Some of us are coffee addicts through and through, some of us could take it or leave it, and the rest of us refuse to partake unless it’s masked with heaps of sugar or inside dessert. Regardless of which group you fall into, it could be worth trying out some of the coffee alternatives out there. If you’re an avid coffee drinker, these java-alternatives can provide a healthy, stress-relieving break from high caffeine levels.
If you’re a “take it or leave it” type, it can be nice to have some other options. And if you’re a “never coffee” kinda person, our list of alternatives proves you can get by just fine in life without being a coffee devotee.
This is a classic alternative to coffee that still offers enough caffeine to keep us going. If you’re looking to reduce your caffeine intake slightly, and you’re a fan of hot drinks of the less sweet variety, drinking black tea can be the perfect break from coffee life.
Black tea can also provide some health benefits, including antioxidants, protection from some chronic disorders, and reduced risk for cardiovascular disease.
Drink it as is for the healthiest option, with a splash of milk or cream like the Brits do, or with a spoonful of sugar, if you want a bit of sweetness.
When most folks first hear of mushroom coffee, they’re mildly disturbed and definitely disinterested. But this coffee alternative is quickly growing in popularity and can be a nice change from the regular coffee routine. Mushroom coffee is in fact made out of mushrooms—but, before you keep scrolling, it doesn’t taste mushroomy at all. It has a very coffee-like flavor and is typically quite delicious.
According to Cleveland Clinic, “Most mushroom coffees are actually blends of mushroom extract and instant coffee. That’s why it tastes like coffee – because it is!”
However, mushroom coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee does. It also has some potential health benefits, including boosting the immune system and preventing certain chronic conditions, including cancer. Additionally, mushroom coffee is less acidic than regular coffee. Less acid means mushroom coffee easier on the stomach, decreasing the stress placed on the gut while getting our daily caffeine.
This hot (or cold!) green beverage has exploded in popularity in recent years—and for good reason. This tasty, healthy, and slightly caffeinated beverage can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and is a great option if you’re looking for a coffee substitute.
Matcha is a drink made from the ground powder of green tea leaves. On its own, it can taste a little vegetable-y or seaweedy. But many people combine it with tasty milks (see our matcha tea latte) or sweeteners—from sugar to honey to maple syrup.
If you’re wanting to try matcha out, or if you have tried it but it wasn’t your cup of tea, it is worth noting that different matchas can taste quite different. And while some matchas may cause you to gag, others might make you completely fall in love with this drink. So try a few different kinds out and see if maybe you just need to find the right type.
Yerba mate is a caffeinated beverage made from native plants of South America, called Ilex paraguayensis, which is actually a kind of holly. Yerba mate’s smoky, bitter, woody flavor can be somewhat of an acquired taste. People enjoy yerba mate for its caffeinated jolt sans shakes. Some like it hot, but you can also find it in stores in cooled, flavored cans—which are quite tasty!
Drinking yerba mate in moderation has potential health benefits. However, its recommended to not drink this beverage too frequently as there is some evidence that excess consumption could increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Don’t guzzle it every single day—but if you like it, enjoy yerba mate as a coffee alternative from time to time!
When you pour yourself a mug of hot water, people tend to look at you funny. For whatever reason, it’s just not a big part of Western culture. But it really should be.
Hot water is a great alternative to coffee and other hot beverages. It has no calories, no potential negative side effects, no jitters, and doesn’t cost a dime. Hot water can be a wonderful way to warm your body up in the mornings, to soothe your throat and respiratory system, and to enjoy heated beverages throughout your day.
For a little extra health (and taste) kick, add some lemon to your hot water.
A chai latte is a delicious treat and a nice substitute for coffee when you need it. It consists of sweetened chai tea and a milk of your choosing. If you’re having a hot chai latte, frothed milk is always a nice bonus.
It’s very sweet and not exactly low-calorie, but it’s such a tasty drink that it’s well worth the indulgence. If that’s not already enough, chai tea does have some caffeine—so it’ll be a nice boost of energy in your day.
Make a chai tea latte at home or support your local coffee shop and order one there.
Turmeric seems to be everywhere these days. And, if you hadn’t already heard, there’s a turmeric beverage that can be a perfect caffeine-free substitute for coffee: golden milk. Golden milk is traditionally an Indian beverage, made from hot milk and ground turmeric. If you’ve never had it before, it sounds a little weird. But it’s surprisingly tasty for many.
Golden milk is also a great option because of the potential health benefits of turmeric. Turmeric has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, so it could be a nice health boost.
Finally, we come to the most nostalgic drink of all: hot chocolate. Though maybe not the first thing that comes to mind as a coffee substitute, it’s (obviously) a delicious option and can be a fun drink to break up the daily coffee routine. It also doesn’t need to be as sugary or indulgent as most of the hot cocoa we’re familiar with. You can try making hot chocolate at home with cocoa powder and milk, and then slowly adding sweetener to taste. Cocoa with just a smidge of sugar can actually be quite tasty!