Healthier Caffeine Alternatives to Coffee (with recipes!)

7th of July 2020

Coffee addicts, this is for you! It's easy to whip up a cup of coffee in the morning for a dose of caffeine, but maybe you're looking for a drink alternative that won't give you jitters (or maybe something less bitter). 

Sure, coffee is great for antioxidant intake and giving you that much-needed dose of caffeine in the morning; but if you're looking to get even more benefits from your morning DOC, here is a list of alternatives that are not only better for you, but also taste amazing.

1. Matcha

A sub-category of green tea, matcha has gained immense popularity in recent years. Matcha differs from green tea for a few reasons, the main one being it's in powdered form. Unlike regular green tea, matcha is shade-grown 20-30 days before it is harvested. This process not only increases the amino acid content of the tea, but also the chlorophyll content which gives matcha its bright green color. 

1. Sift 1-2 tsp of matcha powder into a mug.

2. Add in a cup of hot (but not boiling) water.

3. Stir slowly until dissolved, then whisk back and forth until a light froth forms.

4. Enjoy!

2. Kombucha Tea

Kombucha itself is a type of yeast, but is commonly mixed with tea, sugar, and other flavorings. It has a low caffeine content (depending on the tea used) and its health benefits supposedly include treating memory loss, regulating bowel movements, preventing cancer, and helping with high blood pressure.

Brewing Kombucha is notoriously difficult, so one of our employees took the liberty of giving us her "fake" kombucha recipe (for those who can't be bothered to google SCOBY). 

Ingredients:

  •  6oz green or black tea, iced
  • Splash of apple cider vinegar
  • Handful of raspberries, or other small berries (mashed with fork)
  • Splash lemon or lime juice
  • Seltzer
  • Ice

Combine everything and stir! 

3. Chicory Root Coffee

Chicory...huh?! Yes. A favorite to New Orleans natives, it's the closest you'll get to coffee taste-wise. It is made by taking the root of the chicory flowery, roasting it, grinding it, and brewing it, similarly to coffee. It's been said to have a slightly bitter taste and its health benefits include reducing inflammation and regulating blood sugar levels. If you're trying chicory for are the first time, check out some brands here and here.

4. Golden Milk

If you're looking for a caffeine-free drink similar to coffee and tea, golden milk might be for you. It is made with a number of healthy spices in it such as turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper. Turmeric is popular for its anti-inflammatory benefits that are amplified by the addition of black pepper.  It's super simple to make as well (we suggest adding honey for a sweet finish).

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup (237 ml) of milk or a non-dairy alternative with 1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger and a pinch of black pepper. Optionally, add honey to taste. 
  2. Warm the mixture on low to medium heat, stirring frequently to avoid burning.
  3. Once heated, pour the drink into a mug and enjoy.

5. Green Tea

Finally, we have a simple cup of green tea. While there's a number of caffeinated teas, green tea is anti-inflammatory, rich in nutrients and has proven to have a number of benefits like heart failure prevention, and lower cholesterol. Green tea can be served hot on its own but would make a great summer drink served with ice.

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