People around the world enjoy a good cup of coffee – the unique bitter taste, combined with a pleasant aroma, is a social drink for many; however, caffeine can cause ill-effects in a lot of people. This can include nervousness, irritability, anxiety, and sleep disturbances. Others report an irregular heartbeat, elevated blood pressure, and digestive disturbances (including heartburn and irritable bowel syndrome). Caffeine can also react with a number of medications which can be hazardous.
There are some good caffeine-free alternatives out there that can eliminate the side effects that caffeinated coffee can cause. These include:
- Bambu – made up of a ground and roasted mixture of chicory, wheat, barley, acorns, and figs.
It can be made similar to instant coffee or like a drip coffee.
- Chicory – the root, when dried & finely ground, is one of the most popular coffee stand-ins.
It can be made using a conventional percolator, French press, or drip coffee cone. It looks similar to coffee, but has a more herbaceous, earthy taste.
- Teeccino – a roasted combination of carob, barley, chicory, dates, figs, ramon seeds, almonds, and dandelion root. It is brewed similar to coffee, but it smells and tastes spicy-sweet. It is available in a bunch of different flavours including hazelnut, chocolate raspberry, and vanilla nut.
When you need a small boost of caffeine, but don’t want a cup of coffee, you can try one of these:
- Yerba mate – made from a tropical plant, it is high in antioxidants, as well as being anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering. It is also a good source of vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as the minerals zinc and potassium. It is a common hot drink in South America, with a mild nutty flavour, and can provide an energy boost.
- Green Tea – high in antioxidants, with cancer-fighting properties, this tea can be made hot or cold. It is available in caffeinated and non-caffeinated forms in a variety of subtle flavours. It can often give the caffeine-high that one needs, without some of the ill-effects of coffee.
- Hot chocolate – lower in caffeine, but sweeter than the bitter taste of coffee. It is best to choose one that is of higher quality, with at least 70% cacao. Although hot chocolate should only be consumed in moderation, this tasty coffee alternative can be a good source of magnesium and antioxidants if the right chocolate is chosen.
Experiment and find your drink of choice!