“Coffee will be your best friend,” many of my friends said jokingly as I prepared to enter college as a first-year student. Little did I know how true this would actually be, as coffee became my go-to drink for the morning and a middle of the day pick me up.
After cementing itself as a part of my daily routine, I came to realize that some days, coffee did more harm than good. I often would feel anxious or jittery when drinking coffee in the mornings on an empty stomach, and it was hard to get work done or focus in class.
Although coffee will always have a special place in my heart — and I still gravitate towards it on certain days — I took it upon myself to find other alternative drinks to start my mornings with. Here are some great alternatives to coffee that I love.
One of my go-to morning drinks is a matcha latte. Besides its undeniably pretty pastel green color, matcha lattes are also very delicious drinks. I was first drawn in by its unique green color, also enjoying its deep and earthy taste that was unlike anything I’ve tried before.
If you still need a little caffeine boost but don’t want to drink coffee, matcha is a great alternative if you are looking to consume a lower caffeine content. While an eight ounce cup of coffee usually contains 96 mg of caffeine, a matcha latte of the same size will usually contain around less than half of that. After buying my fair share of matcha lattes from Starbucks, to save money, I decided it was time to try and make this drink at home.
All you have to do to prepare this delicious drink is —
- Combine two teaspoons or four grams of matcha powder with just one ounce or 30ml of water. These proportions are all based on how concentrated you would like your latte to be, so feel free to alter this based on your preference.
- Mix this together with either a frother, whisk or any type of mixing utensil.
- Next, combine this concentrate with your choice of milk for a creamy latte taste.
- Lastly, if you like your lattes sweet, add your choice of sweetener — I opt for agave nectar.
A very simple and refreshing drink that I like to prepare in the mornings when I need something to sip on is lemon water. I was first introduced to this drink by my mother, who insisted on its refreshing and invigorating qualities when drinking it first thing in the morning. Although it is just a simple concoction of lemon and water, this past summer I drank it almost every morning and felt instantly refreshed every time from its citrusy and tangy flavor. Not only is it a good source of hydration right when you wake up, but it is also full of vitamin C from the lemon. This alternative is also sugar free and caffeine free as opposed to coffee, which is heavily caffeinated and commonly full of sugars.
The preparation for this drink is as straightforward as it sounds.
- First, cut your lemon in half. Then, squeeze the juice of half a lemon in your eight ounce glass of water.
- I personally like to drink my lemon water hot, so I heat my water up before squeezing the lemon juice into it.
- Give it a good stir, and you’re ready to enjoy.
Lastly, another drink I find soothing and delicious is a golden milk or turmeric latte. I stumbled upon this drink last fall when I was craving something creamy and sweet to sip on during crisp autumn mornings and chilly nights — that is, something other than a pumpkin spiced latte. This creamy and unique tasting golden drink is loaded with antioxidants and has no caffeine. It’s perfect for those days you just want something to sip on as opposed to an energy boost.
To prepare this latte, you need —
- 1/2 cup or 120ml of unsweetened milk of your choice
- one tsp of turmeric, one small piece of grated fresh ginger or 1/2 tsp of ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder
- one pinch of ground black pepper.
- You can add in a tsp of honey or maple syrup if you would like some extra sweetness.
The preparation process is also simple and can be done along with your morning routine before you go to class.
- After collecting all of the ingredients into a sauce pan, bring the mixture to a boil and then let simmer on low heat as you stir for about ten minutes.
- Strain your mixture and serve with a bit of cinnamon sprinkled on top.
So, in case you ever feel the need for a coffee sabbatical to step away from the intensity of caffeine, try out all of these delicious drinks to start off your day.