We’re all familiar with the coffee jitters. That sudden feeling of anxiety, slightly sweaty palms and a more-distinct-than-usual heartbeat that seems to always hit when you’ve slightly overdone it with the caffeine. We’ve all been there. Some mornings feel more sluggish than others, so it seems reasonable that if you upsize your coffee intake, you’ll feel more alive. Sadly, it usually does the opposite.
Living in Melbourne, it’s pretty difficult to go without coffee. Trust me, I’ve tried. It’s impossible to walk through the laneways of the CBD without sniffing some freshly roasted beans wafting down from a hole-in-the-wall specialty coffee place. For someone who loves the taste of coffee, it’s a lovely, sensory experience. And although I’ve definitely experienced the side effects of too much caffeine, I’m lucky enough to not be too sensitive to it.
But others experience less than favourable side effects to even just one shot of coffee. Side effects relate either an intolerance to caffeine or over-consumption, and can include symptoms like nausea and vomiting, insomnia, stomach cramps, increased heart rate, nervousness and extreme anxiety.
Enter MUD/WTER (pronounced mud water), the latest Silicon Valley invention that is supposed to be a substitute for coffee, still giving that caffeine ‘kick’, just without the negative side effects. It claims to have one-seventh of the caffeine coffee contains, leaning on ayurvedic herbs, adaptogens, and cacao to give you ‘natural energy’, focus, and immune support without having to worry about the jitters, a lack of sleep or increased anxiety.
MUD/WTR contains cacao, masala chai, turmeric, sea salt, cinnamon, chaga, cordyceps, reishi and lions mane.
It sounds very LA and pretty good so far, but what about this name; MUD/WTR? Given the method of how to make this coffee alternative at home, the name is pretty bang on. In the package, which you can order online and receive to your door, there is a tin of ‘MUD’, an electronic frother called the Mud Whip and a sample of the brand’s coconut creamer.
You add a teaspoon of the ‘MUD’, which is powdered, into hot water which you then have to mix vigorously with the Mud Whip, or you will literally get a layer of sludge-like mud at the bottom of your cup. Then, you froth milk of your choice or their creamer, and you pour it in. They also encourage you to experiment with flavours, such as adding in some honey and trying different milks.
According to a VICE review of MUD/WTR, it has a very distinct taste; a chai-cocoa combo that tastes like a cinnamon-rich mocha, with a hint of ginger and a very earthy aftertaste. To be honest, that sounds pretty yum. It doesn’t sound a whole lot like coffee, but it sounds like it could be a pretty delicious hot drink, especially in the colder months.
And that coffee kick? Well, it’s more like a firm nudge, but it’s much more manageable than a caffeine hit. Instead of a big peak and then an even bigger crash, it’s more like a steady buzz that feels slightly closer to a cup of black tea than an espresso.
For those of us that find coffee to be a bit intense, this MUD/WTR might be a really good alternative. It’s available online here. Oh, and the branding is cute too.