What are the alternatives to coffee? And if I enjoy it so much, why do I need an alternative?
For us coffee lovers, a simple exchange for coffee might not be enough. What we're missing is the experience. Grinding the beans, preparing the maker, hearing the sounds, smelling the coffee (oh, the smells!) pouring your cup and then finally, sitting down to enjoy your hard work.
So instead of an exchange, we need an alternative. Something that comes both close in experience AND flavour. No mean task but here is my attempt to aid you fellow coffee lovers out there to an alternative if it's time to start looking at ways to cut back.
“Sometimes I go hours without drinking coffee, it's called sleeping.”
And for some it really is just sleep where coffee is not present in the days activities. And I know, I'm one of those people.
So I thought I'd tackle coffee head on with looking at what else is out there that can rival its experiential nature, and this is what I've found.
My Alternatives To Coffee
1. Yerba Maté
Yerba Maté - what is it? And why is it a great alternative?
Very good questions to ask. And ones that answer the previous questions above of finding something close to experience and flavour. Okay, so to confess, the flavours couldn't be further apart if I tried but the experience, that is something that comes on par with any coffee lovers experience, except maté is always drunk from a special cup called balibetov (catchy, no?).
It's sort of like a green leaf tea in appearance where the maté is placed into a balibetov first, then hot water is poured over it to sit for a while. Now, this is where it possibly trumps coffee and those one-time-use-only beans. A cup of fresh maté can be used over and over again, keeping its strength and taste for many a cup.
This is most commonly known by Argentinians who famously sit, sip and pass round maté morning, noon and night. Never have I met an Argentinian who doesn't carry their own special balibetov, or know of someone close by who is carrying one.
So, it's both delicious and social - sound familiar right? And that's why it's number one on this list. Plus it is overflowing with health benefits that nourish the body as well as the mind.
Rich in Antioxidants and Nutrients.
Can Boost Energy and Improve Mental Focus.
Enhance Physical Performance.
Boost Your Immune System.
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels.
Try it for yourself and see how it goes down. We never know until we try.
What is Cacao? And why is it an alternative to coffee?
Cacao is the raw chocolate bean before it's been processed into the chocolate bars we see in every store and every country.
If it survives the production line and keeps its purity, the raw cacao beans can be roasted, peeled and made into a raw cacao paste for brewing or creating delicious treats.
But as we're dealing with alternatives to coffee, I'll stick with how to brew it. For the purests' out there, after the beans have been ground down to a paste, all that's needed is to heat the paste up in a saucepan on the stove (be very careful not to burn it!) until it becomes a thick liquid, then gradually add hot water and stir it to get that rich consistency throughout. And that's it. A hot cup of delicious cacao prepared lovingly in just a little more time than a coffee would take.
For those adventurous types there are a number of added extras to mix in with the cacao once it's gently simmering (careful not to boil it). These include cinnamon, turmeric, coconut oil, almond/macadamia oil, cayenne, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, honey and/or other sweetness.
Cacao is both similar in taste to coffee, similar in experience and similar in how the body responds. And not only does it have similar uplifting qualities that coffee has, it also releases serotonin and dopamine to send us those happy chemicals naturally stored within (that's why chocolate always makes us feel so good!).
And not only that, Cacao is packed with all kinds of goodness too.
Some of which include:
Having the highest Plant-Based Source of Iron.
Full of Magnesium for a Healthy Heart & Brain.
A Natural Mood Elevator and Anti-Depressant.
So if you're looking for a true coffee alternative, cacao is patiently waiting for you to be converted.
If you're curious and would like to try, click here to buy.
Now, what if I've read this blog and still pledge my loyalties to coffee?
That's absolutely fine! I am only here to provide alternatives. So, here is another one that includes coffee!
The Ultimate Cup
For those looking to switch things up a little, perhaps add to an old favourite. Here are a few extra additions that can be added to your cup of coffee, or your second cup, to give your body added nutrition.
For those of you who are familiar with Ayuveda, you'll know this is a classic combination that enhances coffee on so many levels; nutrition, flavour and health.
And if you've reached this point and you're still favouring the old classic, then maybe this has just confirmed your love of what you already know.
I hope you find this insightful. Thank you journeying down the delicate avenues of looking further a field from a lover that has done nothing wrong, but maybe become a little too familiar.
Here's to the celebration of diversity.