It’s a hot topic question–Is coffee okay when following a healthy, plant-based lifestyle?
Obviously, coffee comes from a plant, but whether it benefits our health is an important consideration. The medical research community is constantly reevaluating whether coffee is harmless, harmful, or helpful.
Dr. Neal Barnard states, “We do not restrict coffee or other caffeinated beverages either. This does not mean they are good for you. You may well sleep better without them, and many people find that they have better overall energy without caffeine. You know that caffeine is a stimulant. What you might not know is that as much as one-quarter of the caffeine in your morning coffee is still circulating in your bloodstream twelve hours later. “
Dr. John McDougall feels strongly that coffee can be harmful, “Coffee raises blood pressure, cholesterol and risk of heart disease. Bowel problems from indigestion to diarrhea are also caused by coffee. On the other hand, teas have far fewer side effects and many health benefits.”
And Dr. Michael Greger, “Since there appear to be compounds in coffee that both impair and improve endothelial function (whereas in tea, both green and black, it appears to be all improvement), one might turn to epidemiological studies to look at overall risk and benefit of coffee consumption. Though filtered coffee may be good, the evidence supporting the benefits of green tea are much stronger and more consistent. So I continue to recommend people drink tea instead of coffee, not because coffee is bad for you, but because green tea appears to be much better.”
It is not my purpose here to tell anyone whether they should give up coffee or not. That is a personal decision. What I want to do is offer some options for those who know they are in a bad relationship with their java (dependence/sleep issues), or simply want to give up the habit.
Personally, I was a heavy morning coffee drinker for years, drinking an entire pot by myself. Since, from experience, I knew that my sleep was affected by it, I didn’t drink it after 10 a.m. Even after I adopted a plant-based lifestyle, I still drank coffee until two years in. Finally, I came to the realization that I was dependent on it and decided to make a change.
I still wanted to be able to wrap my hands around a warm, steaming mug as I inhaled deeply and began my day. I just had to figure out what was going to fill that heavenly mug. So I began my search for a replacement, and here are some of the options I found.
Teccinno is my personal favorite. It’s an herbal coffee substitute. I love the flavor and it’s ingredients are organic: carob, barley, chicory, ramon seeds, dates, almonds, and chili flakes. Believe me, I know these ingredients sound weird and nothing like coffee but, amazingly, it is very good! Teccinno carries tea and coffee blends in both tea bags (even for the coffee) and in regular ground coffee bags. This is a 6-minute video of the owner demonstrating for a TV show that is definitely worth watching. Clicking the picture below will take you to the different varieties of Teeccino, so shop around and find a flavor you want to try. They have sample packages, so you can try them all! My favorite flavor is chocolate and I definitely dilute it, because it’s too strong for me. I use 4 Tbsp. for a whole pot of coffee.
Teeccino’s all-purpose filter grind brews perfectly in any kind of coffee maker. Drip it, French press it, or make a cappuccino in your espresso machine. Refillable K-cups work great too. You can even blend Teeccino with coffee to reduce caffeine and acidity, which allows you to drink more cups of coffee a day or make your own ‘decaf’. Decaf coffee still has caffeine, but it’s made from denatured coffee beans with high acidity that have lost their antioxidants. Instead, use your favorite brand of regular coffee and control the amount of caffeine in your cup by blending it with Teeccino. If you need to take a permanent break from coffee, avoid painful withdrawal symptoms by weaning off of caffeine gradually. Blend Teeccino with coffee and reduce the amount of coffee over two weeks. You can drink Teeccino anywhere you go, by using our convenient single serve Tee-bags and simply asking for hot water!
Dandy Blend is another good herbal beverage option. Ingredients include: extracts of roasted barley, rye, chicory root, dandelion root, and sugar beet. “The healthy alternative to coffee. Features the health benefits of dandelion and the rich, full-bodied flavor, smoothness and texture of real coffee. Enjoy rich, smooth, full-bodied coffee flavor without the caffeine, acidity, or bitterness.” Click the picture below to view on amazon.
Pero prides itself with simple ingredients, “All natural ingredients malted barley, barley, chicory, rye and nothing else.” Some people find it’s simple blend tasty and satisfying. Click below to view more product details.
Roma has ingredients of roasted barley, malt barley, chicory, and rye. I have not tried it, but it has a 4.5 stars out of 5 with customers on amazon’s rating. It might be worth a try!
These are certainly not all of the different coffee replacement options, but these four products should get you started, should you decide to make a break with coffee and caffeine. It was not as difficult for me as I had envisioned, though I did experience mild headaches for a few days.
Now, I am very happy to be caffeine-free! I still get to hold a warm, steaming mug of deliciousness in the mornings, only now my heart doesn’t get out of rhythm and I sleep like a baby at night.
Notes & Disclaimers: I do occasionally drink decaf coffee (or even a half cup of regular coffee) at family events, but it is not often.
I do not receive any compensation from the above mentioned companies in this blog. However, the product links to amazon are affiliate links, and I do receive a small commission from those sales that help support this site which is greatly appreciated!
My favorite flavor of Teeccino is chocolate, and I definitely dilute it because it’s too strong. I use 4 level Tbsps for a whole pot of coffee.