While matcha is essentially just powdered green tea, it has some pretty special properties that really make it stand out from the multitude of green teas available on the market while retaining all the beneficial characteristics of green tea. Think of matcha as the most concentrated and high-quality green tea you could get, but with the added benefit of being able to whip it up into a decadent latte.
2. Chicory Coffee
Actually, this drink is not coffee at all, but it’s called that way due to a similarity in preparation and taste. Similarly to coffee beans, the roots of the chicory plant are roasted and ground up into a powder that has an almost eerie resemblance to real coffee. Chicory coffee tastes similar to the real thing, but it’s actually caffeine-free, so if you’re looking to cut caffeine out of your diet but like the taste of coffee, this is your best bet.
Chicory is an excellent source of fiber, so it’s beneficial for digestion and is often recommended for patients suffering from constipation, too. The root is also rich in vitamin B6 and is believed to have some anti-inflammatory effects as well.
Preparation: to make a cup of chicory coffee, simply brew it like you would regular coffee. You will need about 2 tablespoons of chicory to prepare 1 cup (6 oz, 180 ml) of Americano coffee. Once ready, flavor your chicory coffee as you would a regular cup of coffee and enjoy.
3. Chia Seed Drink
Yet another caffeine-free option, smoothies, and drinks made with chia seeds are a terrific replacement of coffee, although they taste nothing like it. Why is that? Well, that’s because these tiny seeds are packed full of powerful antioxidants, protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Research on athletes shows that chia seeds increase one’s endurance and provide a lot of steady, sustained energy and reduce inflammation in the body.
But the best thing about these mighty little seeds is that they are flavorless, so you can customize their taste however you like, be it adding it to a raspberry smoothie as shown in the photo above, or combining it with yogurt, juice, etc.
To prepare a chia seed-based drink, all you’ll need is 1 tablespoon of the seeds for 1 cup of water. Mix the seeds in water and let them sit in the fridge for about half an hour. They will expand in size and get a jelly-like consistency. Mix them into any drink or food of your choice and enjoy warm or cold.
4. Chai Tea
This type of tea originated in India and it’s basically black tea mixed with various herbs and spices. On average, chai contains less caffeine compared to coffee, but it can still increase your energy levels, partly thanks to all the good spices this tea contains. Like all teas, chai is full of antioxidants and it just tastes so good and comforting, especially with a splash of milk.
Many different chai spice combinations exist and ready-made mixes are available in stores. Another route you can take is to make your own chai at home from spices and tea you already have at home. We have a delicious chai recipe available here.
5. Rooibos Tea
Rooibos isn’t technically a tea, as it’s made of the leaves of a different South African plant, Aspalathus linearis, but it’s commonly known as red tea since it has a burgundy red color. Unlike tea, rooibos doesn’t contain any caffeine and is free of tannins, both of which have been associated with negative health effects, but also an antioxidant effect.
Instead, rooibos contains other antioxidants, which are associated with reduced heart disease and cancer risks. In terms of taste, rooibos has a sweet, fruity flavor and can be enjoyed alone or mixed with lemon or milk.
To prepare a cup of rooibos tea, you will need 1-2 teaspoons of the ground rooibos and steep it in hot water for at least 10 minutes. Don’t worry, this will not result in a bitter tea, rooibos simply needs a slightly longer steeping time.
6. Golden Milk