Upgrade your morning ritual with this clinical herbalist-formulated coffee alternative designed to deliver sustainable energy and a functional daily dose of adaptogens in your morning brew.
Hands up if you’re one of the millions of people in the “…but first, coffee” category. Maybe it’s a lifeline come mid afternoon, when you’re desperate for a caffeine boost to help you power through. Maybe you credit coffee for the undeniable energy boost, the laser-focused productivity, the ritual of it all, or maybe you just love the way it tastes.
It’s true that coffee has its perks, but coffee lovers will be the first to admit their favorite dark brew has, well, a dark side. Jitters, anxiety, insomnia, digestive woes, dehydration, headaches, dependency, and full-blown addiction are all real side effects of your beloved cup of joe. While many people just put up with the downsides for the upsides, a growing number are seeking coffee alternatives —and chicory, matcha, golden milk, or hot lemon water aren’t cutting it.
That’s where companies like Rasa are shaking things up. Their coffee alternatives are dark, rich, and roasty — all the things you love about your favorite coffee. But Rasa zigs where coffee zags, meaning this stuff is actually good for you. Unlike your caffeine habit, Rasa’s adaptogenic blends are designed to support sustainable, balanced energy with ingredients that truly nourish the nervous system, and the cascading benefits are pretty impressive.
We took a closer look at Rasa to learn more about the company’s blends and nutritional claims, see how it stacks up to other brands in this growing category, and answer the biggest questions of all — how does this adaptogenic coffee alternative taste and does it do what it says it does? If you’re already prepared to make the purchase, use our coupon code FINVSFIN for 20% off!
What is Rasa coffee?
In 2015, Rasa’s founder, Lopa, had a lot going on. She welcomed her first baby during what she describes as the most stressful year of her life. And while many new moms lean into coffee to get through those sleep-deprived early years, Lopa, despite her best efforts, couldn’t do the same — it left her anxiety-ridden and unable to sleep.
In a bid to find liquid salvation, she personally tested every coffee alternative she could find. It didn’t go well. Between the off-putting taste, low-quality ingredients, lack of benefits, or environmental toll, everything on the market came up short in one or many ways. Lopa knew there had to be a better way.
Luckily, she had spent ten years devoted to studying and practicing Ayurveda. Armed with that knowledge and experience, she partnered with a clinical herbalist to come up with a blend that delivered the caffeine-esque energy boost people know and love but without the crash, and instead with the functional benefits that far exceed what coffee could ever offer.
That’s when Rasa was born. Today, it’s a full collection of coffee alternatives and herbal wellness tonics with a laser focus on bioavailability, sustainability, and social responsibility that are USDA organic, Whole30 approved, gluten and sugar free, third-party tested, and vegan. The company is currently selling nine blends, along with an adaptogenic, non-dairy creamer and the most potent mushroom extract powder on the market. In other words, things are going well.
What are adaptogens?
If you’re thinking this all sounds great, but you’re still wondering what adaptogens actually are or how they work, keep reading. Adaptogens are a classification of herbs and mushrooms that are scientifically proven to help your body respond to things like stress, fatigue, and anxiety for overall well-being. There are only a handful of plants that fit the scientific specifications.
Adaptogens help manage both physical and mental stressors, with an energizing, mood balancing, stress relieving effect that feels a little something like magic. They are similar to infrared saunas or moderate exercise, both of which contribute to eustress, a good kind of stress that helps you build stress resilience, like a workout for the nervous system.
To be considered an adaptogen, a plant must meet four criteria:
- Non-toxic when taken in normal doses
- Aids the body holistically in managing stress
- Helps the body return to homeostasis
- Influences the neuroendocrine system via one or both of the body’s stress response systems
Interestingly, adaptogens work on similar endocrine and nervous system pathways as caffeine, but they lack the physical and mental fluctuations that contribute to caffeine’s spike and crash. What’s more, adaptogens have a cumulative effect, which means that they are more effective the more regularly you take them.
When you’re getting a daily dose in your morning cup, you’re actively building your tolerance for stress. And while it’s true that there are benefits from a single cup, adaptogens work better when they’re a habit. That’s why they work particularly well as a part of your morning routine in a replacement for, or supplement to, your morning cup of coffee.
Rasa tapped into the varied benefits of adaptogens for targeted functions when they formulated their blends. Rasa’s line of blends are formulated by a clinical herbalist and designed to boost energy, enhance mental clarity, improve sleep, digestion, libido, and mood, and generally reduce stress – while also being delicious. The company launched with three blends and today offers nine, plus a plant-based creamer and a potent mushroom extract powder.
- Original — 0 mg caffeine, 3,100 mg adaptogens. Rasa’s signature flavor is rich and roasty, with a mildly nutty sweetness. Designed to support calm, nourishing energy with a 12-herb blend.
- Cacao — 5 mg caffeine, 1,550 mg adaptogens. Ecuadoran criollo cacao (direct trade and socially responsible) meets Rasa’s 12-herb blend for a chocolatey, antioxidant-rich brew. It’s immediate satisfaction in a cup.
- Bold — 0 mg caffeine, 9,700 mg adaptogens. This is Rasa’s version of a caffeine high, without the caffeine. With nine adaptogenic herbs in clinically studied doses, it has a rich, smooth flavor to power you through board meetings, leg day, or that never-ending playdate.
- Calm — 0 mg caffeine, 7,800 mg adaptogens. Formulated for the afternoon to before bedtime window, this creamy vanilla blend uses key adaptogens and blue lotus flowers noted for their calming, relaxing, restorative effects.
- Dirty — 35 mg caffeine, 1,550 mg adaptogens. If you’re looking for a bridge between coffee and coffee alternatives, this is it. Rasa paired its signature 12-herb blend with fair-trade coffee sourced from women-owned farms. Eight ounces has about a quarter of the caffeine in a traditional cup of coffee, with a balanced, sweet, chocolatey flavor and no crash.
- Spicy Rose Cacao — <5 mg caffeine, 5,000 mg adaptogens. This libido booster is formulated as an aphrodisiac designed to release tension and nourish the nervous system. It has a spicy, gingery chocolate flavor and stellar reviews.
- Super Happy Sunshine — 0 mg caffeine, 3,400 mg adaptogens. A citrus-forward blend with sweet, earthy notes, this blend is designed to support neurotransmitters for sustainable energy and a major mood boost.
- Well, Well, Wellderberry — 0 mg caffeine, 3,000 mg adaptogens. This immunity support blend is flavored with cardamom and ginger to stimulate lymphatic and circulatory flow and balance the stress response.
- AIP-Friendly – 0 mg caffeine, 3,000 mg adaptogens. This blend is for those who are following an AIP diet or are sensitive to nightshades. It contains the signature 12-herb formula, minus the ashwagandha.
- Crème de la Creamer — 0 mg caffeine, 400 mg adaptogens. Subtly sweet and richly creamy, this adaptogenic creamer supports hydration and may even boost collagen levels.
- Magnificent Mushrooms — 0 mg caffeine, 3,300 mg adaptogens. An incredibly potent blend of six mushrooms, including the only three also considered to be adaptogens, this extract power can be added to your favorite Rasa, smoothies, and broths for a major health boost.
How can Rasa be energizing without caffeine?
Two of the herbs in Rasa are classic endurance and energizing herbs: rhodiola and eleuthero. Rhodiola is often used by athletes to support peak performance, and eleuthero is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy to support adrenal health.
Interestingly, eleuthero still energizes through the adrenals, but much differently than coffee does. Coffee activates a cortisol release, which makes you feel awesome but also puts your body into a “fight or flight” state. Eleuthero tonifies and strengthens the adrenals, so the energy actually comes more from within and from your body getting stronger, as opposed to via a stress response.
Does Rasa taste like coffee?
All blends are different in taste profile, so if you’re looking for as close to that exact coffee flavor, go with the Dirty Rasa blend. Their herbal formula is blended with a coffee that’s a medium roast with a sweet, smooth, and balanced finish.
For the rest of the blends, the short answer is no, they don’t taste exactly like coffee. The original Rasa is dark and rich with a slightly bitter taste that softens and sweetens dramatically when you add something creamy. The Cacao Rasa blend tastes sort of like savoring the subtle notes of a dark chocolate bar. Each blend has it’s own description, so be sure to read into them or try their sample pack if you want a feel for all different flavors!
How does Rasa compare to other coffee alternatives?
Best coffee alternatives: Rasa vs Mudwtr vs Four Sigmatic
|Price||From $22||From $40||From $16|
|Number of coffee alternative blends||Nine||Two||Seven|
|Other products offered?||Creamer|
|Mushroom sources||California||California, Nevada||China|
Rasa reviews: What do people think?
There are over 8,300 verified reviews on the Rasa website, with an overall five-star rating.
“I was looking for a morning drink that I felt was really benefiting my body holistically. So I finally tried the Rasa starter pack. My body immediately took to the original Rasa and within two days I felt a positive change. The herbs in this blend feel like they’re working with your body instead of against it. You have to try it believe it, seriously.”
— Brooke F., verified buyer
“I turned to Rasa because I was feeling completely exhausted and drained of energy every single day. I made this switch along with many other changes to improve my health and energy levels. Dirty Rasa is the perfect coffee alternative to help you bridge the gap between coffee and the other Rasa products. It takes a couple of days to build up in your system but after a few days I noticed that I had way more energy than I can ever remember having but with absolutely no jitters or anxiety. I’ve never experienced that before! It’s been a game changer and I’m hooked! I can’t wait to try all the other varieties. Dirty Rasa is delicious- Almost like a mix between tea and coffee but I still add my usual half and half and sweetener. Make sure you follow the instructions and brew for a long time for optimum flavor!”
— Courtney L, verified buyer
“I drink RASA everyday and credit it for helping me emerge from a cycle of high anxiety. I’m very grateful.“
—Briana A., verified buyer
“Rasa Original completely replaced my morning coffee. I am an elementary school teacher (you know teachers love our coffee!) and wanted to make a change to my habits to help lower stress levels and allow for more sleep. I am sure Rasa has helped with this. No caffeine to interrupt my night, but full flavor and a natural energy boost to help with focus trough the day. And the flavor is so good!!”
—Aimee P., verified buyer
“The first time I sipped it, I could feel my entire nervous system getting detangled and smoothed in a way that was so serene. My jumpy edges just simply laid down. In addition to this effect instead of making me spacey … it firmly roots and grounds me. The taste is strong but somehow it doesn’t bother me. I am grateful for this blend so obviously well thought out.”
—Danny N., verified buyer
The bottom line: Is Rasa legit?
Turns out, you can have your cup and drink it too. With its adaptogenic coffee alternative, Rasa is changing the way people energize. And thanks to its thoughtful ingredients and commitment to sustainable source and social responsibility, the company is delivering all kinds of individual and collective benefits in the process.
From sustained energy to a balanced mood, nervous system health to better sleep, you’d be surprised what a humble cup of Rasa can do. Use coupon code FINVSFIN at checkout to save 20% off your order!
Have you tried Rasa or any other adaptogenic coffees? Let us know in the comments below!
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