Sharon Taylor stated that decaf coffee is in need of an upgrade. The creative director-turned-entrepreneur aims to elevate the segment with Velty, a brand of caffeine-free coffee with gut-friendly botanicals.
Following her diagnosis of adrenal fatigue and ADHD, Ms. Taylor renounced caffeine. The medication improved her energy and concentration, but it was unable to replace her daily coffee habit.
“I looked for great decaf options, but there weren’t many available,” she said. “In the coffee world, decaf can feel like a dirty word, but there are many caffeine-free individuals who still enjoy the flavor and ritual of coffee. I desired to rebrand decaf in a truly rebellious manner.”
Velty was created with the assistance of David Palazuelos, the chief operating officer and head of coffee at the New York-based startup. Their first offering is a “classic decaf” coffee. It combines beans from Nicaraguan and Colombian women farmers with functional ingredients that promote a variety of health benefits.
The formula contains lion’s mane and reishi mushroom for stress relief and immune system support. Artichoke-derived inulin is a prebiotic fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract. Powdered mesquite, which is rich in protein and fiber and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is a less common ingredient.
Ms. Taylor stated, “The mesquite adds a pleasant smoky, chocolatey flavor with hints of caramel and molasses.” It is also a lovely substitute for sugar, so it adds a touch of subtle sweetness.
Classic decaf coffee from Velty, freeze-dried in single-serve sachets, is sold directly to consumers via the brand’s website. Later this month, it will make its retail debut at a pop-up grocery store in Denver. Before expanding into larger brick-and-mortar formats, Ms. Taylor hopes to partner with specialty shops in New York.
Additional flavors are already in development. In the coming months, the company plans to release a limited-edition ginger and cinnamon-flavored coffee. Creating new ingredient combinations and product formats that promote digestive health is another area of emphasis.
Ms. Taylor stated, “I believe that as we begin to develop new products, they may be positioned more in the gut-friendly space than in the coffee space.” “Our future will undoubtedly involve more coffee, but there is a world of opportunity outside of that as well.”