NO-JIVE JAVA
You love that morning cup, hate the caffeine. Forget decaf, it still contains some caffeine, not to mention traces of the decaffeinating chemicals. So what’s an abstemious java lover to do?

Some pure-minded coffee drinkers are turning to HERBAL COFFEES. The product category grew by more than 15 percent last year, led by Teeccino Caffe Inc., which accounted for 72 percent of that growth. Teeccino Caffe started with four coffee substitutes in 1995, and now boasts seven.

Teeccino Caffe is brewed like regular coffee, which is part of the secret, says founder and CEO Caroline MacDougall, a former Celestial Teas exec. Add-water instant competitors from heavyweights like Kellogg’s and General Mills just don’t have the depth that her brewed coffee has, she says. New brewed entrants to the market segment — like soy coffees — offer more competition, but they also help lift the category overall.

An end to Starbucks? No way, MacDougall says. Just as teas and chai appeared on the menu, she predicts the ubiquitous coffeehouses will eventually add herbal coffees. Anyone for a venti Hazelnut Herbaccino?