How to Replace Coffee with Energy Tea!
That morning cup of coffee is what gets everything started. Unfortunately, drinking coffee also grinds everything to a halt just a few hours later. That's the dark side of America's favorite beverage.
Ditching coffee for the health benefits doesn't necessarily mean that you need to switch to a beverage with less-caffeine, or something unappetizing like lemon water. There are some high-caffeine coffee substitute drinks that will get your brain working without the nasty coffee jitters and crash!
In this guide, we're going to explain what happens when you quit coffee and switch for an energy tea, low-caffeine tea, and caffeine-free beverage.
Reasons to Ditch Your Morning Coffee
Why give up coffee altogether? Here at Zest Tea, we see regular coffee drinkers switch to energy tea for several reasons:
- Stop the jitters, high blood pressure and anxiety that high-caffeine coffee produces,
- Try a wider range of flavors, from rich and sweet to light and refreshing,
- Enjoy other health benefits that you can't get from a cup of coffee,
- Reduce the price by switching from coffee shop beverages to homemade drinks,
- Prevent the huge energy crash in the afternoon when coffee wears off,
- Stabilize your mood and energy levels altogether.
You may also be forced to give up coffee for medical reasons, if your doctor has asked you to stop consuming caffeine or you're experiencing parosmia due to a COVID-19 infection.
What Happens When You Stop Drinking Coffee
Well, first of all, you'll save yourself daily trips to coffee shops and save a few bucks here and there!
As for the effects on your body, quitting coffee has a huge impact on your overall energy levels and sleep habits. You're ending the cycle of feeling incredibly awake (coffee high) and suddenly dropping to feeling incredibly tired (coffee crash) with no smooth medium. You may also feel less anxious.1
This is because the caffeine in coffee is unmoderated compared to tea, for example. That's why you can quit coffee but maintain your caffeine consumption, and still experience these health benefits from quitting coffee.
Quitting your morning beverage can also help you lose weight and cut back on your sugar/fat intake, if you usually take your coffee with milk and sugar. This applies to quitting decaf coffee as well.
When you eliminate coffee completely and don't find another caffeine source, then you will most likely go through caffeine withdrawal symptoms. It could be as little as a mild headache and irritability in the afternoon, or it could last a week or longer depending on how much caffeine you regularly consume.
Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
If you decide to quit your coffee habit entirely and don't choose a caffeinated alternative (see below), then you may go through caffeine withdrawal. The symptoms are minor - as drug withdrawals go - and should fade fairly quickly. You may experience:
- Headaches, dizziness and brain fog,
- Extreme sleepiness, depression, anxiety, lack of concentration and lethargy,
- Constipation and nausea,
- Muscle stiffness,
If you consume no more than the FDA's daily recommended caffeine limit of 400mg,3 then these symptoms should last from a few days to a week. If you've been consuming way more than that, then the symptoms could last for up to a month!
Thankfully, you don't need to give up caffeine to replace your morning coffee. Many coffee alternatives contain just as much - or more - caffeine than coffee.
Best Coffee Replacement - Energy Tea
The best replacement for coffee is not caffeine-free. Instead, it's Zest Energy Tea. Here's how it works:
- We use tea leaves for a natural source of caffeine and smooth flavor,
- By adding additional tea extract, we can boost those caffeine levels above that of coffee,
- Next we add in some delicious non-GMO flavor ingredients to create tasty blends,
- Then we package it up into teabags or loose leaf for you to enjoy.
A standard cup of coffee contains 96mg of caffeine. A double espresso shot contains 128mg of caffeine.4
Yet a serving of Zest Tea contains 120 to 150mg of caffeine. So how does it provide a better experience than coffee?
It comes down to L-Theanine. This is an amino acid that's found naturally in tea leaves. It interacts with caffeine to create a synergistic relationship. Here's what happens when caffeine and L-Theanine interact:
- L-Theanine slows the onset of caffeine, so your energy boost is smoother,
- It prolongs the effects of caffeine, so your energy boost lasts longer,
- The amino acid also regulates caffeine, so you'll be slowly lowered down to natural energy levels rather than experiencing a "crash" and craving another cuppa.
You can't see this happening, but you will certainly feel the difference. While coffee energy is quite manic, the energy you'll get from black tea or green tea is smoother and calmer.
Furthermore, don't forget the other disadvantages of consuming coffee: the enhanced anxiety and poor sleep habits/quality. L-Theanine is a solution for those issues too.
- L-Theanine has anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects, with promise for use in a therapeutic setting,5
- L-Theanine (especially when combined with GABA, which is also found in some tea leaves) improves both sleep quality and duration,6
Furthermore, L-Theanine and caffeine together improve performance during demanding cognitive tasks. It's the perfect afternoon drink to get you through the 3pm slump!
If you like to brew your morning drink with hot water, then our hot teas are the best coffee alternative for you. With up to 150mg of caffeine, they'll certainly deliver your morning caffeine fix. They're also high in L-Theanine, for calmness, focus and productivity.
The best flavor for coffee lovers is definitely our Spicy Masala Chai tea. It's rich, warming and full-bodied. It also tastes really great with milk (and a little sweetener if that's your thing).
Chai is traditionally made with fresh ginger and spices, simmered on a stove. But like all our teabags, you don't need to do anything but pop a bag in a mug, pour over boiling water, and let it steep for 3 to 5 minutes.
It's not rocket science!
Explore the full range of hot energy tea.
If you take your regular coffee iced - or the whole process of brewing tea doesn't suit you - then our ready-to-drink iced tea cans are great for your morning coffee fix. Each can is filled with sparkling black tea or green tea, with our signature non-GMO flavors, natural sweeteners (a touch of stevia leaf) and some additional vitamins to brighten your day. There's 120mg to 150mg of caffeine per serving, naturally.
Super refreshing, high-caffeine, and totally plant-powered. Our drinks are vegan and gluten-free, plus they're suitable for paleo and keto diets.
We also highly recommend our iced teas as an alternative to sugar-filled, chemical-ridden energy drinks too.
An afternoon cup of coffee might be good for staying awake... but it doesn't do your sleep cycle any favors. This is part of why we've developed a range of CBD teas, with the option of a gentle caffeine boost (60mg) or a high Zest caffeine boost (150mg).
For the maximum health benefits, use broad-spectrum CBD that's derived from hemp. It's entirely THC-free, which means it is non-psychoactive.
The benefits of CBD include enhanced focus, reduced anxiety, and better sleep.
Explore the Zest CBD store.
Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
When you switch up your daily coffee with tea, you can actually reduce the number of cups you consume. While your old cup of coffee may contain 96mg of caffeine, a cup of Zest contains up to 150mg of caffeine.
That doesn't mean you're passing up on some great benefits for your health.
Tea - green tea in particular - can be a tool used to help you lose body weight or burn fat. The caffeine content of all tea types can provide you with the energy needed to take your workout to the next level, thus helping you reach your weight loss goals faster.
Furthermore, there's some evidence that green tea itself can help with weight loss according to a review.7 Another study found that green teas with high levels of EGCG can help with significant weight loss in women with central obesity.8
Of course, the best way to lose body weight is to drink Zest Tea as part of a healthy diet and stay active!
Reduce High Blood Pressure
Tea reduces your blood pressure! A study found that both green and black tea have hypotensive effects, meaning that they reduce blood pressure levels. This is great if you are considering replacing your coffee with tea as a way to reduce high blood pressure or treat hypertension.9
If you have low blood pressure, you may want to consider talking to your physician before making dietary changes that could alter your blood pressure.
Control Blood Sugar
As well as controlling your blood pressure, tea could also be used to control blood sugar levels. Commonly consuming polyphenols (tea has bucket-loads of them) can help to modulate glucose homeostasis as well as enhancing energy expenditure and fat utilization - linking back to weight loss, mentioned above.10
If you struggle to maintain a constant blood sugar level, then tea can really help you.
Along with golden milk (a beverage made of turmeric and dairy), tea is also linked to numerous anti-inflammatory benefits for your body. This has widespread applications, from reducing text-thumb inflammation to treating arthritis and preventing bloating after a meal.
EGCG, which is predominantly found in green tea varieties, appears to be a key anti-inflammatory component.11
Other Healthy Coffee Alternatives
If you need less caffeine than coffee (or a completely caffeine-free alternative) then you have a few options besides Zest. You can find a healthy coffee alternative here.
Yerba mate tea is made from a plant in South America. It's traditionally consumed from a gourd through a metal straw, but you can find yerba mate tea bags to make brewing it an easier affair.
Drinking yerba mate to replace your morning cup of coffee is a viable option. This is because the yerba mate plant is a source of caffeine, albeit less than Zest Tea. You'll also find numerous health benefits associated with yerba mate.
Learn more about further tea varieties that aren't made from the Camellia sinensis tea plant in our article Types of Herbal Tea - A Comprehensive Guide.
Golden milk is a hot beverage and a coffee substitute that's made from dairy milk and turmeric. This yellow spice is made from the turmeric root and has gained notoriety as a super-food in recent years. It makes a great coffee alternative as it's milky and rich-flavored, has anti-inflammatory properties, and is as satisfying as a hot chocolate (with fewer calories).
Rooibos is a type of herbal infusion that coffee lovers and tea lovers enjoy. It has that same tannin-rich flavor that black tea has, so it's great with milk or your favorite milk alternative like oat milk.
Rooibos is totally caffeine-free too.
Matcha is a specific type of green tea that's a decent replacement for your morning latte. Often referred to as "detox tea", it is known for its benefits for your health as well as an astringent grassy flavor.
As this green tea is made by whisking the powdered, shade-grown leaves directly into water, the average cup of matcha contains around 70mg of caffeine - twice that of standard green tea, but not as much as Zest green tea at 135mg per serving.
Learn more about matcha in our article Understanding Matcha Tea Caffeine.
Like a caffeine-free tea, chicory root coffee is a non-energizing alternative to satisfy your morning coffee habit. If you can't quite coffee cold turkey because you love the flavor too much, chicory coffee is a good alternative.
Made from the roasted root of the chicory plant, this coffee tastes great with warm milk and has an earthy quality. It's also tasty with spices, like a chai tea but without boosting your caffeine intake. You can find it for sale in some health food stores.
Another good coffee alternative for your morning beverage is a morning smoothie. Made with fresh foods and other nutritious ingredients like unfiltered apple cider vinegar, lemon water, and even tea (green tea helps to loosen up a very thick green power smoothie), it's a great way to start the day with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Smoothies are also quite high in fiber, though you should be careful with the sugar content too - especially if you're drinking commercially made smoothies rather than the homemade type, where you can choose to make it sugar-free.
Herbal tea includes tea made from herbs (e.g. mint) as well as other plants (e.g. rooibos tea. It's good for your morning routine as it helps you rehydrate, and doesn't contain any caffeine like black tea does.
However, with such a different flavor and energy impact to coffee, it may not be the best alternative to help break your coffee habit.
Standard Green Tea
Green tea with the juice of half a lemon is a way more refreshing beverage than a mug of coffee. But just like herbal infusions, it's not going to help you quit coffee if you are craving those rich and sweet flavors with a sizable energy boost.
That's why we recommend our black tea blends (or rooibos tea, if you can't have caffeine) as the best alternative to coffee at Zest Tea.
Discover our Spicy Masala Chai or learn more about what we do at ZestTea.com.
How do you replace a cup of coffee?
You can replace coffee with any beverage that has energy boosting properties. If you're looking to maintain the same level of caffeine when you switch, then choose a high-caffeine tea like Zest. There's up to 150mg of caffeine per serving, so you can actually reduce the number of cups you drink per day and save some money too!
How can I substitute coffee for my health?
Coffee has some benefits for your health, however the unmoderated caffeine content and acidity can cause health problems too. You don't need to start sipping apple cider vinegar water to be healthy though! Try high-caffeine tea, for a great energy boost and none of the anxiety or heart palpitations that come from a coffee overdose.