5 of the Best Coffee Substitutes

Coffee drinkers, unite! We love coffee- the aroma, the ritual, the flavor, the energy boost, the focus, the crash, the haze, the agitation, the… wait, huh? Sorry, what was that? Get me another cup of coffee, I just can’t focus right now.

There is so much to love about coffee but, unfortunately, we’ve become a bit reliant on the caffeine to make us, well… people. “Don’t talk to me until I’ve had my coffee” serves a big haha on a t-shirt or mug, but in the real world that’s kind of, well, unacceptable. How did we become a society so reliant on energy sourced from a bean water alchemy?

Our western society has stepped into the age of self-care. And we’re learning that productivity at the price of our mental and physical well-being just ain’t cool anymore. We’re skipping the mid-day roast for a yoga flow. Too much caffeine leaves us rigid, agitated, anxious, and unable to relax. But when we’ve become so comforted by a single cuppa… what can you do?

If you’ve noticed that coffee in gross quantities doesn’t serve your personhood, we’ve got five coffee substitutes for you:

Changa Mushroom

Shroomin’ in the morning? Yes, actually. Changa mushroom grows on birch trees and is incredibly good for us. Trees, man. But don’t worry- this mushroom is minus the hallucinogenics. What you can expect to receive is some clean energy that replicates caffeine. It’s also full of antioxidants!


It’s like an adult hot chocolate with a nice caffeine kick. The caffeine in cacao is small, about 12 milligrams, but it also contains a compound called theobromine. Theobromine mimics the stimulating and energizing effects one receives from a cup of coffee. This coffee alternative is great for daytime drinking as it’s energizing elements won’t follow you into the bedroom at night when you’re ready to relax and rest.

Green Matcha Tea

You might consider matcha as that expensive thing at the cafe. But trust us, it’s way more than that. Matcha tea is full of clean caffeine that many reports being responsible for a grounded sense of energy that doesn’t result in an afternoon crash. Making Matcha at home can be an affordable way to replace your morning coffee routine.

 Traditional matcha is made with hot water, a whisk, matcha (of course), and milk/milk alternative. It has a grassy, earthy taste that might take some time to adjust to but it’s quite delicious. Just think- you weren’t born loving the bitterness of coffee. You can also add a sweetener (like honey or agave) to give it a sweeter taste.

Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is traditionally consumed in South American countries and is similar to its tea counterparts. Its popularity is growing rapidly in the US and can typically be found wholesale in many different grocery stores. Yerba Mate is a tasty tea (sometimes can even be found carbonated) that offers hydration and caffeination. It’s good for mental activity, responsiveness, and energy boosts without the crash. Sometimes people even use it in place of a pre-workout!

Lemon Water

Ready to go rogue? Good old H2O with a splash of lemon. So many of us rarely get the amount of water that we actually need. When you’re hydrated your organs are competing on empty and your brain has more energy, and when you start your day off with a glass of water encourages you to continue hydrating. When you’re well-hydrated you’re bursting with natural, self-regulated energy to burn. Lemon offers a boost of Vitamin-C and you can get creative with other infusions- like strawberries and cucumbers.

At the End of the Day

You want to feel good about what you’re putting into your body- and you want what you’re putting into your body to do good for you. Give some of these coffee alternatives a try and see what’s possible for your habits. You might just realize you don’t need another cup of coffee after all.

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