6 Healthy Coffee Alternatives and Why You Should Try Them
Coffee is the world’s most valuable tropical crop and second-most traded commodity after crude oil. While many Americans start their day with a steaming cup of joe, a new poll suggests that excessive coffee consumption is declining, with only 12% of people drinking multiple cups a day – down from 22% in 2019. Keep reading to discover what’s driving our reduced coffee consumption habits and a few promising alternatives to complete your morning ritual.
Drinking Less Coffee is Better for You and the Planet
Health-conscious eating and drinking habits exploded during the pandemic as consumers scrambled to find natural ways to boost immunity and protect their health. One cup of coffee can contain anything from 95 – 200mg of caffeine which can cause restlessness, anxiety, headaches, digestive distress, and insomnia when consumed in excess. In a post-pandemic world, many people are replacing caffeine and the subsequent jitters with drinks that maintain stable energy levels for a calmer state of mind.
Environmental awareness is also increasing worldwide, and many people are choosing more eco-friendly coffee alternatives to preserve fragile ecosystems. Growing coffee crops often leads to deforestation in tropical regions, and its complex supply chain is not always sustainable.
6 Groundbreaking Coffee Alternatives to Try
Chicory is a root that tastes very similar to coffee without the caffeine when dried, roasted, and ground. It is also rich in inulin – a prebiotic plant fiber that can aid digestion and support healthy gut functioning. It has an earthy, nutty flavor that pairs well with dandelion root and barley in a herbal coffee blend.
2. Yerba mate
This herbal tea contains slightly less caffeine than coffee and should still give you a gentle energy boost. It’s packed with powerful antioxidants that may have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects, and its potent herbaceous flavor is the ideal substitute for a cup of dark roast coffee.
3. Rooibos tea
This red herbal tea from South Africa is a naturally caffeine-free beverage low in tannins and high in many other beneficial antioxidants. It tastes sweet and fruity and does not become bitter when over-steeped, making it a refreshing coffee alternative for summer.
Matcha is a concentrated, powdered form of green tea rich in antioxidants that many studies suggest may help with weight management and blood pressure control. Unlike brewed green tea, matcha contains whole tea leaves and often has a similar caffeine content as coffee, depending on how it is prepared.
This aromatic blend of black tea, herbs, and spices often contains ginger, black pepper, cardamom, clove, and other ingredients that contribute to its oriental flavor profile. Chai contains about one-third the amount of caffeine as coffee and is a popular alternative to cafe lattes.
6. Golden milk
This beverage is a caffeine-free coffee alternative with a golden hue attributed to its high turmeric content. Turmeric is rich in antioxidants and gives this deliciously creamy drink a subtle spicy undertone.
Coffee is a beloved morning drink in many cultures, however, its high caffeine content can cause side effects. It’s also a sensitive tropical crop that may be threatened by climate change, and switching to a sustainable coffee alternative may help you lower your environmental impact while consuming healthful antioxidants.