Love the taste of coffee but hate the jitters? These natural coffee alternatives are a game changer!
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 of the most popular natural coffee alternatives is dandelion root. This 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 Better Than The Real Thing
Dandelion root is often used as a coffee substitute because it has a similar taste and look, but it’s far less acidic and bitter. This is super-easy to make: just add a spoonful to hot water, and voila!
Why we love it: Dandelion root coffee has several great health qualities: it contains probiotics, which can help feed good bacteria in the gut for regularity and immune boosting. It 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 chocolate flavour that some coffee beans have. 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 if you use a French Press).
Why we love it: Coffee made from actual figs? How could we say no?
When you think about it, mushrooms and coffee have a lot in common – they both taste great with milk, are nutty and earthy in flavour. But one gives you the jitters and the other can fight cancer – especially if it’s chaga! This great blend by MUD\WTR has Lion’s Mane (it’s a herb, it’s not you know, from a lion) to kickstart your brain, reishi, cordyceps and chaga mushrooms for a serious immune boost. There’s also chai spice and cacao to give this an amazingly rich flavour.
Why we love it: This is healthy and tasty. Chaga mushrooms are so high in antioxidants, they’re even said to offer some serious protection from cancer!
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. If you’re a fan of fancy coffees, they also have a special edition features a touch of 100% natural pecan oil for a very special, sweetly nutty flavour.
Why we love it: It’s one of the most beautifully packed natural coffee alternatives, 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 chocolatey/coffee-like notes. These used to be brewed into a drink the Mayans loved.
Why we love it: This has prebiotic qualities, is 75% organic and comes in several flavours, like almond and vanilla nut.
7. Inka Coffee
Of all the natural coffee alternatives, this may be the one that’s been around the longest. 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 wheat-free.
9. 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. At $8.99, it’s also one of the cheapest natural coffee alternatives.
Why we love it: it’s 100% organic, easy to make, and easy on the pocketbook, too.
10. 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 its 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!
Ok, so this is ‘kind of’ coffee. It’s actually got green coffee bean extracts. Which is better for you than what you get from the roasted stuff.
Green coffee beans (aka regular coffee beans that haven’t been roasted) taste more like herbal tea than coffee. What’s more, green coffee’s chemical profile is quite different than that of roasted coffee, though their origins are similar. It boasts an abundant supply of chlorogenic acids. These are compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects that may provide many health benefits.
That’s one reason Earlybird uses it in their Energy Blend. But there’s another reason, too! For example, the stuff fills your morning with energy (but without the crash). Their Energy Blend also contains over 25 fruits and veggie extracts, L-theanine, and GABA.
Why we love it: This helps kick your butt into an energised day, without the jitters, and without a crash.