There are many healthy coffee alternatives available in the markets these days. Some are instant, some can be brewed in a coffee maker.
Some studies claim coffee is 'good for you' others say the opposite. Coffee can be good for the liver, protecting against gall stones, and can improve sports performance, alertness, cognitive focus, and more. It contains manganese and antioxidants.
Coffee can also cause the jitters, acid reflux, or insulin spikes ~ depending on quantity, timing, and even type of coffee consumed.
So, if YOU have have a negative reaction to coffee, and/or rely on coffee to get you through your day, or if you have difficulty sleeping through the night, digestive issues, headaches or other complaints, you may be ripe for a healthy coffee alternative!
I happen to love coffee. How I handle coffee depends on a few factors, which I share below. Thankfully, I have also found a few healthy coffee alternatives to love as well!
Here are a few potential issues with coffee:
Bob Flaws, a well known author, teacher, and practitioner of Chinese medicine considers coffee to be a very dispersing energy that dissipates our qi and essence, despite many people claiming that they are not bothered by caffeine.
If you like the coffee flavor, but desire an alternative morning beverage that won't cause the jitters, keep you from sleeping through the night, and that you can enjoy any time of day, I share my favorites below. Several are rich in minerals (like potassium in Coffig made just from figs) or inulin fiber prebiotics (like chicory) providing additional health benefits. That pretty yellow spring 'weed' dandelion has a host of health benefits, especially for the liver as well.
Historically, Postum was the original commercial instant healthy coffee alternative, however Kraft pulled the plug on this long cherished brand in 2008.
It has been resurrected recently, with a slight change to the original recipe ~ to the chagrin of many.
Postum and several others of the instant granule variety that contain grains would not be good for those with gluten sensitivity issues.
Before Postum, various folk remedies made use of indigenous herbs to make a 'coffee' like beverage ~ typically using ingredients like dandelion and chicory which can both be bought in bulk in an already roasted and granulated form, then simmered at home (recipe below) or found in many different healthy coffee alternative products.
Roasted dandelion and roasted chicory combined brew up to a near coffee-like flavor. For those who like the rich dark roast flavor of coffee, here are my favorite healthy coffee alternative products, short of making up my own from scratch.
Postum has a long time loyal following. It rolled out onto the market in the late 1800's as an instant healthy coffee alternative. The sweet flavor combo of wheat with a hint of molasses was a hit. It grew in popularity in part because groups like the Seventh Day Adventists were happy for a hot beverage to drink as a coffee alternative.
There are healthy coffee alternatives made from non-grain ingredients, which are also gluten-free. Soyava is made from soy beans, Coffig is made entirely from black mission figs, and Copamo is made from the highly touted Maya nut, which goes by other names including ramon nut, found in several of the Teeccino flavors. All of these are gluten-free.
The ramón or Maya nut is a good source of protein, iron, potassium, and calcium, and is a natural galactagogue which helps boost milk production in nursing mothers, among several other health benefits.
My current favorites are the Coffig in granulated form, and Teeccino Roasted Herbal Tea Dandelion Dark Roast ~ 'Prebiotic, Acid Free, Caffeine Free, Gluten Free.'
Both the Coffig and the Teeccino come in tea bag or granulated form. Here are my current 'brew' methods:
Coffig granulated ~ a little goes a long way! While it may seem pricey, I only use 1 tsp. per teapot shown. I fill the above cast iron tea pot (which I love, Thank you mom!) with hot water, and let it steep a few minutes.
If using Coffig in tea bag form, I do suggest simmering it a few minutes in a pot versus just steeping it in your cup for a more full flavor.
Teeccino Dandelion Dark Roast ~ I simmer 1 tea bag in about 1 quart of water for several minutes. I make enough with one tea bag for Don and I to each have a full mug, with some to spare. Sometimes, I add more water to the pot after serving and let it simmer a few minutes longer, saving leftover in a jar for a quick reheat the next morning.
BOTH of these healthy coffee alternatives are great with half and half, and/or however you drink coffee. They also taste good combined!
If you want to still drink coffee, but cut back without losing the flavor, combine a little of the granulated Coffig or purchase Teeccino Dark Roast (or any of their many other flavors) and use half coffee, and a little Teeccino.
PLEASE NOTE: MORE IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER FOR FLAVOR! TOO MUCH MAY MAKE IT TOO SOUR OR BITTER OR LESS DESIRABLE TASTING! A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY ~ WHICH IS GOOD FOR YOUR POCKETBOOK!
Boost your healthy coffee alternative by adding 1 scoop of Forest Leaf Collagen Peptides with 12g of protein per scoop. Collagen is a great nutrient boost to hair, skin, joints, nails, and gut health. Forest Leaf is a very reputable company that I endorse with full faith and trust.
Teeccino comes in many flavors, from mocha, to mocha mint, caramel, and many many more. The ingredients vary a bit. Some have nuts, some do not. If you have allergies, be sure to read the ingredients. And experiment. I've not loved all the flavors equally, but I do enjoy the sweeter flavors at times as a sort of later day treat.
Following Are A Few Suggestions To Enjoy Your Coffee or Your Favorite Healthy Coffee Alternative Hot Beverage
The difference among many of the grain-based healthy coffee alternatives can be slight, but enough to favor one over another. Common ingredients used includes roasted dandelion root, roasted chicory root, roasted barley, and in some cases rye or beet root.
One ingredient variation can make the beverage slightly more sweet, or slightly more bitter. Preferences, or a high sensitivity to the bitter taste may actually be genetic. Some long time coffee drinkers like the slightly bitter taste, while others prefer the sweeter flavor of many of the instant coffee substitutes.
I noticed while reading many reviews that those who drink the coffee alternatives with a creamer (half and half or non-dairy), and those who have health issues that mandated giving up coffee, such as ulcers, acid regurgitation, or insomnia tended to adapt well to the alternative options ~ grateful for a beverage that satisfies their nostalgia for hot mug of coffee.
The Prewitt's Organic Roasted Chicory, and the Barlee brand, or any of the others shown above or below are all great options. Chicory is considered a healthy prebiotic which can benefit gut flora.
Even better is chicory + chocolate! You might really like the following recipe for a warming beverage on a cool evening.
Chocolate Chicory Drink
Warm milk in a small pot. Stir in the chicory and chocolate. Heat until combined and melted, just before coming to a boil.
Barlee shown here and above comes in a few variations. All three have barley and chicory root. You can also get Barlee with roasted dandelion root, rose hips, echinacea, or blueberry.
Barlee is a great value, especially when buying in bulk.