General Question

Jeruba's avatar

Is there a half-decent substitute for coffee on the market?

Asked by Jeruba (41889 points ) March 10th, 2012

I’d like to try life without coffee because the GI effects are troubling me. Decaf won’t do; it’s not just the caffeine but the properties of coffee per se.

All I want is two cups of a warm and preferably mildly stimulating beverage in the morning, one that won’t make me sleepy (as a nice herb tea will do) or load on the sugar (so no hot chocolate).

My granny used to drink Postum, but it’s not on the market any more. Not that I’m sure I’m ready to become granny, but I might have tried it.

Can you recommend a hot beverage that satisfies the coffee urge without the side effects?

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37 Answers

incendiary_dan's avatar

Not really, no.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

My mom can’t have coffee, so she drinks Techino. She loves it.

wilma's avatar

When I quit coffee in the morning I went to black tea. There are lots of varieties to choose from, there is a little caffeine and it’s easier on the stomach than coffee.

wundayatta's avatar

Do you like tea? You could try something nice and dark like Assam. Actually, there’s a whole world of teas waiting to be tried. Do you know the difference between English breakfast tea and Irish breakfast tea? I don’t. But I’d like to learn.

funkdaddy's avatar

I love chai and people drink it in a variety of ways similar to coffee. Some are sweet, some are creamy, some are neither.

Technically it’s just a type of spiced tea, but generally you’ll find it marketed as chai or spiced chai. It’s my go to coffee substitute when someone wants to go “get coffee”.

Kayak8's avatar

Postum IS available here

tom_g's avatar

Tea! Fluther helped me get started with real, loose leaf tea. Adagio has it all.

rebbel's avatar

Warm milk with anise.
Here in the Netherlands the anise comes in little cubes which will disolve in the warm milk.
It is apparently used as a drink to get sleepy, but when I drank it, when I was young, it never had that effect on me.

ragingloli's avatar

Tea. Not as much caffeine in it (unless you eat the tea leaves themselves), but you can drink more of it, because it tastes better.

Bellatrix's avatar

I rarely drink coffee these days. I prefer tea. There is the lovely ritual of making tea in your favourite teapot too.

AstroChuck's avatar

@Kayak8- That stuff tastes pretty nasty. And knowing they haven’t made Postum is about five years that stuff on Amazon has got to be pretty bad by now.

sliceswiththings's avatar

My ex introduced me to Teeccino, an herbal coffee substitute. Sort of passes as tasting like coffee, I liked it more than I thought I would!

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yeah, Techino Teeccino, that’s what I meant!

Zaku's avatar

Tea. I like coffee and the ones that are coffee-like for me, and can replace coffee for me are Earl Grey and chai.

HungryGuy's avatar

Yeah, I second Tea. If Tea doesn’t appeal to you, then I don’t think there’s anything comparable to coffee.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@WillWorkForChocolate Damn, I’m caught red-handed at not reading the answers before posting! D’oh!

john65pennington's avatar

Nothing could possibly be manmade that can take the place of a cup of Colombian coffee made with spring water.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@sliceswiththings Hey, at least you spelled it right; I just guessed at the spelling, LOL!

CWOTUS's avatar

I’ve never tried it, but we used to learn about it in high school Spanish… and I see that Stop & Shop carries it:

Yerba Maté is what they drink in the Argentine pampas (or so the book used to say).

marinelife's avatar

I am a tea lover. If I was told I had to give up my decaf coffee tomorrow, I would just switch to tea.

If tea does not do it for you, you could try chicory.

SmashTheState's avatar

During the Second World War, when coffee was simply impossible to obtain, many people apparently used burnt toast crumbs as a substitute for ground coffee. I can’t vouch for the versimilitude, but it’ll be hot and burnt-tasting, which makes it at least as good as Starbucks coffee.

whitecarnations's avatar

I have to agree, tea is the route for you. It’s hot, it’s warm and mild caffeine. Not to mention tons of antioxidants. I can’t express the importance of antioxidants enough.

filmfann's avatar

I like Mexican Hot Chocolate. It isn’t the same as American Hot Chocolate. Much less sugar.

Bellatrix's avatar

@filmfann Or Spanish or Italian hot chocolate. Although @Jeruba said hot chocolate wasn’t an option because of the sugar content. I would be the size of a house if I replaced tea with hot chocolate.

jca's avatar

Tea – many varieties, as others have said. Varieties that can be had with milk, and varieties that can be had on their own (such as mint, or cinnamon tea).

Cocoa made from scratch – then the OP can control the sugar content, or even use artificial sweetener instead.

gondwanalon's avatar

Green tea works for me. It doesn’t have much of a taste but I love the way it makes me feel. And it is suppose to be healthy for you.

I use to love coffee and regularly drank large amounts of it. A health issue forced me to stop drinking it. I’m able to drink coffee now but simply can’t stand it any more.

gailcalled's avatar

I drink Cafix and Roma all the time. Occasionally I do add a scant t. of real Godiva cocoa and a pinch (and I mean a pinch) of granulated sugar.

But the Cafix with a splash of milk (or, in my case, rice milk) does very nicely.

Cruiser's avatar

I love brown rice tea you can try at most Chinese restaurants. I recently discovered Greek Mountain Tea though not the greatest tasting tea, I do enjoy how it makes me feel after a cup. Lemon and honey to taste is what I like to add.

Sunny2's avatar

Have you googled Postum? There are places that have old- fashioned products that you can’t get generally anymore.
I wonder if warm cola would do the trick. The bubbles would go away. It has a bit of caffeine. Maybe add a dollop of milk?

ragingloli's avatar

@Sunny2
Non Cold Cola is disgustingly sweet. I would not touch it with a 10 metre pole.

xnightflowerx's avatar

I’d switch to Chai Lattes if I absolutely couldn’t have coffee (and I’m a coffee nutter. lol.) They’re hot, a little sweet but they’re not loaded with sugar, super duper delicious.

They’re also great on ice too, and as shakes in the summer.

I like to make them at home for my niece and nephew, ‘cause I can’t give them coffee. So I make some concentrated chai, like maybe about a ½ cup of water. Then I heat up some milk in the main cup I’m using, and I have a little handheld frother that I thicken up the milk with (this isn’t necessary, but its better with frothed milk), add just a little teaspoon of sugar, pour in the chai, mix it up, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. De-fricken-licious. You can also buy boxes of chai concentrate at the store. But I like to make it fresh.

Hain_roo's avatar

Roastaroma. I like it with a little milk. It does not taste like tea, it has roasted chicory, barley, carob. Yum!

Kardamom's avatar

There’s also Korean barley tea that I’ve had with meals in Korean restaurants. It’s slightly bitter in a refreshing way. You can drink it hot or cold and isn’t meant to take cream or sugar. I like it cold on a hot day.

Or South American Yerba Mate bags can be easily obtained in the U.S. I think Tazo makes some, and I think you can get it at Starbucks. My neice, who lives in Peru, brought me back one of the nifty traditional mate serving containers. It’s a little gourd with a metal straw that has a flange at the end that acts as both a sieve and a stirring device. She’s said mate is all the rage all over South America, at least in Argentina and Peru and Ecuador where she’s traveled.

I prefer tea to coffee, Earl Grey is my favorite, a black tea with the flavor of bergamot. But you might like lapsang souchang which has a distinctively smoky flavor.

Sunny2's avatar

@ragingloli Thank for telling me. Now I don’t have to try it. If you added lots of lemon juice you’d have a very sweet hot lemonade. Add a little rum or brandy. Maybe a clove or two. It’d be good, but more like a night time before bed drink if you feel like you’re coming down with a cold. It would NOT be a substitute for morning coffee.

Paradox1's avatar

You could get tea and add a little more caffeine to it yourself, since a typical cup has ⅓rd the caffeine as compared to coffee (although some estimates differ.)

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