Healthy Coffee Substitutes (+ Easy Recipe)

by Sarah Affiliate linksDrinks and Tonics, Healthy Living, RecipesComments: 98

coffee substitutes
The topic of coffee substitutes is becoming more important as people realize that caffeine addiction is very real problem today that can cause hormonal imbalances over time. 

What’s with all the kids drinking coffee too? This rarely happened only a couple of decades ago! This trend is a testament to how fried our adrenals are as a society in general. If the youngest and healthiest among us need to be jacked up on caffeine to get going in the morning, that is very worrisome indeed!

The article A Visual View of Caffeine really seemed to get the conversation rolling about coffee and caffeine. In particular, whether the positive research about coffee overshadows its clear and present danger to hormonal health is a trade-off many are struggling with.

With so many assaults on our hormones today and many people living under constant and seemingly never ending stress, it seems to me that a coffee or even a tea habit can’t help but exacerbate these problems leading to health challenges and hormonal imbalances.

=As a personal example, I really enjoy jasmine green tea and would love to drink a cup or two every single morning, however, I refrain and only drink it occasionally because I have repeatedly noticed that if I drink green tea for a few days in a row and then skip a day, I feel the effects on my adrenals as I experience fatigue from the removal of the caffeine.

The positive antioxidant profile of green tea in no way overcomes this worrisome effect on my adrenals, in my opinion, so I drink red tea instead.

Help!  I Need Coffee Substitutes for Morning Pick Me Up!

What if you really need a morning or afternoon pick me up and are truly concerned about the effect of coffee or tea on your adrenal and overall hormone health?

You can go the decaf route, but supposed coffee substitutes like decaf coffee and tea still have caffeine in them and so will not eliminate the stress on the adrenals completely.

16oz of Starbucks Decaf, for example, contains about 25 mg of caffeine which is about the same amount as 8 oz of regular green tea.

Even decaf black tea has up to 12 mg of caffeine per 8 oz. Substituting green tea instead? A matcha latte contains 80 mg of caffeine per cup. One benefit of drinking tea over coffee, however, is that the caffeine in tea is slow release due to the amino acid theanine. Thus, the adrenal hit is minimized.

One coffee substitutes option for a completely caffeine free morning brew is Dandy Blend, made of dandelion root. I know plenty of folks who just love Dandy Blend and swear it tastes just like coffee, but if you choose to give it a try – go slow and build up gradually.   I’ve had some people report that the detoxifying effect of the dandelion can result in a close relationship with the bathroom until your digestive tract adjusts!

Another option is to make coffee substitutes yourself. One excellent one is a rooibos latte or “red espresso”. Red tea is a delicious and satisfying coffee substitute no matter how you enjoy taking it. If you enjoy the taste of dandelion tea more, try this recipe for a dandelion coffee latte.

The following coffee substitute is suggested by Sally Fallon Morell, President of the Weston A. Price Foundation who recommends it as a really good pick me up:

coffee substitutes

Recipe for a Healthy Coffee Substitute

Three simple, whole ingredients make this healthy coffee substitute that will give you a good pick me up and a dose of healthy fats without the hit to the adrenal glands from all that caffeine.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Servings 1 cup
Calories 179.5 kcal
Author Sarah



  1. Place ingredients in a mug and pour in boiling water and stir. 

  2. Let cook until still hot but drinkable and enjoy! It tastes like a gingerbread cookie in a mug!

Nutrition Facts
Recipe for a Healthy Coffee Substitute
Amount Per Serving (1 cup)
Calories 179.5
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Do you have tea or coffee substitutes that work for you?  Please share with all of us!

Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist


Sources and More Information

Gluten Issues or Celiac? Don’t Drink Coffee!

How Bulletproof Coffee Shoots You in the Foot

Why You Need to Change WHEN You Drink Coffee

The Truth About Your Morning Coffee Fix

Is Caffeine Causing Your Chronic Back Pain

Coffee and Gluten Sensitivity

Caffeine Content of Coffee, Tea, Soda and More, Mayo Clinic

The Healthy Home Economist holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. Mother to 3 healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, ABC, NBC, and many others.

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