Disclaimer: I drink some variety of coffee every day and I love it! Not really for the caffeine effect, though that does help me power through some work. But mostly for the taste and smell. I love the ritual of smelling coffee, the ‘excitement’ lol of a latte vs. a cold brew for the day, and sitting down in a buzzing coffee shop to get some work done. I typically only have 1 coffee a day, earlier (though it takes me HOURS to finish it) and if I ever don’t have time to get it - I’m not jonesing for it with a headache and all that. I know, I know - I AM LUCKY. I also didn’t start drinking coffee until I was in my 30s! (my parents, too! It must run in our genes somehow…)
Anyway, if you want to cut back on your coffee consumption because you feel it is a little out of hand - here are some options for things you can try.
First order of business - lemon water. Are you thirsty?! Make sure you are drinking this FIRST. First thing in the morning, to gently wake up your liver and kick off your whole system - and also first thing before each sip of coffee to keep you hydrated. Also - if you drink a few cups of lemon water - see if you still feel the need for a coffee. Or maybe you can reduce the size of coffee you order? Water is great on it’s own - but the lemon (lots of it, if you can) will keep you interested, and is something I always use to wake me up.
Green tea -
Has less caffeine than coffee
Can be made iced or hot (or in a latte) - matcha is all the rage right now as I’m sure you know
Has a green, grassy flavor - so if you don’t like this, I suggest you add some honey or pure vanilla to try to change this a bit - or consume it in a latte form
Green tea is full of antioxidants and has some detoxing properties as well - both great for energy
An afternoon smoothie -
If you are feeling the “I need coffee” slump after lunch, your body might be looking for additional nourishment. Try a smoothie with protein and fat (for example: some nut milk, almond butter, frozen fruit and protein powder) and see if this wakes you up a bit with the provided energy.
Licorice tea -
Ah, sweet, spicy, licorice tea - who knew it could be so tasty? This tea is caffeine-free, but is said to support overburdened adrenal glands, which are our organs that respond to stress. It can be said that if you are responding less to stress, perhaps you are getting back more energy.
Chai tea -
Chai tea uses black tea, so there is some caffeine in this variety. Make sure you get a blend that the coffee shop is making from scratch, because then you can better control the ingredients and especially the SUGAR. Chai blends produced in mass quantity tend to have a shit-ton of sugar added to them (think: Starbucks). Chai is essentially just black tea with spices (cinnamon, ginger, cardamom) - and then from this - you can create a latte! This smooth, creamy flavor and texture might make your brain think you are drinking coffee.
Peppermint tea -
Freshens your breath and calms your stomach after a meal
Plus, the cooling sensation of this minty drink is an instant revitalizer
You know smelling salts, used to revive someone? Peppermint stimulates that same nerve!
Carob powder -
Use this to make a “hot chocolate” - similar to cocoa, it’s naturally sweet (a little bitter, like a dark, dark chocolate) and can be mixed with warm milk and honey. Because it has less caffeine, you might not experience the same energy crash as you would with coffee.
Just like the carob powder - you can make a homemade latte with maca (or just add this to the drink above). Maca can give you a boost via it’s adrenal boosting properties a la the licorice.
A recipe to try using maca:
1 tsp cacao
1/4 tsp maca
1/4 tsp ashwagandha
1/4 tsp reishi mushroom
1/4 tsp cordyceps
Blend with 1 cup of hot water or non-dairy milk and sweeten with a little honey or maple syrup as needed.
If you don't have any of these - just use whichever you CAN source. Or simply make a hot cacao drink :)