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Coffee engineered to put you to sleep. Seriously.

Freshly brewed coffee.

There’s a coffee company based in Vancouver that is, in my opinion, completely missing the point.

New Counting Sheep Coffee helps put you to sleep. Seriously. The coffee is blended with organic valerian root, which is an herbal sedative.

It comes in two varieties, Bedtime Blend/40 Winks and Lights Out. The founders of the coffee company pitched their product on the Canadian television series “Dragon’s Den.”

Should you be interested, the coffee is available on Amazon.

Counting Sheep Coffee makes you sleepy. Huh?

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This coffee will put you to sleep. Huh?

In a sign of how fragmented and specialized the coffee industry has grown, a new coffee starting to gain traction is not only decaffeinated — it has ingredients that will help put you to sleep.

“The decaf market was 10 percent of the coffee market. That’s a huge number of people drinking decaf to begin with,” said Deland Jessop, the 39-year-old co-founder of Counting Sheep Coffee. “We realized there definitely is a market. We don’t know exactly how big. But the decaf market is worth billions of dollars, so there is space there.”

Jessop is no coffee hound. In fact, in his previous career as a police officer, when someone would go on a coffee run, he asked them to bring back some apple juice.

 This is a labor of love.

The idea grew, Jessop said, because his wife loves coffee but can’t touch even decaf after 3 p.m. without staying up at night. When his question — “Why isn’t there a coffee that helps you sleep?” — yielded no answers, he turned his kitchen into a science lab.

“It’s just such a simple idea,” Jessop said. “It was easily overlooked for a very long time.”

He tried chamomile and lavender, which are typically used in teas. But the taste was so bad even his wife spit it out. Finally someone suggested valerian root, an herb that is commonly used for sleep disorders.

He partnered with a coffee roaster in Newark, N.J. They combine valerian in powdered form with coffee while it’s being roasted (right now, it’s only available in K-cups or as ground coffee; they’re working on trying to sell it as whole bean coffee).

The whole concept turns one of the primary factors of coffee — that it’ll energize you — on its head. It’s captured in the company’s motto: “The best way to start your day is now the best way to end it.”

“The ritual of having a cup of coffee is a very relaxing ritual,” he said. “It’s just a nice warm beverage you want to sit and sip … With the valerian root added, it just kind of adds to it.”

The coffee comes in two versions. One, called 40 winks, has less valerian root in it and will make you slightly drowsy. The other, called lights out, will knock you out.

I brought some for a crowd of family at Thanksgiving, where several were used to drinking decaf. The smell was odd, almost like incense. For me, not having the rich aroma of fresh coffee took away a lot of the appeal. It tasted very bitter to me, but that’s how a lot of decaf tastes.

And among the decaf drinkers, it got positive reviews on taste (and it did make us drowsy, but it’s hard to tell if it was the coffee or the turkey dinner at work).

“It can become really large — but the business could still fail at this stage,” Jessop said. “We’re at that really exciting stage.”

Regardless, it’s become part of his family’s ritual. After putting their kids to bed, Jessop and his wife used to close out most nights with a glass of wine.

“Now we put kids in bed, and have this coffee,” he said. “She’ll watch ‘The Bachelor’ and then she’s out. If I’m watching ‘The Bachelor,’ I’m out even before that.”

Oops! Keurig 2.Doh: Consumers Outsmart Unusable K-Cup Situation

k cups

Coffee manufacturer Keurig has unleashed their latest and greatest 2.0, but don’t get too excited, as the widely distributed coffeemaker is equipped to only “read” licensed K-Cups, rendering many coffee producers’ K-Cups who refuse to be part of the Green Mountain cabal useless.

The older Keurig machines take coffee pods from many different brands, not just Keurig. They also have an option for using your own coffee beans, while the newer version does not.

One of our latest finds we loved, Counting Sheep Coffee, is featured in the CNN report as one variety of unlicensed K-Cup that makes the Keurig 2.0 go “Oops!”

Consumers are flooding YouTube with amazing hacks to circumvent this dilemma, and eveniCoffee, a new upstart in single brew coffeemaker race, is zooming ahead grabbing market-share with their new machine that reads any cup and has a different method of steam brewing that reduces bitterness, even Popular Science and Ohio State ran independent tests that quantified the superiority of this over the Keurig models.

CNN reports that one Keurig coffee machine owner found a simple hack to get around Keurig Green Mountain’s (GMCR) notorious K-cup restrictions.

Keurig mandates that its licensed K-cups come equipped with tiny radio frequency emitters. Without the correct signal, Keurig 2.0 machines won’t brew coffee.

CNN shows a video on how KeurigHack.com bypasses this problem with “MacGyver-ing” a licensed K-Cup on top of the lid of an unlicensed cup will fool a Keurig 2.0 machine into brewing your off-brand coffee.

Another posted YouTube video shows a clever (but time consuming) way to circumvent Green Mountain’s bedeviling technology by taping a portion of a licensed lid to the machine’s reader. With that crafty maneuver, you can make your Keurig 2.0 brew any K-cup every time you use it.

CNN reports that last month, Keurig Green Mountain hiked their prices by 9% for the K-Cup packets used in their Keurig brewing system, as well as other single serve packets, bulk coffee and other products.

Coffee for the Sleep Deprived – Counting Sheep Coffee; Expands Distribution in U.S. After Successful Canadian Launch

Vancouver, B.C. and Newark, NJ (December 13, 2014) — The first AND only coffee product on the market that actually facilitates sleep has made its way over the Canadian border to grace America, addressing a market segment of millions of sleep deprived coffee lovers. Last year, Vancouver, B.C.-based Counting Sheep Coffee successfully launched onto the coffee scene, thanks to the initial push it received after two of its founders appeared on Dragon’s Den, the Canadian TV version of the popular American show Shark Tank. Counting Sheep Coffee immediately turned the buzz about coffee to all about the “Zzzz’s.”

 

The brand has turned that delicious cup of coffee into a bona fide nightcap and is building on its established online and retail presence with Amazon.com and Bed Bath & Beyond. In their continued expansion, Counting Sheep Coffee will ring in the New Year by stocking shelves at The Fresh Market’s 165 innovative grocery stores in 27 states across the US. A darling of the hard-to-impress Natural Foods Expo, Counting Sheep Coffee is also currently being sold at select stores and online through gourmet food emporium Balducci’s in New York, all Bed Bath & Beyond stores in Canada, and Kings Food Markets in New Jersey.

What’s spurring the growth? Well-defined product differentiation: Counting Sheep Coffee is the perfect soporific antidote to the negative effects some consumers feel with coffee: jitters, anxiety, rapid heart rate, and irritability. The average run-of-the-mill coffee does not help fight the chronic sleepless epidemic so many Americans are enduring — according to the CDC, an estimated 50 to 70 million Americans report sleep disorders.

Company CEO Deland Jessop explains that Counting Sheep Coffee’s key ingredient is organic Valerian root, an herbal sedative blended with Swiss Water® decaffeinated coffee: “It’s the first and only coffee on the market that’s designed and engineered to relax you so you can drink it before sleep. This is great news for the 1 in 4 Americans who complain of sleep issues. Our product is even a perfect substitute for that evening glass of wine, and what could be better than ending a wonderful dinner with a cup of coffee without worry?”

“Until Counting Sheep, there was nothing on the market for coffee lovers to drink before bed – and, furthermore, a product to actually enhance their sleep. We believe it fills a real void in the market,” adds Adam Cooper, Sheep Product Officer and co-founding partner at Counting Sheep Coffee.

The creation of bedtime coffee was not just happenstance. In fact, the coffee can literally be labelled as home grown: Jessop’s wife loved coffee but feared the restlessness from drinking it later in the day because she is sensitive to caffeine, even in decaffeinated coffees, as many people are. Jessop experimented with the idea of combining a water process, decaf or Arabica beans and infusing the grind with an herb that promotes sleep and relaxation.

Turning their house into a lab, Jessop experimented over six months mixing coffee with herbs known for their sleep-inducing qualities before hitting the perfect combination with Valerian root. This coffee concoction led Jessop and coffee roaster Joseph Fernandes, who by chance met at a New York coffee show in 2013, to the other founding business partners, Adam Cooper and Kalpesh Rathod.

Counting Sheep Coffee is available in single-serve pods and as ground coffee in a bag, in both the original flavors: the lighter 40 Winks (formerly Bedtime Blend) and the stronger Lights Out! Version with more Valerian root added, plus a bigger, bolder taste. More flavors are in development. Counting Sheep Coffee sells at suggested retail prices ranging from $11.99 to $14.99 in the US; its single-serve pods fit most Keurig and other popular single-serve brewers. The coffee is produced at their production facility in Newark, New Jersey.

Valerian – The Root of the Story

Valerian, a perennial flowering plant whose use as a natural treatment for sleeping disorders, restlessness and anxiety, dates back to ancient Rome and Greece. Research has found that Valerian may improve sleep quality without producing side effects. It is available in natural food stores worldwide and its therapeutic use in North America has grown significantly over the last decade. Valerian root, that magic ingredient for Counting Sheep Coffee, is a safe and popular herb that although bitter on its own, is undetectable to the taste when blended with Counting Sheep’s quality 99.9 percent decaffeinated coffee.

About Counting Sheep Coffee

Counting Sheep Coffee was founded in Vancouver, B.C. in 2013 by entrepreneurs Adam Cooper – Sheep Product Officer, Deland Jessop – Sheep Executive Officer, Joseph Fernandes – Sheep Operations Officer, and Kalpesh Rathod – Sheep Technology Officer. Counting Sheep Coffee’s proprietary blend of Swiss Water® processed decaf eliminates 99.9 percent of the caffeine and organically certified Valerian root. Underscoring their management’s passions for coffee, the Company sources beans that are rich in flavor to produce a distinctive gourmet coffee with the added benefit of facilitating sleep. In a world that doesn’t get enough sleep, the Company has found a perfect way to end the day in precisely the same way most people start it — with a hot “cup o’ joe.”

For more on Counting Sheep Coffee, visit their website: countingsheepcoffee.com/
LIKE them on Facebook, www.facebook.com/CountingSheepCoffee or
FOLLOW them on Twitter, twitter.com/CountingSheepZZ – @CountingSheepZZ

Scientists Find First Gene Network Linked to Alcoholism

Scientists Find Alcoholism Gene Network

The University of Texas at Austin has served up two shots of scientific research that could help fill a tall order – faster approval of more medications to treat alcoholism.
The Affordable Care Act contains provisions for expanding alcoholism treatment, and many dependency specialists agree that more medications are needed to supplement psycho-social therapy. So far, only three medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat alcoholism: disulfiram (Antabuse), naltrexone (Vivitrol), and acamprosate (Campral).

Related News: ACA Brings Substance Abuse and Mental Health Treatment to Millions »

Genes Gang Up to Create Dependence

The first of two studies conducted by scientists at the University’s Waggoner Center for Alcohol and Addiction Research appears in the current edition of Molecular Psychiatry. It shows that among people with an alcohol use disorder, certain genes cluster together inside the brain, much like drinking buddies of all types gather around the bar. It’s an important discovery, because it goes beyond simply identifying genes known to exist among drinkers to show how they conspire to create disease and dependence.

In a second study published today in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Waggoner scientists analyzed the effects of certain medications already approved by the FDA on mice that consumed alcohol.

Scientists Find First Gene Network Linked to Alcoholism

Both studies aim to identify medications already approved by the FDA that could be effective in the treatment of alcoholism, researcher Dayne Mayfield told Healthline.

Mayfield and his colleagues examined tissue samples from the brains of 15 alcoholics and 15 non-alcoholics. The brains, provided by New South Wales Tissue Resource Centre at the University of Sydney in Australia, came from donors who underwent a rigorous screening process. They had to be “pure alcoholics,” and not users of other brain-altering substances as well, Mayfield said.

Using RNA sequencing technology, they examined molecular gene networks inside the tissue. They could see for the first time how genes work together to create alcohol dependence.

A study on an additional 240 brain tissue samples will offer more insight but will take some time to complete, Mayfield said.

Could Cholesterol, Diabetes Drugs Treat Alcoholism?

In the second study, the researchers showed that two currently approved medications reduced alcohol consumption in lab mice. The medications, fenofibrate (Tricor), which is used to treat cholesterol, and pioglitazone (Actos), which is used to control blood sugar levels, may reduce cravings for alcohol in people trying to quit drinking, the researchers found.

Related News: Majority of Heavy Drinkers Don’t Discuss it with Their Doctors »

The next step is human laboratory studies using a limited number of people with problem drinking, lead investigator R. Adron Harris said in a statement. “We are learning a lot about the genetics of alcoholism — there is certainly a strong genetic component — and we need to use these genetics studies to find new biochemical targets for drug development,” Harris said. “However, it is extremely slow and expensive to develop and test a new drug, so progress in my lifetime is most likely if we use an existing, FDA-approved drug for a new purpose.”

Only about half of all alcoholics develop the disease due to genetic factors, said Dr. Akikur Reza Mohammad of Inspire Malibu Treatment Center in Malibu, California. He said using chemicals to correct the biological causes of alcoholism, combined with group therapy, will lead to better outcomes.

“After prolonged use of drugs and alcohol, changes happen to the brain on a molecular level. If you can hit those changes with medication, people have a better chance of staying sober.”
Dr. Akikur Reza Mohammad, Inspire Malibu Treatment Center

Mohammad told Healthline that Mayfield’s work proves what he and other addiction treatment specialists have long believed. “After prolonged use of drugs and alcohol, changes happen to the brain on a molecular level,” he said. “If you can hit those changes with medication, people have a better chance of staying sober.”

The changes in the brain lead to what Mohammad calls “reward deficiency syndrome.”  People with opiate addictions repeatedly trick the brain into rewarding them by producing endorphins. Eventually, the brain won’t make endorphins anymore, he said. Alcohol similarly changes receptors in the brain to make an alcoholic crave liquor.

“If we can fix the reward deficiency with medication, we can fix the problem,” Mohammad said.

Alcoholism is a heterogeneous disease that affects each sufferer differently, Mayfield told Healthline. He stressed, “There is no magic bullet. Any treatment program would include medication and, most likely, some of kind of behavioral therapy (such as Alcoholics Anonymous),” he said. “Successful intervention will likely include a combined approach.

Former Chrysler CEO dances through 90th birthday bash

Former Chrysler CEO dances through 90th birthday bash

 

Former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca celebrated his 90th birthday by impressively recreating the 21 Club at his Bel Air estate.

“They replicated 21 because many family celebrations were held there,” explained a spy who said the whole bash had a New York theme.

Among guests were Iacocca’s four best pals: retired LA sheriff Lee Baca, former Paramount CEO Frank Mancuso, real-estate whiz Tony Vincent and trumpeter and bandleader Ray ­Anthony.

Reported a guest after car mogul Iacocca impressively cut a rug with his sister, Delma: “Lee is still kicking the tires of life, and still dancing! Now we all are looking forward to his centennial celebration.”

His daughters, Kathy and Lia, ­co-hosted the affair with family.