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By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
Ah, coffee! The deep, rich flavour is something most of us crave not only first thing in the morning, but throughout the day, too. But as we’ve written about before, it’s a good idea to try to quit coffee, for health reasons. Namely, excessive or regular consumption of the stuff can lead to nausea, nervousness, anxiety, insomnia and an irregular heartbeat.
If a world without coffee doesn’t seem like a world you’d want to live in, don’t despair! There are plenty of natural coffee alternatives that not only taste like the real thing, but they also pack a fantastic health punch, too.
For example, chicory root, which can be roasted, ground and brewed like coffee, is believed to be the richest plant source of inulin, which helps digestion and supports a healthy gut by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria. It also stimulates your gallbladder to produce more bile, which may be beneficial for fat digestion.
Barley, another common ingredient of faux coffee, has loads of potassium, folate and vitamin B6, and helps reduce the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, thereby decreasing the risk of heart disease.
Another coffee-like substance is dandelion root, which is used to help stomach upsets, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema and other skin conditions, and acts as a blood tonic.
You may be skeptical about finding something that tastes exactly like coffee, but I’ve tried and tested most of these myself and can testify that with a touch of your favourite milk, you’ll barely notice the difference!
10 Natural Coffee Alternatives
Dandelion root is often used as a coffee substitute because it has a similar taste and look, but its far less acidic and bitter. This is super-easy to make: just add a spoonful to hot water, and voila!
Why we love it: It has several great health qualities: it contains probiotics, which can help feed good bacteria in the gut for regularity and immune boosting, and also has antioxidants and may stimulate circulation to help reduce inflammation.
If, like me, you think the next best thing to coffee is a steaming cup of hot chocolate, then you’ll love Choffy! Made from 100% premium cocoa beans roasted and ground for a rich, full-flavoured drink, it has a deep cocoa flavour with subtle earthy notes and an incredibly satisfying aftertaste. To brew, use a French press or an auto-drip coffee maker with a gold/nylon filter.
Why we love it: it’s got that chocolately flavour that some coffee beans do, and of course with a touch of almond milk, this is pure heaven!
Coffig contains only one ingredient: ground, and roasted black Mission figs! To make this rich, slightly sweet coffee-like drink, just brew it like regular coffee using half the amount (works in all coffee makers, especially in a French Press).
Why we love it: coffee made from actual figs? How could we say no?
This delicious drink tastes so much like actual coffee that most people will never know the difference! You brew it like regular coffee, but you don’t use as much, so it’s pretty economical. There’s only one rather surprising ingredient in Bueno Coffee – garbanzo beans – but this special edition features a touch of 100% natural pecan oil for a very special, sweetly nutty flavour.
Why we love it: it’s beautifully packed and comes in a variety of flavours, including hazelnut and caramel.
Teeccino’s satisfying, roasted taste is smoother, richer and creamier than coffee, thanks to the nutritious herbs that provide health benefits in every cup. The main secret to this drink’s full flavour? Ethically sourced ramón seeds, which boast chocolately/coffee-like notes, and which were brewed into a drink the Mayans loved.
Why we love it: This has pre-biotic qualities, is 75% organic and comes in several flavours, like almond and vanilla nut.
6. Inka Coffee
Naturalis Inka is rich, flavourful instant grain beverage that’s been enjoyed by Polish families for generations. Rye and barley are simply roasted, ground and combined to make the perfect substitute for coffee, which is a great tasting drink in its own right.
Why we love it: there are no chemical processes, additives, preservatives or added sugars used in making this all-natural beverage.
Pero is a 100% natural beverage with a coffee-like taste, thanks to its blend of malted barley, barley, chicory, and rye. The low acidity of this natural beverage makes it easy to enjoy morning, noon or night without fear of insomnia or an upset stomach.
Why we love it: It’s super easy to make, and is vegan-and-Paleo friendly, as well as gluten-free.
8. Caf Lib
Billing itself as the ultimate ‘un-coffee’, Caf Lib is made from pure organic roasted barley and chicory, and it comes in a variety of roasts and flavours that help this taste just like a cuppa Joe.
Why we love it: it’s 100% organic, easy to make, and easy on the pocketbook, too.
9. Kaffree Roma
This roasted grain beverage is a delicious and satisfying caffeine free coffee alternative. Just add a teaspoon or two to your favourite mug filled with hot water and enjoy the robust, full-bodied taste of coffee without the caffeine or tannic acid of coffee beans.
Why we love it: as above, it’s easy to make, and it’s blend of grains bring great health benefits, like lowering cholesterol, reducing inflammation and helping gut health.
This caffeine – free superfood drink looks, tastes and smells very similar to coffee, while boasting countless health benefits. Capomo (sometimes referred to as Maya Nut) is rich in natural flavour and is prepared in the same way as coffee. Simply add hot water and enjoy!
Why we love it: if you love the ritual of brewing your morning cuppa, this will allow you to continue that – plus, you can enjoy the rich aroma of the drink as it brews!