When it comes to decent coffee substitutes and coffee alternatives, finding something that tastes good, satisfies you and gives you a bit of an energetic kick can be hard. Whether you’re sensitive to caffeine or looking to reduce your coffee intake, sometimes tea just doesn’t do the trick. That’s why we’re here to guide you through our top UK coffee alternatives. Everything to help you quench your caffeine cravings with the perfect plant-based coffee substitute for you!
Coffee alternatives are getting increasingly popular as people gain more awareness of how food and drinks impact their bodies and also their overall well-being. If you want to listen to your body and follow its natural rhythm, switching to coffee alternatives can be a fantastic way to start your journey towards a happier and healthier life.
When looking out for coffee alternatives, there are certain ingredients that make it extra nutritious and delicious. However, if you’re unfamiliar with the world of coffee alternatives and substitutes, it can be hard to know what mix of flavours, textures and blends work. Follow this simple guide and soon you’ll be a master in coffee alternative hunting:
Chicory: Chicory root makes an excellent ingredient in plant-based coffee alternatives. Like coffee beans, they can be roasted, ground and brewed to make a delicious and satisfying hot drink. It makes the perfect coffee alternative for coffee lovers because it tastes very similar to coffee, but it’s 100% free from caffeine and gluten. Plus, this coffee alternative is packed with gut-loving inulin and other vitamins, too! Tempted to try? Give Barleycup - Organic Chicory Cup a go!
Barley: Barley makes it to the top of the list when it comes to coffee alternatives. Why? Well, it’s simply delicious! Like chicory root, it can also be ground and roasted to enhance the flavour and depth profile. When compared to coffee, it’s lighter in taste, less bitter and has slight earthy and nutty aromas. That’s why we love this coffee alternative!
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is drinking too much caffeine bad for you?
Whilst drinking coffee can be good for you, drinking too much can put a lot of pressure on your body. Too much caffeine may have some slightly unpleasant side effects and can even be dangerous, which is why coffee alternatives play a key role.
Caffeine is a stimulant. Whilst drinking small amounts can help you feel alert and increase your metabolism, drinking too much may lead to anxiety, insomnia, digestive issues and even muscle breakdown and addiction. Do you notice you get headaches when you miss your morning coffee? Well, it’s believed that it is most likely the addiction kicking in! Coffee alternatives typically contain zero caffeine to help you curb that addiction.
For safe consumption, it’s recommended that people consume no more than 400mg of caffeine a day. That’s around 4 cups of coffee a day. If you’re drinking more than that, you should certainly look for coffee alternatives to help break up your intake.
Are coffee alternatives bad for the environment?
Coffee alternatives are typically less resource-intensive and easier to grow than coffee beans! Coffee is a very thirsty crop and it’s estimated that 18,925 litres of water is required to make up just one kilo of coffee - that’s ~130 litres of water per cup of coffee.
Not only does it have a large water footprint, but coffee beans are also grown in tropical and subtropical habitats and with increasing popularity, more trees and precious environments have to be cut down.
When comparing the effects of coffee and coffee alternatives on the environment, it really depends on the ingredient. For example, barley only requires 1,423 litres per kilo to grow and chicory requires just 387 litres per kilo - see for yourself here! Plus, they easily grow in the UK which significantly reduces their carbon footprint.
As you can see, choosing a coffee alternative, especially grown in the UK, is a great way to reduce your environmental impact and support local producers.
What are the best coffee alternatives during pregnancy?
When choosing coffee alternatives whilst pregnant, you may wish to avoid chicory. Although there’s limited research, drinking too much has been associated with uterine contractions, digestive discomfort and allergic symptoms. Therefore, it’s always recommended to consult a doctor or healthcare professional before drinking coffee substitutes.
Are coffee alternatives healthy?
Whilst coffee is packed with antioxidants and is thought to have anti-inflammatory benefits, coffee alternatives and coffee substitutes such as barley, chicory root and rye also boast an array of nutritional benefits. Barley is also loaded with vitamins B and E, as well as lots of antioxidants, whereas chicory root has a rather impressive inulin and vitamin E & B profile. Inulin is a form of prebiotic fibre, which may help support and boost your gut biome. As you can see, switching to coffee alternatives can be a great choice if you are health conscious.