3 Healthy Alternatives to Your Morning Coffee + Their Benefits

January has always been a time to reset and rejuvenate for me. This year, on top of my usual new year Whole30, I resolved it was time to try and cut down on my coffee intake, too. I decided to forgo my morning (and afternoon) cup of coffee in favor of something lighter, with the goal of not drinking the stuff for 30 days…. I lasted exactly one week.

What can I say? I really, really like coffee. Always have… And by the looks of it, always will. But all was not lost, I have managed to — mostly — give up drinking it in the afternoon, opting instead for brighter, antioxidant-rich tea. Coffee certainly has its benefits, its natural antioxidants helping to improve brain function and fighting disease, but I had a sneaking suspicion that the stuff was effecting my sleep. And after a few weeks of making the afternoon switch, I believe I was right.

If you’re looking for an alternative to your morning or afternoon (or both) cup of coffee, today I’m sharing three healthy alternatives that still give a boost. Check them out below:
Coffee Alternatives

Coffee Alternatives

Yerba Mate
Serves 1

Loose leaf mate tea

8 oz hot water

Slice of lemon

1 tsp raw honey

Using a tea filter or French Press, make the tea in accordance to the instructions on the package with 8 oz of not-quite-boiling water. Allow to steep. Add the honey and lemon and stir to combine. Yerba mate can also be made into an amazing latte. Simply nix the lemon and brew a strong cup in half the amount of water, once steeped, pour into a blender with 4 oz almond milk and blend on high until frothy.

If I’m not drinking coffee, I reach for the bag of yerba mate for its mellow flavor and near-instant energy boost. Beyond its caffeine content, yerba mate is also packed with antioxidants — about 90% more than green tea (!!!) — which boost immunity and detoxifies your blood.

Coffee Alternatives

Coffee Alternatives

Coffee Alternatives

London Fog
Serves 1

1 or 2 earl grey tea bags

4 oz hot water

8 oz almond milk

1 tsp raw honey

Dash of vanilla (optional)

Steep the tea bags in 4 oz of not-quite-boiling water for 5 minutes. Combine tea in a blender with remaining ingredients and blend on high until combined.

An old standby in many of our cupboards, bergamot-flavored Earl Grey tea has a few surprising benefits besides a gentle boost of caffeine. With its high levels of catechin, an antioxidant that fights oral infections, Earl Grey and many other kinds of tea is beneficial for your teeth and also aids in digestion. The bergamot in Earl Grey tea can also have a calming effect, helping to ease anxiety and stress!

Coffee Alternatives

Coffee Alternatives

Raw Cacao Latte

Serves 1

8 oz almond milk

1 tbsp raw cacao

1 tsp raw honey (or more, to taste)

1/2 tsp coconut oil

Dash of cayenne pepper

Dash of vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pot and heat on medium heat on the stove. Whisk until combined and heated through. Pour into a mug and enjoy!

Made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, raw cacao powder is a powerful antioxidant thanks to its high levels of resveratrol, which helps protect your nervous system. Combined with warming cayenne pepper, raw honey and almond milk (studies have shown that dairy milk lowers raw cacao’s potency), a raw cacao latte is the perfect addition to your morning routine.

Coffee Alternatives

Coffee Alternatives

More healthy recipe ideas from the BLDG 25 blog

+ Do you have a favorite non-coffee drink? Be sure to share in the comments!

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  1. They all look amazing and delicious! Like you, I prefer coffee, but whenever I get sick, I stop drinking coffee and switch to tea. I prefer tea in the afternoon or evening too.

  2. I’m not a coffee drinker but I am a tea snob. I’m totally going to try the London Fog. I love earl gray but I’ve never used almond milk before. I normally just use regular 2% milk.

  3. I’m a big tea drinker! I drink green tea in the morning for its caffeine pick-me-up and wonderful health benefits, then switch to herbals in the afternoon. I’ve noticed any caffeine intake in the afternoon/evening makes it hard for me to sleep and greatly decreases my quality of sleep. I’d definitely recommend trying out some herbal teas. There are so many to choose from, its fun exploring and trying new teas. Search for local tea shops- they usually have a large selection and are very knowledgeable about the products :)

  4. Thanks for this post! I don’t actually drink much coffee because it is too strong for me and also too acidic for my stomach, so I stick to tea, but sometimes I get a bit bored. Also, it’s not nearly as cozy as hot cocoa (Which I also can’t drink due to the dairy) so these are some great alternatives to switch things up and stay healthy!

    Rae | love from berlin

  5. I’ll have to try these! I have been substituting my coffee lately with different types of teas and it’s still a huge adjustment! Great post!

  6. Ah! I should probably give this little challenge a go. I too am a frequent offender of not just the morning coffee hit, but the afternoon…and you know, every once in a while, when the mood strikes…the evening cuppa. (Yikes, I know.) The raw cocoa latte sounds particularly wonderful, and I do like a good london fog. Of the teas, Earl Grey and I are closer than most varieties.: )

  7. I love the way coffee smells but I just can’t make myself drink it! I absolutely love tea though. I like to drink a nice hot cup of tea at night right before bed (even though I know you’re not really supposed to xD ). Thanks for sharing all of these great different kinds of tea! I can’t wait to give them a try!


  8. I’d just love to point out that yerba mate, when over-used, can cause some types of cancer… so though it’s fine to drink some from time to time please don’t make it your daily morning drink, in the long run it’s even less healthy than coffe with milk and sugar!

  9. I loooove this blog! I am for sure a coffee lover, but do enjoy some great hot tea. The London Fog sounds like it is up my alley! I will most definitely give it a try! On a side note, I appreciate the author’s honesty on lasting only a week on her coffee fast! I tried this one and lasted about 5 days before caving in! Great post!


  10. I’ve been staring my day by drinking a cup of freshly squeeze lemon juice + seltzer (or still water). I can’t remember now where I read this (might’ve been from your personal blog), but it’s really helped me wake up first thing. I’ve also noticed that my body starts craving it whenever I slack off. I still end up having my cup o’ joe later in the morning, but at least it’s not first thing. :)

  11. I can’t do without my morning cup of coffee but Lady Grey tea in the afternoon with a slice of lemon is perfect for me… Thank you for the tips, though. And Imdo love your blog ❤️Diana

  12. I drank Yerbe Mate every day for four years, and developed serious sore throats and reflux. I am not passing this on as “Science” , but after seeing two physicians, I did some research trying to figure out what I was daily ingesting and found studies that link Yerbe Mate tea to esophageal cancer. I realize that I was drinking this everyday and originally started it after the studies that say, on the positive side, that it promotes long life. I do miss it!

  13. I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that mate had caffeine.

    There are some wonderful teas to sample. The more you sample, the more refined your taste becomes. I bought a Cuisinart Tea Kettle. It has settings for black tea, green tea, white tea, coffee, etc. It really does make a difference in the taste of the tea when you brew water to the correct temperature. This electric kettle was well worth the investment. I use it every day.

  14. Sharon – You’re right, it does have caffeine. For me, I wasn’t trying to cut out all caffeine, just what I was consuming in the afternoon. These drinks are perfect for an AM switch.

  15. The bergamot in the Earl Grey tea can reduce hot flash activity, but can still contribute to silent reflux, though I find by drinking tea with milk and a a light steeping does not provoke reflux in me. Can’t say about the hot flash thing, though, since I’m not quite peri-menopausal yet.

  16. No mention of hot water and lemon first thing in the morning?? I find this such a “cleansing” start to the day.

  17. The Recipe is so delicious and tasty. I have tried many such similar recipes but none have worked so great for me. Thanks a lot for those detailed and step by step instructions that made it easier to get the job done in no time. I love almond milk and I am greatly fascinated by its health benefits around us. Here I also have some info regarding almond milk that will be a great value to all its readers.


  18. Awesome read and loved the recipe =) My morning always starts with a cup of this magical drink.. It’s a way of life back in my homeland in Argentina. I’ve never felt great since I started drinking this.

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