Learning to Survive Without Coffee: Six Natural Coffee Alternatives
Posted on 28 November 2016 by Leonie Satori
So, you've made the decision to give up coffee, but you need some decent, healthy alternatives to substitute for your morning fix. Going 'cold turkey' from coffee will give your body a chance to recover and heal, but finding something with the kind of oomph that you get from coffee can be a little challenging. If you are still deciding on giving up coffee, read our article Is Coffee Really That Bad? A Nutritional Perspective for a little nudge of information to help you make the decision.
One: Matcha Green Tea
For those still wanting a caffeine boost with their morning hot drink, Matcha Green Tea is an excellent green choice. Currently my favourite drink, matcha tea is a powdered green tea, but with a load more antioxidants and so much more versatile than regular green tea. If matcha is new to you, read our article Using Matcha Green Tea Powder for an introduction to this uplifting herb. I find that I only need a small amount of matcha green tea powder (1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon) to give me a similar boost to coffee and I tend to mix it with my favourite milk to give me a rich invigorating drink. For those with a coffee machine, just add your matcha powder, milk and any sweeteners that you want to use (a little honey is nice) and use your milk steamer to heat the milk and distribute the matcha powder through your drink.
Two: Chai Tea
Keeping on with the caffeine based drink trend, Chai Tea is second on my list for healthy coffee alternatives. Many commercial pre-made chai teas will use black tea as the base for their recipe, but making your own chai tea at home can be both rewarding and much more delicious. For those unfamiliar with Chai Tea, it is a traditional Indian beverage that uses black tea and aromatic spices cooked in milk to produce a warming and invigorating drink. Personally, I prefer to make my Chai Tea with a rooibos base, making an even more delicious and caffeine free drink. I find that making Chai Tea the traditional way (in a saucepan on a stovetop) creates a drink with a greater depth of flavour. Herbs and spices to include in your homemade tea could include ginger, black pepper, cardamom, cinnamon and dried red chilli flakes for an extra hit of spice. Make up a big batch of Chai Tea at the start of the week, and use the milk steamer on your coffee machine to heat a cup each morning before you head into work.
Three: Turmeric Tea
For some, Turmeric Tea is considered to be 'better than coffee'. A bold statment about a simple herbal tea, but with Turmeric Tea, the essence is in the balance of flavours and combination of herbs (a little like Chai Tea). Made with a milk base, a little oil and some honey, Turmeric Tea is based on an Ayurvedic herbal formula that helps to enhance the therapeutic qualities of the main herbal ingredient turmeric. Turmeric Tea is made with Ayurvedic herbs such as pipali, cardamom and black pepper, which act as carriers for the curcumins in the turmeric and make a wonderful tasting drink. Traditionally, you make a paste with the powdered herbs and although is does take a little time to prepare, this will keep in your fridge for some time. You use a small amount of this paste to make a delicious herbal tea that is not just tasty, but beneficial for digestion and joints. Read our article simply called Turmeric Milk Drink to learn some more about this great caffeine free coffee substitute.
Considered to be the most popular herbal coffee in the US, Teeccino is a well formulated product that gives you the robust flavour of coffee, but without the jittery side effects. Teeccino herbal coffee, as you can guess, isnt coffee at all, and is much healthier and tastier than your supermarket 'coffee substitutes' such as Karo and Ecco. Teeccino contains a blend of barley, chicory and dates, and unlike other herbal coffee is a granular blend that can be used in your coffee machine. Teeccino is great for those who prefer espresso coffee, in fact I have found some coffee connoisseurs like to have their Teeccino as a simple morning 'short black' herbal coffee. This versatile herbal coffee is also suitable for making iced coffee or to progressively wean off coffee by mixing half and half with your regular coffee.
Nothing like coffee in flavour or texture, but Miso soup made in a mug with some natural miso paste and some hot water is an excellent afternoon pick-me-up. Use 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of miso paste with hot water, add grated carrot, mung bean sprouts or chopped green leafy vegetables to make a fancy hot drink or just enjoy plain.Traditionally made by fermenting soy, miso paste contains a range of natural minerals and electrolytes that help to hydrate the body and promote good healthy bowel flora. Look for high quality miso paste without MSG and keep it in the fridge to add to soups, stocks or spread onto your healthy sandwiches.
Six: Tulsi Tea
One of my many favourite herbs, Tulsi is also known as Holy Basil and is an Ayurvedic herb that is excellent for the immune system and is considered an adaptogen herb. Adaptogen herbs help the body to cope with stress, and for many folks, coffee can be the drink that they rely on during periods of stress. Tulsi tea has a nice uplifting flavour and I find that it helps with focus and concentration and energy through the course of the day. Tulsi tea is available in convenient tea bags or as a loose leaf tea and I find it great to carry with me when I am travelling away from home.
So, six natural coffee alternatives to keep your energy up, your tastebuds satisfied and your tummy warm. Do you have a favourite coffee alternative to share? Leave your comments below to let us know what you would suggest for someone learning to survive without coffee.
About the Author
Leonie is a Naturopath & Medical Herbalist with a passion for good food, healthy living and of course, herbal medicine. When she is not consulting in her Naturopathic clinic in Lismore or blogging about nutrition, Ayurvedic Medicine or natural health, she is studying yoga, growing her own herbs and vegetables or quietly walking in the natural bush land in Northern Rivers NSW.
Contact our health centre in Lismore to book an appointment with Leonie in our naturopathic clinic.
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