Beyond the Label with Michael Sharon, co-founder of Taika

Join us as we go beyond the label with food brands that we love at Martie. Today we catch up with Michael Sharon, Co-Founder and CEO of Taika. Taika makes coffee and tea that fuels creativity. How? By combining functional plants and mushrooms with high quality ingredients so that Taika delivers amazing benefits in a delicious drink.

Grab a Taika and read on.

      Taika Black Coffee

      What is your motivation behind Taika?

      I started working on Taika with my co-founder Kal Freese in early 2019. We connected over a shared love of coffee, but a desire to alleviate some of the side effects like anxiety, jitters, brain fog, heart palpitations… I’m sure you’re familiar. We didn’t want decaf either—because we still loved caffeine, just in moderation.

      Then we learned about adaptogens (natural plant extracts and functional mushrooms) that support the body’s ability to deal with stress. We started experimenting with these compounds and it turned out to be a game changer in balancing the caffeine and reducing the side effects. We set out to create a delicious coffee with high quality ingredients and adaptogens. Our blend includes:

      • L-theanine to balance caffeine 
      • Ashwagandha to promote calmness and reduce anxiety
      • Lion’s Mane for clarity and memory
      • Cordyceps to promote energy 
      • Reishi to support immunity

      We were also frustrated with so many other delicious drinks being so full of sugar, so we made our products with no sugar and minimal net carbs. I’m happy to say that all our products are keto-friendly, plant-based, and gluten-free.

      Our tagline “feel inspired, not wired” describes how Taika is used to fuel creativity - helping you get into the right mindset and flow state to tackle whatever it is you need to get done. 

      Taika Oat Milk Latte

      Which is your favorite Taika beverage? And what do you like to drink it with?

      Tough question. All of our products have a place in my heart. The Black tastes like a drip coffee, and is great when I’m fasting and waking up first thing in the morning. The Macadamia, Oat, and Mocha are absolutely delicious alone, but they also make great additions to a keto shake/smoothie. The Matcha has lower caffeine so it’s really good as an afternoon pick me up. I really like the Matcha poured over ice, or warmed up in a mug with the microwave. Actually, that goes for all our products. They all deserve to be dressed up a little!

      How does sustainability fit into your business model?

      We’re a plant-based company. Beyond just the inherent sustainability associated with being plant-based, we use macadamia milk in most of our lattes. The macadamia tree deserves more attention for its sustainability. It’s resilient to drought because it efficiently manages its water. It sequesters carbon. Its non-edible parts can be reintroduced into the ecosystem. We value both deliciousness and sustainability in our ingredient selection. 

      What do expiration dates mean to Taika? Are Taika products still good after their “best by” date?

      Our products are shelf stable for a year. The best by date is a recommendation. If you drink Taika within that year it’s guaranteed to be fine. Products past the ‘best by’ date are still perfectly safe to consume. I would recommend giving them a good shake before you open!

      Taika BevNet Awards

      What’s the award you’re holding in that pic?

      We won Best New Product at the BevNet Awards this past year. I know it’s totally washed out by the light, but I promise that’s the award. It felt really good to be validated by a leading voice in the industry. I always knew we had amazing products, it just feels nice to be able to say amazing *award winning* products.


      Taika Black Coffee

      What’s with the phone #?

      That was the original way you ordered Taika wayyy back in 2019. We first launched with a small private beta and took orders directly by text. It was usually our friends texting, so we’d chat with them and then drop them off coffee. When we launched to the public we decided to keep the phone number. It’s pretty fun, you should try texting us @ 415-212-7711.

      What’s in the pipeline next for Taika?

      We’re working on a refreshingly different sparkling yerba mate with adaptogens in collaboration with Friends With Benefits DAO (FWB).

      Shop Taika at Martie.

      Back to the Blog.