For many of us a cup of coffee is what gets us going in the morning. In fact, according to the British Coffee Association (BCA), it’s the most popular drink in the world with around two billion cups consumed every day, and the UK helping itself to 95 million of those.
Despite our reputation as tea drinkers, we’re clearly serious coffee enthusiasts too. The BCA adds that 80% of us that go to coffee shops do so at least once a week, and 16% actually go on a daily basis. It’s no surprise therefore that in our extensive search for the best blend, CBD has found its way into our cappuccinos. Considering many use cannabidiol (CBD) oil for its relaxing properties and coffee for the contrary, is combining the two a bit of an oxymoron?
The guys at High Tide don’t think so.
A case of the jitters
Adding non-psychoactive CBD to its cold brew coffee cans, High Tide hopes to create the same stamina and performance-boosting results as your favourite cup of java but with the added benefits of CBD, which can support the body’s endocannabinoid system and help control functions like sleep, mood, appetite and immune response.
Director Dishi Umfleet said: “The idea came from our founders, Josh and Jamie, who wanted to create the ultimate stress-free coffee. At the time, there was nothing available like it in the UK and so they set about creating a naturally sweet and flavoursome cold brew coffee and experimenting with the optimal amount of CBD.”
She added: “One of the most common complaints about cold brew or coffee in general is that people feel jittery, anxious or nervous after drinking too much of it. The CBD is meant to diminish those negative attributes associated with over-caffeination. In essence, mixing CBD with coffee amplifies alertness while taking the edge off the sometimes harsh effects of caffeine. Leaving you with a calm, focused energy that is great pre-workout or even for a yoga class. The CBD can then relax muscles post-workout, so it’s win-win! Plus, it’s tasty.”
With taste key to High Tide’s success – we’re a nation of coffee experts, after all – the team sources its own Columbian beans, roasts them in-house to an exact specification for optimal flavour and then steeps them for 24 hours. Cold brewing coffee is a slow extraction process, replacing heat with time to distil flavour from the beans, so you get a sweeter, bolder flavour with a low acidity that also makes it easy to digest.
Is this year’s CBD coffee just the latest hipster fad to hit cafés and supermarket shelves though? Some may remember the ‘avolatte’.
High Tide thinks of it more as a clean, healthy, sugar-free, energy drink that can help you get the most out of your workout or day.
Dishi Umfleet added: “CBD is becoming more and more popular in food and drink products and consumers are more aware of both the benefits of CBD and how to consume it so that it is most effective. CBD consumption in the UK is not just limited to specific age groups or classes and I think the interest in the health and wellbeing aspects of CBD will continue to grow.
“We currently have quite a few semi-professional sports people who will drink High Tide before a workout in order to get that hit of energy without the acid or jitters from the caffeine. My colleagues will drink it before they go surfing for the morning and I like to drink it when I know I have to put my head down and focus in front of the laptop for the day.”
She’s not alone to think this trend may be around for some time either. So far Londoners can add a few drops of CBD oil to any coffee they enjoy at Fitzrovia’s Mortimer House or the aptly named The Feel Good Café.
Bristol’s Mary-Jane’s Coffee also opened its flagship shop in May 2019 with the aim of bringing cannabidiol (CBD) infusion to the mainstream and clearing up some of the confusion around it. It’s a proud member of the UK’s Cannabis Trades Association and its team has done extensive testing to find the best-tasting CBD oil and a coffee that complements its earthy undertones, while enhancing CBD’s subtle terpene flavours.
Founder Jon Antoniou said: “Having tried various CBD products on the market I felt that there must be a better way to take it daily than on its own. CBD tends to have a really earthy taste, which frankly isn’t very appetising but infused with a Mary-Jane’s coffee it tastes amazing!”
He added: “It’s believed that an estimated 300,000 people in the UK are already regularly taking CBD supplements, the majority of which are purchased online and, given the current unregulated nature of the industry, it can be really difficult for people to have confidence in what they’re buying. Some CBD products on the market have been tested and found to contain THC, which is the other major compound found in the cannabis plant and is responsible for giving a ‘high’. At Mary-Jane’s, we are proud that our products are independently laboratory tested to confirm that they are THC-free.
“We not only offer a great tasting and affordable way for people to take their CBD supplement, we also seek to remove any confusion by offering our CBD supplements in standard 10mg doses. Customers can then choose to have either a single, double or triple dose. This allows customers to fully understand how much CBD they are consuming.”
This transparency seems to be winning over customers too, with the team excited about rolling out their concept to more towns and cities in the future. It looks as if Starbucks and the like might need to catch up…