By Nutritionist, Samantha Gemmell
We might be a little biased here. But I think you'll agree, cacao is a super-tasty replacement for coffee!
Cacao has it all. It has the theobromine to give you that little boost and also keep you feeling mellow but focused throughout the day. Most importantly, it has a chocolatey flavour, without the need for sugar or sweetener.
It's packed with all the antioxidants & magnesium bringing with it the added health benefits with every cup.
You can also make it however you want. Cacao tea can be great for any weather – chuck a few ice-blocks in after brewing for an iced chocolate tea. You can also use it as a base for a healthier hot chocolate – simply add your milk of choice.
Green tea might seem a little blah at first. But bear with us – there's more than meets the eye with this little gem.
Green tea's superpower lies in a little compound called epigallocatechin gallate. It's a mouthful to say, but it's your new best friend! EGCG deactivates excess stress hormones, particularly cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone that makes you stack on extra kilos around the abdomen, so green tea is a much better choice if you're watching your figure.
There's a trick to making green tea taste better too. Most people use boiling water straight onto the green tea, which brings out the bitter taste. Instead, fill your cup with ¼-1/3 cup of cold water first, then add your boiling water. This brings the temperature down, teasing out the delicate flavour of the tea leaves.
Like the sound of green tea? Well, matcha is like green tea on steroids! No really – they are just different versions of each other. The upside is, matcha is more potent.
Matcha comes in a powder form, which might make it more convenient for you. It can also be used cold, unlike normal green tea bags.
Matcha is packed to the brim with antioxidants, while still giving you a caffeine hit. Matcha can be used outside of the mug as well – it can be added to desserts and sweets for a twist on old favourites.
Do you drink coffee for the bitter flavour? Dandelion the replacement beverage for you. You can get roasted dandelion blends that really amp up the bitterness.
Unlike coffee, which puts a load on the liver, dandelion helps with the natural detoxification processes. It stimulates bile production, so you digest your food better and eliminate toxins through the digestive tract.
If it's a bit bitter for you, keep an eye out for other blend options. One of our favourites is dandelion chai – the chai spices balance out the bitter of the dandelion nicely. You can also try adding your milk of choice to smooth out the flavour.
Some people might think the days of chai are over. We think otherwise! Fake chai made of syrupy gunk is definitely done to death and not the healthiest choice, but delicate spice blends are in.
The spices in chai have all sorts of health benefits – some increase your circulation, some are anti-inflammatory, some give your immune system a boost. Most chai also has black tea as a base, so you still get a bit of caffeine to perk you up.
If you like your beverages milky, why not try chai with coconut milk? The creamy flavour perfectly complements the spices – coconut milk and chai are definitely a delicious team.
What's your favourite coffee alternative?
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We tell you the best method to brew a really amazing cup of cacao tea, and some delicious variations so you can adjust as you like to your personal taste.