Coffee is the daily elixir for many to be able to maintain energy in their routine. It is considered one of the most consumed beverages by human beings, along with water and tea.
Many people do not like coffee either because of the caffeine or because of issues associated with the stomach, and Harvard Medical University points out four vegetable-based alternatives.
Most of them are teas that usually have half the caffeine of coffee but have other benefits for our organism that are very important for our health.
These alternatives to coffee are: Yerba mate, Yaupon tea, Matcha tea and Сhicory coffee.
Yerba mate is a traditional South American beverage made by steeping the leaves and twigs of the yerba mate plant (Ilex paraguariensis) in hot water. The yerba mate plant is native to the subtropical regions of South America, particularly Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil, and has been consumed for centuries by indigenous peoples for its health benefits and stimulating effects.
Yerba mate is typically prepared in a hollowed-out gourd called a mate and is sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla. The gourd is filled about three-quarters full with dried yerba mate leaves and then topped off with hot water. The bombilla is inserted into the gourd and used to sip the tea, filtering out the leaves and twigs as the liquid is drawn up.
Yerba mate is known for its caffeine content, which is similar to that of coffee, as well as its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is also believed to have a number of other health benefits, such as improved mental focus and energy, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, and enhanced immune function. Today, yerba mate is enjoyed not only in South America but also in many other parts of the world as a healthful and energizing beverage.
Yaupon tea, also known as cassina, is a type of tea that is made from the leaves of the yaupon holly plant (Ilex vomitoria). The yaupon holly is a small evergreen tree or shrub that is native to the southeastern United States, and its leaves have been used for centuries by indigenous peoples for medicinal and ceremonial purposes.
Yaupon tea is known for its caffeine content, which is similar to that of coffee, and it has a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. It can be prepared in a similar manner to other teas, such as black or green tea, and is often consumed hot or cold. However, unlike coffee, yaupon tea is low in tannins, which can give coffee a bitter taste and can also cause stomach irritation in some people. Yaupon tea also has a slightly sweet and earthy flavor, which some people find appealing as a coffee alternative.
Yaupon tea has gained popularity in recent years due to its health benefits, which include antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as potential cancer-fighting properties. It is also considered to be a sustainable and environmentally friendly crop, as it grows naturally in the wild and requires minimal processing to produce tea.
Matcha tea is a type of Japanese green tea that is made by grinding shade-grown tea leaves into a fine powder. The tea bushes used for matcha are grown in a special way, covered with shade cloths for several weeks before harvest to increase the chlorophyll content of the leaves, giving them a vibrant green color and a distinct flavor.
Matcha tea has been consumed in Japan for centuries and is an integral part of Japanese tea ceremonies. It is prepared by whisking the powdered tea with hot water using a bamboo whisk until frothy, resulting in a smooth and creamy beverage with a slightly sweet, grassy flavor.
Matcha tea is known for its high levels of antioxidants, which can help to protect the body against oxidative stress and inflammation. It also contains the amino acid L-theanine, which is believed to promote relaxation and improve mental focus, while the caffeine in matcha can provide a gentle energy boost without the jitters or crash associated with coffee.
Today, matcha tea is enjoyed not only in Japan but also in many other parts of the world, both as a healthful beverage and as an ingredient in a variety of culinary creations, such as smoothies, baked goods, and savory dishes.
Chicory coffee is a beverage that is made by roasting and grinding the roots of the chicory plant and then brewing the ground chicory in hot water, often in combination with coffee or as a coffee substitute. Chicory coffee has a slightly bitter, nutty flavor and a dark color, similar to that of coffee, and has been consumed as a coffee substitute for centuries, particularly in Europe and the United States.
Chicory coffee became popular during the Napoleonic Wars when France, which had traditionally imported coffee from South America, was cut off from its supply due to the war. As a result, the French turned to chicory as a substitute, and the practice spread throughout Europe and eventually to the United States.
Chicory coffee is still consumed today, particularly in New Orleans, where it is often mixed with coffee and milk to make a beverage known as café au lait. Chicory is also believed to have a number of health benefits, such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and enhanced liver function, making it a popular ingredient in herbal teas and dietary supplements.
Coffee substitutes are beverages that are consumed as an alternative to coffee. They are often made from plants or herbs, such as chicory, yerba mate, matcha and yaupon holly plant, and are known for their distinct flavors and healthful properties.
One of the main reasons why people turn to coffee substitutes is to reduce their caffeine intake, as many of these beverages contain little or no caffeine. Additionally, coffee substitutes are often rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which can provide a number of health benefits, such as improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and enhanced immune function.
Coffee substitutes also offer a sustainable and environmentally friendly alternative to coffee, as many of the plants used to make them can be grown locally and without the use of pesticides or fertilizers. And while coffee substitutes may not taste exactly like coffee, they can provide a flavorful and satisfying beverage option for those who are looking for something different.
In conclusion, coffee substitutes offer a wide range of benefits, from reduced caffeine intake to improved health and sustainability. While coffee may remain a popular beverage choice, coffee substitutes can provide a tasty and healthful alternative for those who are looking to try something new.