Meth Coffee, an edgily-named coffee company based in San Francisco, opened for business yesterday with its own special brew of super-caffeinated coffee.
Meth Coffee, described on the company website as "a volatitherapeutic beverage," is a blend of Arabian and South American coffee beans with "dusting" of yerba mate. Yerba mate is a natural stimulant made from Ilex paraguariensis, a species of holly native to subtropical Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil. Mate is prepared by steeping the dried leaves in hot water; its flavor is compared to that of green tea. Yerba mate is widely available in health food stores.
Mate contains xanthines, which are alkaloids in the same general family as caffeine, theophylline and theobromine (well-known stimulants also found in coffee and chocolate). Mate seems to have physiological effects that are different from coffee; it appears to create a mental state of wakefulness and alertness, but without some of the negative effects of caffeine (like heart palpitations and anxiety).
Science fiction enthusiasts have seen something like this before. Consider coffiest, the wonderfully profitable beverage from the prescient 1952 novel on the future of advertising - The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and CM Kornbluth. It also contains a special alkaloid:
Hmmm, there might be more to this Meth Coffee than meets the eye...
If you are interested in futuristic beverages, consider
- Synthehol Sought By Psychopharmacologists A substitute for alcohol predicted by mainstream sci-fi.
- Programmable Soda in Choice-Enabled Packaging Six flavors of soda - in a single bottle; you pick the flavor, or any combination.
(This Science Fiction in the News story used with permission from Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction.)