ‘I can’t do coffee but I need something to make this survivable’ and looked at all the coffee alternatives out there like really, that’s it?” Most of the coffee alternatives at the time contained sweeteners, grains and natural flavors. Upon this discovery, van der Mersch decided to create her own healthy elixir.
Founder, Lopa van der Mersch and How Rasa Came to Life
She met with an herbalist friend to produce a formula of herbs that is safe, nourishing, energizing and uplifting to the majority of the public. In this day and age of wellness, companies like Moon Juice and Sun Potion have popularized stress combating herbs like reishi, eleuthero and ashwagandha selling them in powder form. Rasa is one of the first successful herbal coffee companies to use a mix of dried adaptogenic herbs as its blend. This potion came alive four years ago and was hard launched last April and since, it is already making its mark in the wellness world.
The product line starts with the Original Rasa ($25, 8 oz.) coffee alternative which contains 12 organic herbs. On top of the original, there are two more varieties — one of which is extremely popular — the Cacao Rasa ($25, 8 oz.). This blend is the original but with an added healthy heap of Criollo Cacao. It is a healthier version than your average hot chocolate. It even has extra added benefits due to its compound theobromine which helps protect the heart.
Then there’s the Dirty Rasa ($25, 8 oz.) which is the original but with some added organic coffee.
“We had so many customers that were mixing the original [variety] with coffee,” said van der Mersch. “There’s some amazing synergy between these herbs and the coffee where it really helps to balance it out. We have a lot of people tell us I was having three to four cups a day, now I have one cup of dirty rasa, my energy sustains and I don’t have a crash.”
This is great news for avid coffee drinkers, you can still drink your java but without the sometimes negative effects. The coffee used comes from women-owned and operated farms. Not to mention, all of Rasa’s ingredients are 100 percent organic. Sustainability is a mantra here and next year all packaging is slated to be completely compostable.
As for brewing, the most recommended method is a french press or Moka pot, but there are several other methods you can use.
“It needs at least 10 minutes or pressure. Keurig uses pressure as well as espresso machines and Aeropress,” said van der Mersch. Or you can always simmer it on the stove. The site even has a link for accessories where you can buy a French press, Moka pot, mugs and even coffee additives like collagen and tocos.
“People come to us for different reasons. It’s either people who can’t do coffee and will never be able to or people who are trying to get off of coffee for health reasons and are usually devastated,” said van der Mersch. “And then people who are adding it to their coffee and aren’t interested in quitting and just want to improve or optimize their health.”
If you are unsure which variety you want to try, you can get a starter pack ($18) which includes all three varieties each in one-ounce packets. If you have auto-immune issues, Rasa just launched an AIP friendly variety which is the original mix minus the ashwagandha. In January, a new caffeine-free blend will be released and there will most likely be some holiday-inspired blends coming out next year.
In addition to buying online, you can also find Rasa in several markets like NOOCH in Denver and Lucky’s in Boulder. See the site’s store locator for a complete list of carriers.
The company is young but it already has a community of devoted customers making it a welcome addition to this new world of modern wellness.
For more info go here.
All photography courtesy of RASA Coffee Alternative.