Best Coffee Alternatives of 2021
Find out what’s worth it and what to skip. We evaluated dozens of coffee alternatives to bring you the best
Coffee is not for everybody, as our society may want us to believe. It makes some people sleepless, anxious, jittery and sends their energy spiking and then crashing again. It makes some people moody and dependent on its psychotropic effects. It’s the most socially acceptable drug, and the truth is, we should consider our relationship to it.
In this article, we dive deep into the best coffee alternatives head to head. You’re here because you already know that you need to do something about this coffee addiction.
We’ll give you some starting points about how to find the best one for you, and what you should consider.
What’s wrong with most coffee alternatives?
Coffee alternatives are trying their best. It’s a new space and the products on the market are figuring out. Here is the skinny. A few of them taste bad, some of them use inferior ingredients, and a couple of others will leave you with a stomach ache.
Once you cut the coffee habit, you don’t want to wake up feel like you have to drink something disgusting. You can still find something that will help you enjoy waking up and give you energy. If you’re doing something everyday, it might as well be good for you. The last thing you want is to cut the habit and introduce something that is not good for you.
Are they safe?
We haven’t found anything that’s downright dangerous with the alternatives we reviewed. The worst symptom you’ll get is a stomach ache or maybe a headache. Still, you should watch out, especially if you’re drinking something every day.
Don’t Risk Only Relying On Amazon Reviews
Many reviews on amazon are paid for. Companies with the biggest market budgets have people leave positive reviews on their items and negative reviews on their competitors. Don’t risk choosing the coffee alternative you will put in your body to biased reviews
How to decide on the best coffee replacement for you?
You’ll need to figure out what’s important. Do you want something that will still give you energy? Do you just care about the ritual? Do you want something that tastes like coffee but does nothing? Do you prefer to try the caffeine from teas? These are all important questions to ask when you’re replacing your habit.
How we picked and rated our top choices
The holy grail of coffee alternatives came down to the points below. We judge each item on their ability to give us “calm energy”, their taste, quality and consistency of ingredients, general function, and lastly, value based on their price per serving.
- Calm Energy – Does it still give you energy or does the replacement do nothing
- Taste – Are we swapping out the coffee habit for a daily drink we want to spit out or is it still tasty.
- Ingredients – Are the ingredients we are putting our body regularly something we want.
- Value – How is this going to hit my wallet on a price-per-serving basis.
- Function – Does this new drink add to our life in any way.
After looking at dozens of coffee alternatives, here are some of the more popular ones that we put on under our rainbows to review.
The choice: When you want the best coffee alternative with herbs and adaptogens with no caffeine from tea
- Lots of healthy adaptogens and herbs
- Taste closer to the bitterness of coffee
- Great trustworthy brand
- Longer blending time to release all the effects
Ingredients: Roasted Chicory, Burdock Root, Dandelion Root, Shatavari, Codonopsis, He Shou Qu, Eleuthero, Ceylon Cinnamon, Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Chaga Mycelium, Reishi Extract
RASA is a brand that finds the best herbal ingredients and blends them together into a tasty coffee alternative. They have a brand that’s beautiful reflection attention to detail in the ingredients as well. We appreciate the broad mix of adaptogens and the focus on organic. The functional elements are well researched and overall we found after lots of research that this is the best coffee alternative brand.
The basic herbal choice if you want something that tastes like coffee and that’s all
- Close to the taste of coffee and brewed in the same way
- Different flavors and experience is close to coffee
- No functional qualities in the ingredients. It will not give you energy
- No tea in it despite the name
- It can give you stomach acid like coffee
- Not gluten-free if you’re celiac
Ingredients: Roasted organic carob, organic barley, organic chicory, organic ramón seeds, natural coffee flavor*
Teecino is the earthy sister in the coffee replacement world. They have a beautiful female-centric brand anTeecino is the Folgers of the coffee replacement world. They really try to making something for the everyday coffee drinker that tastes like coffee. We wanted more functional qualities though rather than drinking a drink just because it tastes like coffee. Some people complain of the same symptoms from coffee such as stomach acid, although we had no issues.
3. Four Sigmatic Mushroom Elixir
When you want mostly mushrooms for a once in a while drink
- Mental Clarity from chaga
- Simple ingredient list
- Good brand for mushroom products
- Not ideal for daily drinking
Ingredients: Organic chaga, organic eleuthero, organic mint, organic rose hips
Shroomy, shroomy. Four sigmatic brings the coffee replacement with Chaga. While we love Chaga we wanted other ingredients to balance out this drink. It would be perfect for once in a while but maybe not something you’d have every day
When you love matcha
- Has caffeine and L-theanine for a smooth caffeinate ride
- Tastes great with high-quality sourcing
- No other ingredients besides matcha with functional qualities
- A little expensive per serving
Ingredients: Organic matcha
Matcha is great. Tea in general is a great coffee replacement when you want a real energy boost but without the spike. We loved this particular brand and the smooth energy ride. However, with matcha as a daily drink we wanted more functional ingredients.
5. Dandy Blend
When you want something that taste similar to coffee with some mild benefits
- People love the taste
- Dandelion roots have some very mild benefits
- Inconsistent quality from each batch
- Some people get allergic reactions and various side effect, including headaches and upset stomaches
Ingredients: dandelion root, chicory root, sugar beetroot, barley, and rye
Dandy blend is a controversial drink. Some people, some people hate it. While dandelions do have health benefits it’s not really clear what they are. However, people really liked the taste of this, although it doesn’t sit well with everyone.
All around well-balanced choice if you don’t mind the taste
- Includes body recovery elements
- Balanced ingredients in terms of functionality
- No sweeteners added
- Taste is not great, and doesn’t get better over time
- Mushrooms come from mycelium instead of fruiting bodies
- No adaptogens
Ingredients: Masala Chai, Cacao, Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Chaga Reishi, Cinamon, Turmeric, Himalayan salt
MUD/WTR is perhaps the most popular and widely seen coffee replacement. They were one of the first to warn people about the dangers of caffeine and probably have spent millions in getting everyone to see their fun ads. We love the balanced quality of the ingredients and the focus on functionality. The taste leaves a lot to be desired, though. And it’s not an acquired one that we enjoyed over time. We also knocked off one double rainbow off the ingredients rating for using mycelium extract from the mushrooms rather than fruiting bodies.
Other Coffee Substitutes We Considered
Our editorial team researched dozens of products for quality and value. We then create a select list for research before finalizing the best products. The list below are other coffee alternatives we considered that didn’t make the cut.