Best Coffee Substitutes

The Best Coffee Substitutes | Examples with and without caffeine

For most people, coffee is one of the must-haves for breakfast. At the same time, other people prefer to avoid it.

The caffeine in coffee (about 100 mg approx) can cause you to wake up quickly, but it can also cause nervousness and even stomach problems, gastritis, and even headaches. For this reason, you may be looking to replace coffee in the morning.

This article presents seven coffee substitutes that you can try in the morning.

Coffee Substitutes for Breakfast – Examples

Coffee substitutes may or may not have caffeine, but their flavors are variable, although they are all of natural origin; The ideal for breakfast is to try which foods they combine best with and select the option that best suits your mornings. Here are seven coffee substitutes:

  1. Chicory

The Chicory is a plant with blue flowers; chicory roots are used to substitute for coffee. For this, it is first dried, then ground, and roasted. Among the main properties and benefits of Chicory is the presence of antioxidants, natural prebiotics, and that it does not contain caffeine. (1)

Unlike coffee, Chicory relaxes the central nervous system and does not stimulate it. In addition, one of its benefits is its positive effect on gastrointestinal functioning. It is a substitute for coffee with a very similar taste but decaffeinated. It is recommended to use about 3-5 grams per infusion.

  1. Guarana

The guarana powder is derived from the fruit of a tree with red berries that grow in the Amazon region of Brazil and Paraguay. The fruits contain a high caffeine content; the amount is practically equal to that of coffee. (2) Therefore, one of the most common uses of guarana is as a substitute for coffee, particularly in the summer season.

Guarana can be taken as a cold infusion, in shakes, in powder, and the form of supplements. Its flavor is slightly bitter, so it is recommended to combine with stevia or another sugar substitute to mask the taste.

  1. Yerba mate

The yerba mate is a derivative of a Paraguayan tree that can reach a height of 12-16 meters. Yerba mate is one of the coffee substitutes with a high caffeine content; it represents about 1-2% of the dry weight. (3) Like coffee, yerba mate falls into the category of natural thermogenic.

Mate infusions are used as a substitute for coffee in the countries of the La Plata basin: Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Depending on the area, they can be prepared both bitter and sweet, with milk, cooked, or even with fruit juices. It requires a particular container (mate), and care must be taken that the water is not entirely boiling as it loses its flavor.

  1. Cinnamon tea

Cinnamon tea is a substitute for the ideal coffee for people with diabetes. Recently, science has confirmed that cinnamon tea can help regulate blood sugar levels, which rethinks its use (not only as a substitute for coffee) but as a preventive treatment for type 2 diabetes. (4)

Cinnamon tea does not contain caffeine, and it does not take more than 10 minutes to prepare. Its flavor and aromas are pleasant. You can combine the cinnamon sticks with black or green tea, even with warm milk or ghee butter. This is a recipe that enhances the flavor of cinnamon even more.

  1. Pussy

Unlike coffee beans, powdered maca provides energy without the post-craving feeling typical of caffeine. For this reason, it can be an excellent substitute for coffee at breakfast. Combining about 2.5 g with vegetable milk (coconut, almond) is recommended to mask the bitter taste.

Maca is one of the ideal coffee substitutes for physically active people. Fitness enthusiasts often take a tablespoon of maca powder before a training session for an extra boost of energy. In addition, studies have shown that it can increase postmenopausal symptoms in women. (5)

  1. Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is a plant used in traditional Indian medicine: Ayurveda. The roots and berries of the plant can be used to prepare infusions as a substitute for coffee. The texture is somewhat thick and can be designed as a milk infusion with honey.

This is one of the best substitutes for coffee for breakfast to relieve arthritis and prevent muscle aging, just as it effectively regulates anxiety and bipolar behaviors. (6) It does not contain caffeine, so it is ideal for those who want to avoid its effects.

  1. Green tea

Green tea is one of the most classic coffee substitutes. It contains almost half the caffeine, so it is ideal for those who feel nervous when drinking coffee. In addition, green tea is high in chlorogenic acid, a molecule with antioxidant properties.

Green tea is a coffee substitute that contains an amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine increases the activity of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA, thus having positive effects on the production of dopamine in the brain. (7)


The best caffeine-free coffee substitutes are Chicory, cinnamon tea, maca, and ashwagandha. For those who prefer caffeinated coffee substitutes, the best options for breakfast are green tea, guarana, and mate infusions.

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