11 Natural Coffee Alternatives That Aren’t Terrible

Tristan Fewings/Getty Images News/Getty Images

I can't get through a day without coffee, and I don't have plans to change that anytime soon. I went through a brief, dark period where my doctor recommended I switch to decaf to help with anxiety — that lasted a matter of weeks. There are plenty of legitimate reasons to give up coffee, though. Maybe you're worried about your dependence on coffee, or you want to try to vary your routine. You can even take a break just to test your willpower — I have friends who give up coffee for Lent. Regardless, there are plenty of natural coffee alternatives that won't make you miserable.

I tend to ignore any life advice that requires me to do extra work — for example, exercising regularly has been shown to boost energy, but I'm not about that life, which is why I've only included caffeine alternatives that you can pour in a cup. If your goal is to feel chipper without coffee, it may be a good idea to consider a daily supplement or a doctor's appointment, since a lack of energy can be a sign of a mineral deficiency like iron-deficiency anemia. If you just want to change up your routine, these coffee substitutes will get the job done — and some even contain caffeine.

Fruit-Infused Water

Prodyne Fruit Infusion Flavor Pitcher, $18.99, Amazon

I know that drinking water may sound like it won't do much of anything, but it's actually been proven to help with energy — especially if you add a slice of lemon. According to Medical News Today, early studies have shown that it may help improve metabolic health, although more research is needed.


Kombrewery Classic Kombucha Blend, $18.95, Amazon

Kombucha is a probiotic drink that actually dates back thousands of years, even though it seems super trendy right now. It can give you an energy boost, but be careful: Thanks to its fermentation, you probably don't want to sip it behind the wheel.


Teeccino Coffee Variety Pack, $17.99, Amazon

Teeccino is actually touted as a coffee replacement, and the company says it has "the only herbal tea that tastes like coffee." I was skeptical, but based on the number of five-star reviews on Amazon, it may be worth a try.

Chai Tea

Organic Chai Tea, 20 Count, $22.68, Amazon

Chai tea lattes are seriously my favorite, although I add a shot of espresso, which probably defeats the purpose. A cup of brewed chai tea by itself, however, has about one-third the caffeine content of a cup of coffee, according to Livestrong.


Matcha Green Tea Powder, $9.95, Amazon

Matcha is super versatile — it can be used in recipes, and matcha tea can boost your energy while also help calm you down. The taste may take some getting used to, but the benefits are worth it. According to Got Matcha, though, the green-tea derived drink can have up to half the amount of caffeine that's in a cup of coffee, so you might not want to reach for it if caffeine's what you want to cut out.


Roasted Wheat-Bran & Molasses Instant Warm Beverage, $16.99, Amazon

I know that "instant warm beverage" isn't everyone's idea of a good time, but people swear by this. It's a caffeine-free coffee substitute that dates back to 1895, according to Deseret News.

Hot Chocolate

Hot Cocoa Mix, 50 Count, $10.52, Amazon

If you're a creature of habit, it may help to try something that is slightly reminiscent of coffee and still indulgent. Hot cocoa doesn't have nearly as much caffeine as coffee, though it still has some, but it's still a pleasure to drink.

Green Tea

Green Tea Bags, 40-Count Boxes (Pack of 6), $21.84, Amazon

Green tea is touted as a coffee substitute mainly because it has so many other benefits, like helping keep you hydrated and improving your skin. While it still has some caffeine in it, it's only about a third compared to a cup of black coffee.

Sparkling Water

S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water (Pack of 12), $16.89, Amazon

I know, it's hard to believe — but sparkling water has a bubbly kick to it that's reminiscent of soda, and it's way better for you. If you're tired of both plain water and coffee, you can give this bubbly, caffeine-free beverage a try.

Rooibos Tea

Rooibos Tea, $19.99, Amazon

Rooibos tea can help boost your metabolism and increase your energy, and it's safe to drink right before bed, since it's caffeine free, according to Livestrong. It's also called red tea, and it's naturally found in South Africa.

A Fruit Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Real Fruit Smoothie Mix, $20.90, Amazon

If you have a cup of coffee right when you wake up, there's no better alternative than a fruit smoothie. You can add in milk and nutrient-rich fruits to make your morning treat almost as satisfying as a Starbucks drink, but that can also double as breakfast.

I'll cling to my coffee until the day I die, but these treats show that it's possible to ditch coffee and live to tell the tale. Whether you're trying to cut down on caffeine but still be alert, or you're just looking to switch your routine up, there's definitely an option that will work for you.