Teeccino – A tea that aspires to be coffee

After I blogged about a “A drink that tastes, smells, and looks like coffee, but isn’t coffee!”, a friend of mine suggested I try Teeccino. It’s marketed as “America’s #1 Coffee Alternative”, roasted and brewed to taste just like coffee without the caffeine and acidity of coffee. (Personally, coffee without caffeine is heresy! But I’ll give this a go in the name of exploration!)

It’s made from tea, herbs, and a variety of other ingredients.

How does one make such a thing taste like coffee? I’m curious!

Oh, and it’s also supposed to be very very healthy.

I’m not that crazy about health and health foods, but I am curious to know it tastes.

I was intrigued and decided that I should give it a try! So, I ordered a box online last week (if you’re curious, you can order it from Biovea), and just got it today in the mail!

Here’s the front of the box:

Here's the front of the box!
It’s French Roast flavour!


Here’s the back of the box:

Here's the back of the box!
According to the packaging, they’re making you drink the stuff the ancient Mayans ate. That’s cool, I guess, as long as there isn’t any human sacrifice in the process.


Here’s the left side of the box, telling you how to make a cup.

Here's the left side of the box.
It’s nice to know that you can add milk and a bunch of other ingredients just as you would with coffee.


And here’s the right side of the box:

Here's the right side of the box!
Ingredients: The stuff ancient Mayans ate, AND “natural” coffee flavour.


I must say, that it’s when I started looking at this side of the box that I felt very disappointed.

So, this tea that aspires to be coffee is only able to taste like coffee because of “natural” coffee flavour? Sheesh… If I wanted real tea that tastes like coffee without adding flavouring, I’d just go for Mugicha.

This beverage is a lie!

Well, I did order a box. So let’s continue with the unpacking!

Here’s the sachet:

I must say that thus far, I've been very impressed by the product design. It's very well done!
The front of the sachet, beautifully designed.

I must say that I am very impressed by the design of the sachet. It’s so well done! It’s lovely!

The materials used, and the texture has a very premium feel to it. Very lovely!


Here’s the back of the sachet:

Here's the back of the Teeccino sachet
Instructions on the bag, telling you how to prepare a cup, and reminding you that it tastes like coffee only because they’ve added “natural” coffee flavour, whatever that means.


So now… The moment of truth. What will I find when I open it up?


Here's the inside
Behold the inside! A bag containing the promise of fake coffee!

Immediately, I brought it near my nose and gave it a good sniff. It smells nice. There’s a faint smell of coffee, that’s for sure. However, it smells more of tea with a hint of fruitiness.

Personally, I don’t like the fruity smell. It smells like a berry, but the ingredients say that there isn’t a berry inside. So, I’m not sure what it is I’m smelling. But overall, the smell is pretty pleasant.

With this, it’s time to make some fake coffee!

Behold the cup of fake coffee!
Behold the cup of fake coffee!

It certainly smells and looks like coffee. I’m surprised that it stains my cup just like real coffee too.

In terms of taste, I’m not impressed. I mean, yeah, sure, it has the faint taste of coffee. But I think it tastes more like tea. This is certainly a tea that has high aspirations to be like coffee, perhaps too desperate to emulate coffee that it embraces artificiality. Pretty much like a person with an obsession over a celebrity idol, to the extent of getting plastic surgery to look like the idol. Some resemblance, yes. But it is lacking substantially in the very thing that makes coffee awesome – caffeine and acidity – the two things I love above coffee that they proudly proclaimed to have removed from this drink. Urgh…

So this drink has failed to live up to the expectations of coffee. It’s a failed attempt at recreating fake coffee. I would have thought it’d taste more like coffee especially since they’ve added “natural” coffee flavour. But even with the addition of that, it’s still a far cry from coffee.

What if I were to judge it as tea – what is really is, and not what is tries to be – how would it fair?

Well, I think, as a tea, it is a very interesting tea. It is a tea that has many strong and complex flavours. It is actually kinda enjoyable to close your eyes, and take a slow sip and allow the multitude of flavours arise slowly in your field of consciousness. It is an interesting experience.

Would I pay SGD$12 for a box of 10 bags of fake coffee? No.

Would I pay SGD$12 for a box of 10 bags of tea? Maybe. I don’t mind having a dark and strong tea every once in a while.

Anyway, if you’re in Singapore and you’re curious to give this a try, you can order it from Biovea. That’s where I ordered mine. It’s the only online shop that does hassle-free delivery to Singapore. I got my package in less than a week. Not bad.