Food & Nutrition

10 Healthier Alternatives to Your Morning Cup of Coffee

If your New Year’s resolutions include cutting back on caffeine, here are some great swaps for your beloved morning coffee.

Cascara

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This tea, made from the husk of the dried raisin-like coffee cherries, has less than a quarter of the caffeine of coffee. The drink doesn’t taste like coffee—more like herbal tea. Casara is just beginning to gain popularity in the United States, and can be found at some cafes, including Devoción in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where they make it a little differently than everyone else. “We are using a different type of cascara—from the inner part of the fresh cherry. It’s reduced into a type of molasses and mixed with water,” says Steven Sutton, founder of Devoción. As a bonus, cascara is a superfood with potent antioxidents. “It’s 100 percent fruit and water. You don’t have to add anything to it.” Sutton says it has tamarind, cherry, and plum notes, and that people who order it don’t add sugar or milk because it tastes great on its own. Check out the amazing health benefits of tea.

Golden Lattes

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The “golden” part of these coffee-free drinks comes from the yellow shade of turmeric, which is mixed with steamed milk (usually almond milk or coconut milk, so it’s vegan) as well as cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. It’s often sweetened with agave by vegans and honey by non-vegans; it has a chai-like spice to it. Considered one of the hottest drinks of the year, golden lattes are widely found at coffee shops and restaurants that cater to vegans, such as The Butcher’s Daughter in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan. Did you know that turmeric has many beauty benefits too?

Matcha

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Matcha tea has a number of health benefits, which may be part of the reason this brew, made from finely milled green tea whipped with hot water until frothy, is popping up all over. Matcha can also be used in a variety of different types of recipes from coconut matcha lattes to matcha lemonade and matcha smoothies, all with an earthy, barky undertone. You’ll find matcha-focused boutiques—including Manhattan’s Cha Cha Matcha—in most major cities. You can also make your own using store-bought matcha such as Carrington Farms Matcha Tea Powder.

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