Healthy coffee alternatives for when you need a cup of warm something

Substitutions for your morning energy brew.

drinks on a table
Kick the coffee habit without losing the boost entirely.Joanna Kosinka via Unsplash

There has been an endless debate on whether coffee is good for you. For some, not even the coffee's science-backed association with longevity can overcome the downsides, like restless sleep, jitters, and withdrawal headaches. No matter where you stand on the 'is coffee good or bad' issue, coffee shortages are coming due to climate change. The good news is that there are plenty of healthy coffee alternatives out there for your morning (or afternoon) pick-me-up. Here are our favorites.

Organic Greenbow Organic Bee Pollen

Organic GREENBOW Organic Bee Pollen
A morning buzz that’s also great for your gut health and immune system.Amazon

For a kick of energy, add some bee pollen to a daybreak smoothie, or to your morning cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal. It boasts B complex vitamins, folic acid, proteins, lipids, and minerals that provides instant, natural energy. Unlike coffee, which can make cramps for women on their period worse, bee pollen also helps alleviate the pain. Some people actually just add it to their coffee, too. Just beware of potential pollen allergies—always test a bit out first.

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Matcha

Four Sigmatic Mushroom Matcha
Ceremonial grade matcha + mushrooms.Amazon

While you probably shouldn't take Four Sigmatic's scientific claims too seriously, their mushroom matcha is a decent replacement for coffee. It boasts antioxidants, caffeine, and L-theanine, an amino acid they say gives you an energy boost without the crash. If you really want to lean into the adaptogenic craze, you could add the Lion’s Mane extract, which they say support memory, focus, and concentration.

Cacao Rasa Coffee Alternative with Chaga + Reishi for All-Day Energy

Cacao Rasa Coffee Alternative with Chaga + Reishi for All-Day Energy
A herb-infused brew with mushroom.Amazon

This morning drink has all the properties and characteristics of coffee, without the crash: it has 5mg of caffeine, is fair-trade, organic, single-origin and is easy to make in a French Press. Founded by a mom who needed an energy boost without jitters or a crash, Rasa Coffee Alternative has an earthy taste, and some reviewers have claimed that it’s helped them quit cold turkey.

Baahtcha - USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder

Baahtcha - USDA Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder
Culinary grade matcha green tea.Amazon

Unlike other matcha powders, which can be too bitter, this Baatcha brand has a mild taste and is also organic. You can drink it hot or cold, with almond milk or coconut milk as desired. It’s also great to add into smoothies, shakes, and can even be used to make face masks or in baking if you feel so inclined to make green-tea flavored cupcakes.

Organic Yerba Mate Loose Leaf Tea

Organic Yerba Mate Loose Leaf Tea
A favorite from South America.Amazon

Yerba Mate is usually meant to be steeped for hours and shared with friends—and is brewed in a gourd. The coffee alternative has a distinctive, slightly bitter flavor, but in addition to delivering all-natural energy, vitamins, and amino acids, Yerba Mate may also support a healthy gut. Pair it with your own gourd and bombilla (drinking straw) set so that you also cut down on daily cup waste.