Coffee SubstitutesSo you need something to replace coffee in your life? Maybe you still have a cup of coffee, but 2 or 3 are too many. Or you need to switch out your afternoon coffee for something else. Perhaps, it’s just time to cut back on caffeine in general. Or you want to test out if it’s actually the coffee that’s causing your upset stomach.

Whatever the reason, now you need a coffee alternative. Here are a few, sorted according to caffeine levels.  Some will have a taste more similar to coffee, others will offer a bigger energy boost, and some may just be comforting in their hot cup and familiar routine. Try them out and see what you like best.

High Caffeine

If you’re looking for a high caffeine content beverage to replace coffee, consider Yerba Mate. Mate (for short) is the South American version of ‘tea,’ high in caffeine and other stimulants to wake you up an keep you alert. It can taste a bit grassy at first, so it might take some getting used to.

Some of the darker black teas will contain sizable amounts of caffeine (though still only 1/2 to 2/3rd that of coffee) and have a powerful, bold, even sometimes a roasted flavor more similar to coffee; they maintain their strength even with added milk–if that’s you’re thing. Look for a Yunnan Black, or Lapsang Souchong, or Russian Caravan.

Moderate Caffeine

Ripened pu-erh generally has less slightly caffeine than black tea, while its earthy, complex flavor may appeal to coffee drinkers. This one is generally best served without milk.

While it’s a much lower caffeine beverage, Belight Tea still offers a gentle energy boost, which makes it a perfect replacement for an afternoon cup of coffee. Its lighter flavor and digestive benefits can also help those who are looking to coffee alternatives because of the stomach upset coffee causes.

No Caffeine

If your reason for eliminating coffee is the caffeine, never fear, there are some good caffeine-free coffee substitutes.

Roasted chicory root “coffee” is said to be the most authentic tasting coffee alternative and is readily available in health food stores. “Teechino” seeks to be the caffeine-free herbal brand of choice for former coffee drinkers.

For a hot morning drink, herbal infusions such as mint or ginger with lemon and honey, can feel invigorating, but are free of stimulants.

If you really liked your coffee for the creaminess, start by heating milk of your choice (almond, coconut, regular, etc.) in a pot on the stove. Add spices such as cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, and ginger, letting those gently simmer for a few minutes to infuse their flavors in the milk.


Whatever your reason for seeking coffee substitutes, there is sure to be one that’s right for you. Explore. Try a few. You may discover a love for tea, or find that your energy is more stable when you choose “Belight Tea” or “Teechino,” or have a happier stomach when you switch to herbs.

Making the switch from coffee and trying new options may become your new favorite pastime.

Tell us in the comments below: What will you drink today?