Rich and bitter is a description for more things than is ideal, but two come to mind right away: the antagonist from A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge and a standard cup of coffee.
And, just as the three famous ghosts sweetened up ol’ Scrooge, many people use a bit of cream to make their daily coffee a bit more palatable.
After all, what’s a morning without a beverage?
But what if you didn’t have to throw back a couple additional shots of cream just to get the boost you need to start your day? Or what if you’re one of the many people who find coffee’s bitter to be a bit much and would rather avoid consuming copious amounts of cream every day?
Occasionally, it can seem that the struggle to consume caffeine in a healthy, enjoyable way is a challenge far stronger than it should be.
Fret not though, friend.
We’re in a golden age of healthy coffee alternatives and replacements. And we’re not just talking about taking a trip down to the local coffee shop every day. Who has the time and funds to live such a life?
Fortunately, there are options aplenty which can give you the energy and focus boost you’re looking for out of a coffee alternative that can live cozily in the pantry mere steps from your bedside.
Popular Coffee Alternatives that Give You Energy
There are basically two categories of coffee alternatives: caffeinated and non-caffeinated. A huge number of coffee drinkers are basically only coffee drinkers because they love the rush they get after a cup of coffee or two every morning. We get it. So we’ll start with the caffeinated options.
Matcha: Matcha is a type of powdered green tea that contains caffeine but has a different effect on the body compared to coffee. It provides a calm energy boost due to the presence of an amino acid called L-theanine, which promotes relaxation and focus alongside the caffeine.
Golden milk: Golden milk is a warm beverage made with turmeric, ginger, and other spices mixed with milk (dairy or plant-based). It provides a comforting and flavorful alternative to coffee, often with added health benefits. The turmeric in golden milk is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, while the ginger is great for your digestive system.
Chai: As a spiced-up coffee replacement, chai offers a unique and distinct flavor profile that combines the robustness of black tea with a medley of warm and aromatic spices. The specific blend of spices can vary, but common ingredients include cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. These spices infuse the tea with a delightful combination of earthy, spicy, and slightly sweet notes.
Full transparency: we’ve specifically mentioned matcha, golden milk and chai as sources that give you energy, but that’s dependent on where you get your blend. We supplement our blends with roughly 100 mg of caffeine, similar to a cup of coffee. A standard matcha or chai is closer to 25mg to 50mg of caffeine, depending on where you get it.
But our caffeine comes from guarana, an alternate caffeine source known for its longer lasting effects that operates in a similar way a tea’s caffeine may operate.
Non-Caffeinated or Low Caffeine Coffee Alternatives
Many people who transition away from coffee are doing so to get away from caffeine. While caffeine is generally recognized as a safe and helpful stimulant, there can be drawbacks for some. If you’re the kind of person who isn’t interested in any caffeine, here’s some potential useful morning drinks for you.
Fruit or vegetable juices: Natural fruit or vegetable juices can provide a refreshing and energizing alternative to coffee.
They offer natural sugars and vitamins that can boost your energy levels without relying on caffeine. But we don’t suggest stocking up on bottle after bottle of Ocean Spray from your local grocery store. Read labels carefully, as many fruit juices contain similar amount of sugar as soda.
Herbal coffee substitutes: There are coffee substitutes made from various roasted herbs, grains, or nuts. Examples include dandelion root coffee, chicory coffee, and barley coffee. These alternatives attempt to mimic the taste and aroma of coffee without the caffeine.
Herbal tea: Herbal teas, such as chamomile, peppermint, rooibos, and hibiscus, offer a wide range of flavors without caffeine. These teas can be soothing, relaxing, or invigorating, depending on the type you choose.
Decaffeinated coffee: If you still enjoy the taste of coffee (no shade here), but want to reduce your caffeine intake, decaffeinated coffee is a suitable option. It goes through a process to remove most of the caffeine content while retaining the coffee flavor.
The Most Abundant Natural Resource on Planet Earth
Water: Nothing wrong with keeping it simple sometimes, to be honest. Staying hydrated with plain water is essential for maintaining energy levels throughout the day. Sometimes, fatigue or lack of focus can be due to dehydration, so drinking an adequate amount of water can help keep you alert.
Remember, coffee alternatives and replacements vary in taste and effect, so it's a matter of personal preference.
Take the time to research and learn what’s most important to you when you’re looking for something a little different to start your day. It's also worth considering the specific health benefits or concerns associated with each alternative before making a choice.