So I’m 12 days into February, which means I’m 12 days without coffee. Do I feel indescribably amazing? Am i bouncing off the walls with natural energy and positivity? Are my eyes brighter, clearer even? Does my skin glow like a unicorns horn when touched by the light of a Leprachauns rainbow? Ummm no, no, no and well yeah my skin does glow, but it’s got nothing to do with the coffee (I’ll get to that secret another day).
I miss it people! I really do. It’s funny you know I’ve done this coffee-free thing plenty of times before and for longer periods too, but this time I’m seriously missing the stuff. For me it’s a habitual thing…
As an autonomous business owner I can go an entire day without using my voice (except when singing along to spotify). My morning coffee order was my opportunity to connect with the outside world. Sure, I say a brief ‘hello’ to my yoga teacher in the mornings or a nod in the street to one of my neighbours, but that habitual interaction at my local coffee shop was something that I had taken for granted.
I also realised I seriously like sipping on a nice hot, preferably (nut) milky drink in the mornings to get me through to what is usually a late breakfast. So I’ve had to make some adjustments and come up with some equally satisfying coffee replacements.
Here are my current favourite coffee replacements:
1. Almond and Cashew Chai.
The best place to pick up one of these is Lox, Stock & Barrel in Bondi… but if I don’t have time to scoot over there, I make it myself. I make a chai concentrate, which is basically just a really intense chai brew and then keep it in the fridge to add to some homemade nut milk whenever i like. It takes a little bit of prep, but once you’re done you can just keep the milk and the chai concentrate in the fridge to use throughout the week. Alternatively just use a pre-made chai blend, brew and add milk… but it’s not the same.
- ¾ cup of Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk, or milk of your choice.
- 2 cups of water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons black tea leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 halved vanilla bean
- 2 teaspoons rice malt syrup or organic honey
- 2 cm piece ginger sliced
- 3 cloves
- 4 bruised cardamon pods
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 strip of orange rind, optional
1. Place all Chai Concentrate ingredients in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine sieve. You can refrigerate this concentrate for up to 2 weeks.
2. To use straight away. Heat Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk with ¼ cup Chai Concentrate. You can heat this on the stove, using the steamer of a coffee machine or with a milk frother.
2.Cold-Pressed Turmeric Elixir
The anti-inflammatory properties of this elixir are perfect after a strong vinyasa flow class, so I usually reserve this baby for after a morning yoga class.
If you have a cold-press juicer:
Juice a 6cm knob of turmeric and a 6cm piece of ginger and keep in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to 3 days. Gently heat 1 tablespoon of this with 1 teaspoon of raw honey and 1 cup of Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk, or milk of your choice. Dust with ground cinnamon.
If you don’t have a cold-press juicer:
Place a 1 cup of Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk, 1 teaspoon of raw honey, 1 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger and 1 teaspoon of freshly grated turmeric in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce immediately to a simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve to serve.
Can’t find fresh turmeric? You can add 1/2 a teaspoon of ground turmeric instead.
3. Hot Superfood Cacao
If I need a serious boost in the mornings I get out the big guns. I don’t know about you guys but cacao really gets me firing on all cylinders.
- 2 teaspoons raw cacao powder
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cardamon
- ½ teaspoon maca powder
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder
- pinch of cayenne pepper, optional
- pinch of stevia, optional
- ¾ cup Homemade Almond and Cashew Milk, or milk of your choice.
I boil the kettle and then pour ¼ cup of boiled water over combined cacao, spices and stevia until it forms a paste. I have a whiz bang milk frother that heats the milk for me, so I usually do this separately and then stir it into the cacao paste or alternatively you can chuck everything in a small saucepan and heat it all up on the stove.
I make a big batch of this superfood cacao mix and keep it in a jar in my pantry. Keep the ratios the same as above, just increase the quantities. Add 3 teaspoons of the mix to boiling water and continue instructions as above.
Other coffee replacements that are getting me through February…
Smoothies: I know it’s not a hot drink but I usually get all of the energy I need from one of my favourite smoothie blends. Adding superfoods like spirulina, maca, chlorella, bee pollen, mesquite, lucuma or cacao always helps.
Tee-cino: My friend Lauren introduced me to this “herbal coffee” a couple of weeks back over breakfast at Earth to Table. It comes in a tea bag and it’s a blend of chicory, vanilla, carob, dates, figs, almonds and barley. Sounds whack but it’s so delicious. I brew it in ½ cup of boiling water so that it’s quite strong and then mix it with 1/2 cup of hot nut milk, but you could totally drink it black. I cannot recommend this stuff enough.
Roasted Dandelion: I od’d on dandelion in my twenties, so it’s a bit of a sometimes drink for me now, but it really is the closest thing to that earthy coffee taste. I like the Bonvit brand the best.
Herbal Teas: I love herbal teas, but I have to admit they’re just not cutting it as my first hot drink of the day. But mid-afternoon I’m loving Pukka Cleanse, which is a combo of peppermint, fennel and nettle. Taste pretty delish with one of my Salted Carob Crunches too.
I would love to hear about your favourite coffee replacements. I still have two weeks of February to get through…