Launch stories: Steep & Mellow

Launched today, Steep & Mellow taps into adaptogens and nootropics for its tea, which is wrapped in sustainable packaging and 1970s nostalgia.

Far from the TikTok aesthetic, Steep & Mellow is inspired by 1970s hippie culture. (Photo: Steep & Mellow)


It seems like just about everything is made with adaptogens and nootropics these days. From chocolate and gum to cereal and coffee, these brands boast "functional" ingredients with the goal of improving your cognition, immunity, mood, and more.

With origins in traditional Chinese and Aruyvedic medicinal practices - examples include caffeine and choline (both nootropics) to reishi mushrooms and panax ginseng (both adaptogens) - more and more modern brands are exploring these ancient superfoods in their formulations. Over 35 brands on Thingtesting mention or market themselves as including them.

Launched today, Toronto-based Steep & Mellow aims to deliver the benefits of adaptogens and nootropics through its tea, which is wrapped in sustainable packaging and 1970s nostalgia (an aesthetic reminiscent of CBD brand Groovy Butter).

The brand taps into three methods of delivery to hype you up or mellow you out: Groove green tea (cordyceps, ginseng, rhodiola), Flow black tea (chaga, eleuthero, lion's mane), and Dream chamomile tea (reishi mushroom, ashwagandha, licorice root).

Founder Meg Pederson shared more details on developing Steep & Mellow with Thingtesting.

What inspired you to create Steep & Mellow?

Steep & Mellow was originally inspired out of the desire to solve two problems. The first: to bring light to the ever-growing plastic pollution problem that the average teas are causing. The second: to explore the untapped potential of coupling delicious teas with adaptogens and nootropics. As a result, Steep & Mellow has created functional teas with fully compostable packaging.

Tell us about Steep & Mellow's overall aesthetic and point of view as a brand?

The aesthetic of Steep & Mellow has been heavily inspired by 1970s hippie culture. I wanted to create a brand that feels warm and inviting, but also outspoken and not afraid to stand up for what we value. I think sometimes we all have the tendency of taking things a little too seriously, so I want Steep & Mellow to inspire people to be present, unwind, and focus more on spreading peace and love.

(Photo: Steep & Mellow)

Is there anything unique about how you approached launch?

For our launch strategy, we really wanted to focus on creating connections and building a cool tight knit community. We released a pretty neat pre-launch referral program on Earth Day to generate brand awareness and also give our already awesome people a chance to invite their awesome people into the party to experience the fun! Other than that, we really focused on lots of one-on-one interaction with our current customer base which I think is something that doesn't always happen nowadays.

What are adaptogens and nootropics and what do they add to Steep & Mellow?

Adaptogens and natural nootropics are classified as various plants that naturally help support your body and mind in ways like reducing stress, enhancing cognitive function, and building immunity. These ingredients have been used for thousands of years with origins in traditional Chinese and Aruyvedic medicinal practices. To Steep & Mellow, these ingredients add life and purpose to our teas.

What's your approach to sustainability?

We are committed to creating packaging and products that are compostable and that don’t have unnecessary waste. We want to create an opportunity for those around us and within our community to take a step towards better self care and protecting our environment, even if it starts with just a cup of tea.

What is Thingtesting?

Thingtesting is a database of internet-born brands. We’re building the un-sponsored corner of the internet where consumers can come together to talk honestly about new things. Read more about Thingtesting.

Create a free account so you can make your own lists, whether that’s because you love them or because you want to try them.

Feedback? Yes, please.