What Big Pharma and Coffee Corps DO NOT want you to know about cold brew

Madeline Kemp, str8 edge

It’s been a damning week for everyone involved in the global Caffeine Industrial Complex. Many were shocked by the exposure of an insidious, long-standing collaboration between powerhouse coffee franchises and Big Pharma, an agreement to spike popular beverages with stress-inducing additives that cause widespread demand for anti-anxiety medications to skyrocket.

Illustration by Lily Buller.

While anti-anxiety pills have consistently held their own in the mental health market since the introduction of Valium to housewives in the 1960s, during the following decades, pharmaceutical corporations have worked tirelessly to synthesize stress hormones. One rep from Purdue Pharma says this endeavor “has been purely in the name of science. By synthesizing stress, we can create better antidepressants.” 

It appears that a handful of pharmaceutical companies secretly succeeded in the stress-arena, and seized a golden opportunity back in 2015, when Starbucks began rolling out its now-infamous Nitro Cold Brew. An allegiance was born, predicting that populations would become hooked on the combination of delicious 24 oz iced beverages and an accompanying anti-anxiety to curb hyper-caffeinated jitters that spiral into full-blown panic. Indeed the demand for medications like Xanax and Klonopin shot up. An unexpected rise in cigarette sales also indicated the success of the coffee-pill-pact. 

Therapist Dr. Bragg reflects, “My prescription pad thins at triple the typical rate that pre-cold brew coffee does. Patients are suddenly down to try anything, even the controversial ones such as Prozac and Zoloft, or will pile on the stimulants with Wellbutrin, Effexor, you name it.” When asked why this hasn’t raised red flags, he responded, “Society is in a perpetually chaotic state. I never thought to blame beverages.” 

Investigators began suspecting fowl play during recent market hiccups. Both the factory that exploded in Beirut last summer and the six ships held up by the Suez Canal blockage last month were discovered with loads of tablets labeled “sugar cubes,” that when tested, contained Cortisol concentrate. Even more suspicious was the FDA’s discovery of these inconspicuous pills behind barista counters of numerous chain-cafés. Howard Schultz, former CEO of Starbucks, commented that he has “no idea how these pills wound up in our stores. But they were labelled sugar cubes,” with raised hands. 

No particular culprits have been identified, but investigators say that college students be the first to know of this unfolding saga. They are the demographic most at risk for self-medicating and overstimulating themselves into oblivion. In an FDA press release on Monday, they said, “We urge anyone working toward a degree in higher education to be careful about their constant coffee consumption. Lay off your roommate’s Adderall, and stop passing off drug-misuse as ‘removing stigma.’ Your health is at serious risk.”