Pound Ridge’s Mary Tedesco is a self-proclaimed coffee freak. Her friend and co-worker Kathleen Schoen, a Katonah resident, on the other hand, is a green tea fanatic.
“Kathleen is always telling me to drink more green tea,” says Tedesco, a personal trainer to the stars and co-owner of The Gym @ BodyFit in Cross River. “So one day four years ago I was ordering my afternoon coffee at Starbucks, and the girl next to me ordered green tea. And I was like, ‘Oh god, it’s like Kathleen is haunting me.’ And then driving home I was like, ‘Why can’t I just put green tea in my coffee?’”
Tedesco and Schoen did exactly that, and by mid-2013 they had developed a line of organic, fair-trade, herb- and botanical-infused ground coffee called ULIVjava in three varieties: Lean, which contains astragalus and eleuthero root to boost metabolism; Happy, with St. John’s wort and valerian root to boost mood; and GLOW, with burdock root, milk thistle, and rooibos tea to purify and nourish skin and hair. All contain green tea, which is high in antioxidants and is said to reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases. The Lean line spawned a bottled cold-coffee beverage (it comes in mocha and vanilla and is just 80 calories), infused with the same herbs as its coffee-grounds cousin.
Here’s the twist: Tedesco has been Martha Stewart’s trainer for 13 years. “When we thought we had it perfected, I took it to Martha,” she says. Stewart loved it so much that she became a partner in the company and slapped her name on the bottle, then sent Tedesco and Schoen off to meet with top beverage industry execs to bring the product to market. ULIVjava hit shelves in July.