What: Counting Sheep Coffee, a new coffee from a Vancouver company that has 99.9 per cent of the caffeine removed and organic valerian root, a sedative, added.
Why: “My wife loves coffee but she can’t even have decaf after 3 p.m. or she’s awake all night,” says Counting Sheep founder Deland Jessop. “The idea hit me a few years ago to make a sleepy coffee, and I basically turned our house into lab, trying all sorts of things and using my wife as a guinea pig.”
He started with a Swiss water process to remove 99.9 per cent of the caffeine from Arabica beans. “Some decaf coffee has as much caffeine as a can of Coke.”
When he first turned to the idea of adding valerian root, which has been used to combat insomnia since the Roman Empire, he thought it was non-starter. “It just stinks, like smelly socks.” But he found that the flavour of coffee masks the valerian “and my wife slept for like 11 hours. It’s amazing.”
“It’s a really cool new product that makes a nice relaxing way to wind down in the evening,” says Jessop. “Just don’t drink it in the morning.”
How much: $12.99 to $14.99 for 3/4-lb (340-g) bags of the ground coffee (which comes in “40 Winks” or the stronger “Lights Out!” variety) or about $11 for a dozen single-serve pods.
Where: Find bags of the ground coffee and the single-serve pods at Bed, Bath & Beyond stores (three in the Ottawa area) and at both Rainbow Natural Foods locations. La Boïte à Grains in Gatineau stocks bags of the ground coffee and, as of last week, Metro stores started stocking the single-serve pods.