Can tea really replace coffee? Today, there are several alternatives to coffee that either have a similar taste or have a high caffeine content. There are also thousands of types of coffee, so some of them may indeed be replaced. Learn which caffeinated and caffeine-free teas are the best replacement for coffee.
How can tea taste like coffee?
Tea, either Camellia sinesis real tea or herbal teas, can have thousands of different flavors. Coffee is made from dried and roasted coffee beans gathered from the flowering shrubs belonging to the Coffea botanical family. Coffee fruits contain a husk and a bean. Husks are used for making a coffee cherry or cascara coffee tea, but their flavor is very different from the beans. Coffee beans, once the husk is removed, are dried and roasted. Technically, coffee is also an infusion, just like tea. Therefore, it doesn’t surprise that there are other plants that, once infused in hot water, may taste similar to coffee.
Black Teas that black coffee drinkers will love
If you love to drink coffee because of its strong flavor, you may want to search for strong black teas. Black teas can have many flavors. Some will be sweeter, some will have a lot of astringency, and some may even taste like chocolate or ripe fruits.
If you love the flavor of coffee, you will probably enjoy black teas with a high caffeine content. The best choice? Assam black tea contains high levels of caffeine and has a deep, rich and malty flavor. Some Assam tea can have chocolate notes too. Strong black teas are suitable for blending with milk. Other delicious teas to try are black teas with a roasted or nutty notes. Russian Caravan, Irish Breakfast or Beijing Black may all be a wonderful alternative to your morning cup of coffee.
Read more: Best teas with a high caffeine content
Herbal Teas with a coffee taste
If you are looking for a coffee flavor, but a caffeine-free cup, then some herbal teas may be a great alternative to a regular cup of coffee. Thankfully, there are many to choose from, all with a rich and tempting roasted flavor and much less or zero bitterness than the real coffee. Coffee-free coffee is often made from different pods, seeds, nuts, grains and roots. They are often roasted and powdered, and you can use each of them either alone or blended with other ingredients that add depth and flavor notes to your herbal coffee alternative. Many of them may taste like coffees.
Carob is a tree often found around in the coastal Mediterranean region. The tree produces large and long dark brown pods. These pods are edible and are often used as a sweetener or a coffee substitute. Carob has a very unique and sweet flavor. When used for making coffee, pods are usually ground into a powder. Historically, they were used as natural sweets or for sweetening, but today they are often considered a great alternative to either coffee or chocolate. Carob is caffeine free.
Acorns, pretty symbols of autumn, not only serve as beautiful autumn decorations. They make for a great cup of caffeine-free coffee too. Acorns are fruits of the oak tree. They are nuts, just like walnuts, hazelnuts or macadamia nuts, and can be eaten too. Acorns can be bitter, and they often serve as an animal rather than human food. However, they can be roasted, blended with other spices or ingredients, ground and used for making a cup of coffee alternative. Acorn coffee is caffeine free and has a rich and deep flavor that is somewhat similar to coffee.
Dandelion Root tea
Dandelion, a pretty yellow flower is often considered nothing more than a common weed. However, it could be that its health benefits and potential culinary value are well underestimated. Interestingly, all parts of dandelion plant can be used for making tea–flowers, leaves and root. While flowers and leaves will have a fresher flavor, dandelion root may serve as a great alternative to coffee. Dandelion root coffee is an infusion made by steeping or simmering roasted dandelion root in water. You can buy dandelion root tea in many specialized shops, or you can harvest them by yourself. Once you wash and chop them, roast them in the oven and they will be ready to use. Brewed dandelion coffee will have a strong and rich flavor similar to coffee. However, it won’t contain any caffeine.
Chicory Root tea
Chicory root is a root of the Cichorium intybus plant, that belongs to the same botanical family as dandelion. In fact, flowers and leaves of chicory root are all edible, just like the ones from dandelion. Chicory root is a common ingredient in herbal tea blends. It has a sweet flavor, and it’s sometimes used as a natural sweetener. Dried chicory root can be dark roasted and ground and used instead of coffee. It contains no caffeine and no sugars.
Barley makes for a delicious cup of iced tea in summer, especially in Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea or China. But it’s also used in many coffee-free coffee blends to add a depth of flavor. Barley is first roasted then ground and used either alone or blended with other ground ingredients such as chicory root in barley chicory coffee substitutes. Barley coffee is caffeine free.
Caffeine Free Teas to try
Want an energy boost, but don’t like the idea of drinking caffeine? Some teas may give you more energy than the others. Although they might not taste like coffee and may be caffeine free, they contain other compounds that may elevate energy levels and reduce fatigue. Find out what are the best caffeine free teas for energy boost here.
Best Caffeinated Herbal teas
But what if you need caffeine but don’t like the flavor of real Camellia sinensis teas or coffee? There are a few plants that are naturally caffeinated. The most popular one? South American yerba mate. Yerba mate or Ilex paraguariensis comes in two versions–green and roasted. Roasted mate tea has a lighter, toasty and refreshing flavor and can be used for making iced tea. Green Yerba mate is slightly higher in caffeine and has a strong, invigorating, herbaceous and sometimes slightly sweet flavor. Other caffeinated herbal teas are yaupon and guayusa.