As a kid, you probably asked yourself what that hot brown beverage was that adults always seemed to be drinking. Curious, you asked if could have a sip – only to pull a face at its bitter taste, before spitting the remainder out. Who drinks this stuff?
Fast forward to today and your friends and colleagues are well aware not to bother you before you’ve had your first cup. With Coffee, it can be a love/hate relationship. Don’t get us wrong, Coffee has many benefits such as boosting physical performance, helping you stay focused and may even reduce your risk of certain cancers, however, as with most things – the key is moderation! Overdo it and the side effects may include heart palpitations, headaches and stomach irritation, amongst others. Every so often, we would recommend switching it up. For those who don’t want to go cold turkey with caffeinated beverages, particularly in the AM- we have compiled a list of caffeinated and non-caffeinated alternatives to coffee, which we encourage you to try out.
Matcha began trending some time ago and is here to stay. Made from ground green tea leaves, this Superfood is packed with nutrients which can reduce your cholesterol, promote weight loss and preventing aging or even chronic disease. Though Matcha may contain more caffeine than your average black or green tea, it is processed much slower by the body. This means you’ll receive an energy boost which can be sustained throughout the morning, minus the jitters. To prepare the tea, simply take 1-2 teaspoons of Matcha powder and add it to a cup of hot water before whisking it (with a matcha-whisk) until frothy. Matcha can be an acquired taste, so if you’re looking for a more neutral variation, it’s easy to convert it into a Latte by adding some milk. However, some research shows that dairy may reduce the positive effects of the antioxidants present in Matcha.
Chai is a flavoured tea which is brewed from a mixture of spices such as cinnamon or cardamom and black tea. Typically, Chai is consumed hot with a dash of milk and can be sweetened with sugar or honey. In the summertime, Iced- Chai’s are also a popular option. If you like to start your day with a little spice, there is nothing like a Chai to help you wake up. Not only does it smell amazing, it can alleviate nausea and even improve the overall condition of your heart’s health if consumed regularly.
What better way to get you curious enough to try Kombucha by leading with the fact that it is produced from tea and involves a fermentation process including specific strains of bacteria, yeast and sugar. While it comes along with all the benefits of tea, Kombucha is rich in probiotics which help regulate the bacteria in your gut and can aid in digestion and weight loss. Though it can be safely brewed at home, you will find it’s largely available in most supermarkets due to it’s popularity.
If the previous suggestions were a little too wild for your taste, this option may be more your flavour- despite the fact that they all originate from the same plant: Camellia sinensis. Black tea, similar to green tea, is packed with natural antioxidants and will keep you feeling alert and awake on days where getting out of bed seems like a drag.
Traditionally a South-American beverage which is sipped from a gourd using a metal straw, this naturally caffeinated beverage can be enjoyed hot or cold. If you’ve lived in a German-speaking country, chances are you are familiar with Club- Mate (a carbonated mate-based drink), which is a student favorite for keeping energized, especially during exam season!
If you’re looking for something that looks and tastes like coffee but without the caffeine, then this is it! The beverage which consists of ground chicory root is essentially brewed and made the same way as regular coffee. It’s great for stabilizing blood sugar and is often also added to coffee to enhance it’s flavour.
Other than it’s refreshing taste, the calming aroma of Peppermint tea will not only ensure that you start the day relaxed, your breath will smell great too. So far, there have been no documented negative side effects of Peppermint Tea, so feel free to drink as much as you like.
Originating out of India, Golden milk in its most basic form consists of milk, ginger and turmeric- which is what gives it it’s golden colour. Turmeric is well known for it’s antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as it’s ability to support brain function and improve your memory. Golden Milk is a great way to incorporate Turmeric into your daily life and can be altered with different spices to your taste. If you find yourself making some at home, be sure to add a dash of black pepper, as it helps the body absorb all the nutrients much more efficiently.
If you have ever had an encounter with stinging nettles, the last thing you would imagine is drinking it in tea form. However, Nettles have been a staple in herbal medicine for a long time. The leaves and stem contain the whole package: Vitamins, Minerals, Fats, Amino Acids and more. Word on the street is that it’s also popular for relieving menstrual cramps. Also, don’t worry, it won’t irritate your mouth or throat on the way down, unless you drink it piping hot of course.
Now before you get over-excited about this one, it is important to clarify that we are not referring to a classic Hot Cocoa, complete with marshmallows and a dollop of whipped cream on top, for breakfast. Instead, we mean 1-2 teaspoon of pure, unsweetened cocoa powder and some hot water. Other than being a great source of fiber and iron and helping with concentration…it’s also still chocolate!
So…which alternatives are you going to try out, we ask, as we take a sip of our coffee.