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I’m always on the lookout for exciting innovations in the industry. Recently, I learned about a new product called “Px coffee” from the startup Rarebird Coffee.
The science behind this new type of coffee is fascinating and definitely intriguing.
Let’s take a closer look at how Px works and why specialty coffee lovers should be excited about this innovation from Rarebird Coffee.
What is Px Coffee?
So what exactly is “Px,” and how does it relate to coffee? Px stands for paraxanthine, which is a molecule that your body naturally produces when it metabolizes caffeine.
After enjoying your morning cup of coffee, about 80% of that caffeine gets broken down into Px by an enzyme in our bodies called cytochrome P450.
Px Actually Stands For Paraxanthine
In more scientific terms, Px (or paraxanthine) is the primary byproduct of caffeine.
That basically means when caffeine enters your bloodstream and makes its way to your liver, it undergoes a chemical process that converts most of it into Px.
The strange thing is that outside of the human body, Px doesn’t occur naturally in coffee beans or plants.
But the clever minds working in biotech labs found a way to synthetically produce Px at scale by enzymatically breaking down purified caffeine from coffee beans.
Px Can Be Created in A Lab
Here’s an interesting fact: The Px compound can be made both from natural caffeine sources like coffee beans as well as synthetic caffeine – like the stuff added to energy drinks.
However, the Px used in Rarebird’s coffee originates from natural caffeine rather than artificial sources.
I’m sure as Px starts appearing more frequently in products like energy drinks and pre-workout powders, it will be important for consumers to know whether their Px comes from a natural coffee bean source or synthetic creation.
Here at Bean Ground, we care deeply about transparency and ethical sourcing in specialty coffee, so the same standards should apply when it comes to compounds like lab-produced Px.
How Does Px Work in The Body?
Now that we know Px is essentially a caffeine derivative produced in labs, let’s now explore how this compound functions compared to regular caffeine once it enters our bloodstream.
The effects might surprise you!
It Stimulates The Brain Like Caffeine
Just like caffeine, Px works as a psychoactive stimulant once consumed, mainly by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain.
This inhibitory effect amps up activity in the central nervous system, making you feel more alert and focused. Px also triggers increased neurotransmitter output for chemicals like dopamine and adrenaline.
In many ways, Px mimics caffeine at the neuromolecular level – providing that pick-me-up we coffee lovers rely on to start our day. And early studies seem to indicate it’s actually more efficient at stimulating the brain.
Px Releases Adrenaline And Dopamine
Within minutes of drinking a cup of Px coffee, you’ll detect a mood boost as a flood of “feel good” dopamine enters the bloodstream.
This initial adrenaline rush kickstarts a chain reaction across the nervous system, preparing your body and mind to take on the day’s challenges.
Also, it seems that Px coffee allows you to achieve focused energy without getting jittery aftereffects.
It Triggers “Fight or Flight” Response
The flood of adrenaline amps up your resting heart rate and blood pressure, rerouting blood flow to major muscle groups through vasoconstriction.
From an evolutionary perspective, this fight-or-flight response pumped early humans up to confront immediate threats or flee from predators.
Today, we modern homo sapiens rely on the same biochemical sequence to rally against morning meetings and crowded commutes.
And for most people, including myself, it’s a lifesaver!
Research Shows It’s a Stronger Stimulant
Here’s where Px gets really interesting – multiple clinical studies on rats and humans over the past decade clearly show that paraxanthine provides stronger cognitive and physical stimulation than caffeine alone.
And the effects appear much more consistent between people who naturally metabolize caffeine quickly versus slowly.
I find Px’s mechanism of action fascinating and full of potential. The research holds great promise, and I’m keen to see larger-scale human trials on Px’s unique stimulation effects.
▶ Additional reading on the effects of Paraxanthine can be found at the bottom of this post.
Why Try Px Coffee?
So now we understand how Px provides a different form of stimulation compared to good ol’ caffeine. But why should coffee lovers like us care? What makes Px coffee worth trying?
Let me share the main benefits that have caught my eye.
Smooth, “Clean” Energy
For those times I drink a little too much coffee, I tend to crash hard in the early afternoon as the caffeine works itself out of my system.
What I love about Px coffee so far is it provides really smooth, sustained energy without the ups and downs I often associate with coffee drinking. The Px gives me a “clean” lift for 4-6 hours, rather than the 2-hour caffeinated spurts I’m typically used to.
Focus and alertness come on gradually, my thoughts feel sharply clarified, and I don’t struggle to power through the post-lunch slump.
Px Coffee Can Give Enhanced Athletic Performance
For those that don’t know me, I’m actually an avid cyclist and take my training quite seriously – I’m no Tour de France hopeful, but I enjoy getting out on my bike.
So, based on the research I’ve seen showing Px boosts physical performance more consistently than caffeine, I decided to conduct my own experiment.
After 2 weeks of drinking Px coffee before each ride, I found that I shaved nearly 120 seconds off my regular 30-mile time along my usual cycle route. Also, I noted that the post-ride fatigue melted away more quickly too.
Plus, Improved Cognition and Memory
Last but certainly not least, I’ve noticed my short-term memory and concentration abilities feel a bit sharper with steady Px intake.
That “brain fog” I’d often run into mid-afternoon is all but gone.
Px Coffee From Rarebird
Now that we’ve covered the science behind Px and its unique benefits, let’s shift our focus to Rarebird Coffee – the new startup using Px to create game-changing coffee products.
Founded in 2023 by a team of visionary biohackers and specialty coffee veterans, Rarebird is the first company to infuse high-quality decaf beans with lab-made Px for commercial sale.
As an innovator-led business, they are redefining our expectations of how coffee can make us feel.
Rarebird Coffee Launched in 2023
Rarebird came onto the specialty coffee scene in early 2023, kicking up quite a buzz by taking home the Best New Product award at the prestigious Specialty Coffee Association Expo in Portland.
After years of perfecting their Px infusion technique, the Rarebird team emerged from stealth mode, ready to challenge industry norms. And thanks to recent funding, they now have the runway to make Px coffee a household name.
The foundation for Rarebird’s flagship Px coffee product starts with freshly harvested coffee cherries grown by award-winning farmers across the globe.
They subject these specialty-grade green beans to a gentle Swiss Water decaffeination process before small-batch roasting.
Rarebird then leverages proprietary bioreactors to infuse the roasted beans with Pharma-grade Px from sustainable plant sources.
The result is a finished product bursting with flavor complexity and free of caffeine’s volatile downsides.
It Tastes Identical to Regular Premium Coffee
I’ll admit I was skeptical whether Px coffee could match my coffee quality expectations.
But after cupping numerous Rarebird samples side-by-side against my regular high-end coffee beans, I actually struggled to tell the difference in aroma, body, or taste.
The Px compound blends unnoticeably into the bean without overpowering the Arabica flavors. From fruit-forward Ethiopian to chocolate-laden Colombian, Px coffee pours, smells, and sips just like the real thing.
As someone who has tried every bean, brewing device, and coffee shop hack under the sun, Px infusion feels like a genuine game-changer. Rarebird appears ready to disrupt a centuries-old industry clinging to traditionalism.
I’m sure, other progressive roasters and food tech startups won’t be far behind in augmenting high-end coffee with lab-created compounds like Px.
The functional possibilities are endless once you start biohacking the metabolic output of the beloved coffee fruit.
The bottom line is Px coffee provides smooth, sustained energy free of caffeine’s volatile edges – along with memory booster benefits we’re only beginning to unlock.
The future is bright, and it tastes remarkable!
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