The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.


5 Delicious Coffee Alternatives

Coffee is very acidic, and if you’ve ever been a regular coffee drinker, you know how the high caffeine content can give you the jitters then make you crash. It’s altogether hard on your system…not to mention, coffee makes your teeth yellow, and gives you bad breath. Gross!

That said, drinking coffee can be a tough habit to break, and who doesn’t enjoy sitting down with a hot, flavorful beverage? Luckily, there are lots of yum alternatives to traditional coffee. These won’t taste like coffee, but they are hot and soothing and nice to sip on. Give ‘em a try:

1. Kukicha Tea

This one is very healthy. Try it alone, or sweetened with a little brown rice syrup. You can also make it medicinal by using it in my Cure-All Tea (p. 90 in The Kind Diet).

Try Eden’s Kukicha tea.

2. Mugicha (Barley) Tea

Roasted barley has a delicious flavor in tea. When I drink it, I put a barley tea bag in my mug and simply refill it with hot water all day. You can add brown rice syrup for a sweet, superhero treat.

Bird Pick sells roasted barley tea as does Goldmine Natural Foods.

3. Genmaicha (Brown Rice) Green Tea

Genmaicha is quite delicious. It is roasted brown rice tea. But beware, all green teas have caffeine. I have on a rare occasion sipped on some green tea, but I am not a caffeine fan at all. If you love green tea, though, this is a good one.

Try Eden’s Genmaicha.

4. Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate is an antioxidant-rich tea grown in South America. It’s super yummy. I used to drink this with Woody and Laura all the time. Laura makes a mean Yerba Mate latte! You can have it cold or hot with soy or rice milk and maple syrup. Yerba Mate gets me super spazzy from the caffeine, so I don’t drink it anymore, but boy I used to enjoy some sips of that with my pals. It’s not superhero, but if you’re looking for a healthier caffeine fix, this is a better option than coffee!

Try organic Yerba Mate by Guyaki.

5. Choffy, Teechino, or Pero

All three of these brands are natural coffee substitutes made with chicory, cinnamon, and a variety of other spices. If you really miss the flavor of coffee, give one of these a try. If you’re looking to go superhero, one of these could be a good first step toward weening yourself off of caffeine. Real Food Daily serves Teechino with steamed soy, rice, or hemp milk (you get to pick). It’s so nice with a big piece of chocolate cake. When you feel rebellious! Although the chocolate cake will be almost the same as the caffeine because of the cane sugar and caffeine in the chocolate. But heck, it’s more fun than coffee!

Try Choffy, Teeccino, or Pero.

Any of these coffee alternatives can go in a mug or in your to-go cup while you’re running errands or heading to work. And if you must drink coffee, I have heard that straight espresso is a better choice than coffee. Sounds a bit suspicious, but I do enjoy a sip of espresso about two times a year. And I mean A sip – I couldn’t order one and drink the whole thing myself. I just bum a sip off of whoever is drinking that delicious-smelling after meal beverage.

Do you know of any yummier hot drinks?
Share them in the comments below!



  • Rhodri Harries

    I used to like my coffee black n bitter (no sugar) so I substituted with organic cacao ,just a teaspoon with hot water ,sure there is caffeine in cacao but less than coffee and the caffeine in cocoa can protect your skin against sun damage and skin cancer. Add a heaped teaspoon of coconut oil to make it cozy…

  • James Fayal

    Another great option is Zest Tea. They are specially formulated to have as much caffeine as coffee (about 3x normal teas). You can find them at

  • Greta Mirabella Adzukibohne Pe

    My absolute fave is matcha tea, served as a hot or iced latte with plain soymilk and a tiny bit of agave syrup or with rice/coconut milk which is already very sweet naturally without any added sweeteners (e.g. from provamel, don’t know whether this is available in the U.S., but you can get it all over europe, and i’m sure there must be some US equivalent.) Matcha and coconut is my OMG solution too when I have a serious sweet craving :)

    And very nice especially with kids: carob powder – used just the way you would use cocoa powder but completely free of caffeine/theobromine AND super low in fat. perfect for kids who need their dose of chocolate taste without all the nasty hyperactivity stuff :) Just to give some alternatives, carob for example could come handy when your little one can’t digest or is allergic to chocolate (yes, there are those poor babies out there, i happen to know one!) Carob is also a stunner in a warm winter morning granola or porridge. ok now this really is off-topic :)

  • C. Blake

    Thank you Alicia! My sister was just looking for a coffee alternative recently and I didn’t even think to search online or ask the kind life community about it. We just kind of put our heads together on it and bought some tea from the local store. I haven’t checked with her lately on what she liked on the few teas that we bought but I will and send this to her too.