Whether filter coffee, cappuccino, or latte macchiato: hot drinks containing caffeine are indispensable for millions of people in the morning. Not only do they taste good, but they are also real pick-me-ups. But what if you don’t like or tolerate coffee, but don’t want to do without caffeine altogether?
According to a recent study, Americans drink an average of 3.6 cups of coffee a day. This is the result of a representative survey in which more than 5,000 people took part. According to the survey, the most popular hot drinks include not only the classic filter coffee but also other varieties such as cappuccino and latte macchiato.
What the study does not show, however, is that there are also people who do not like coffee or do not tolerate it as well – but still need a pick-me-up in the morning. For them, there is a variety of tasty coffee alternatives that also contain caffeine. You can find out what these are here – the 5 best coffee alternatives:
1. Coffee substitute: guarana powder
The plant, which originates from the Amazon basin, has such a high caffeine content that it is mainly used in energy drinks. The freely available powder is also a good alternative to coffee, but should not be eaten pure, as it tastes very bitter. Instead, you can mix the organically grown guarana powder into a flavored drink (for example, a fruit juice) – but be careful: the caffeine it contains does not work immediately but takes a moment.
Nevertheless, you should not exceed the recommended daily amount of three grams (that is about three cups of coffee). If you have drunk too much Guaraná, you could suffer from sleep problems, palpitations, headaches, or diarrhea.
2. Coffee replacement: green tea
Green tea is also a popular coffee alternative: in contrast to the classic stimulant, the caffeine contained in the leaves does not act immediately after consumption, but only gradually – this is due to the amino acids and tanning agents. But the effect lasts longer than with coffee. The non-fermented tea is also very digestible, so it causes fewer stomach problems. However, it is important that you do not pour boiling water over the leaves and that you only steep the tea for two to a maximum of three minutes, otherwise it can quickly taste bitter.
3. Coffee alternative: Matcha powder
This coffee alternative is also a green tea but in powder form. Matcha means “ground tea” because it is extracted from whole leaves, is therefore highly dosed, and contains healthy and invigorating active ingredients (vitamins, minerals, and trace elements). The concentrated powder has a slightly tart taste, is also poured with 80 degrees hot (not boiling) water and then beaten with a bamboo broom until foamy.
The amino acids and tanning agents contained in the stimulant also have a gentle effect here, so that the caffeine kick does not start immediately, but lasts for a longer period. Dosage: Add a maximum of one to two grams of Matcha powder to up to 100 milliliters of water.
4. Coffee substitute: black tea
A popular classic and coffee substitute is black tea. The tanning agents contained in it are also responsible for the fact that the effect of the caffeine occurs much later than with coffee, but also lasts longer. Rich in vitamin B and potassium, the hot drink stimulates circulation and has a calming effect on the stomach.
There is now a wide range of different flavors, so there is something for everyone: from English breakfast tea and Assam black tea to Darjeeling or Earl Grey, black tea provides the necessary supply of caffeine, which is released to your body bit by bit and ensures the hallo-wake effect.
5. Coffee alternative: Mate tea
Similar to the popular cold drink, mate tea has a very individual, sweet and sour, and slightly smoky taste, which is not always appreciated. However, if you like the aroma, this coffee alternative is a good caffeine substitute: the bush, which originates from South America, is not itself processed into a stomach-friendly tea, only its leaves.
These are first dried, cut into small pieces, and then poured over with boiling water. As with guarana powder, the caffeine contained in the mate is not released immediately, but takes time to be absorbed – but it also lasts longer. The rule here is: The longer you let the powder steep, the stronger the stimulant. This can be sweetened with honey or sugar, just like any other tea, if the taste is too bitter.
BONUS: 3 coffee alternatives without caffeine
Not only drinks containing caffeine have an invigorating effect on the body: there are also hot drinks that can boost the circulation without any stimulants. These include the following three foods:
Nettle tea: The herb known from medicine can also be used as a coffee substitute – even without caffeine. The active ingredients it contains are not only healthy but can also counteract states of exhaustion and tiredness. However, the stimulant is not immediately noticeable, but rather in the long term. Nevertheless, it is worth a try if you want to do without caffeine.
Ginger tea: The popular tuber is a true all-rounder. Thanks to its revitalizing ingredients, fresh ginger has a positive effect on the immune system. It gets the circulation going, stimulates digestion, and counteracts fatigue. Cut into thin slices, simply pour hot water over it – and it tastes warm or cold. With or without a bowl, it makes no difference.
Wheatgrass juice: Granted, the taste is not everyone’s cup of tea. But wheatgrass has a number of important nutrients in its baggage – such as vitamins C, E, B1, minerals calcium, iron, and magnesium. The juice thus provides an energy boost in the morning. However, since it can affect the stomach, you should increase the dosage slowly. Start with a shot and increase the quantities over time.