Coffee Replacement: 3 Simple Steps and 5 Healthier Alternatives

Java substitution drinks

Legal or not, coffee is an addictive substance that affects both your body and brain chemistry.

Anyone who drinks it regularly and cannot go a day or two without ‘really feeling like’ (needing) a cup is likely addicted to it.

I was. I drank two or more cups a day for many years and rarely went a day without it.

In researching all the different negative effects drinking coffee can have on your health and wellbeing, I simply came up with too many reasons to no longer drink it.

There were two things that particularly surprised me with coffee replacement.

The first was how much calmer I felt, even only a couple of days after my last cup. The tension I’d often felt in my shoulders in the past, and would usually take work breaks for, quickly diminished.

The second was how easy it was. I don’t mean to lessen how difficult it can be for some people, particularly heavier users, to replace coffee.

Medical literature has a long list of reported caffeine withdrawal symptoms. These include fatigue and low energy, irritability, difficulty concentrating, decreased alertness, tension and muscle stiffness, and the well known withdrawal headaches.

This page, and the following posts it links to, are about how to diminish and even avoid as many symptoms of coffee withdrawal as possible with a specific plan.

If you’re ready to make the change yourself, I’d suggest there are 3 things that can help it happen with a minimum of stress or withdrawal symptoms.

3 Steps to Coffee Replacement

Step 1: Understanding Caffeine Addiction

Start by admitting that you are addicted to caffeine. That it’s legal and socially acceptable isn’t really relevant if you can’t stop using it if you choose to.

If a person chooses not to use caffeinated products like coffee, and yet still feels compelled to use them again in a short time regardless, then they are by definition addicted to them.

I don’t know about you but I don’t like anything having that much control over me.Letting go of java

If you don’t believe you’re addicted, then why not try this plan to give up coffee for a week and see if it improves your sense of wellbeing and ability to relax.

If you choose you can always go back. At least you will have proven to yourself that you actually have a choice in the matter.

As for being a legal and socially acceptable, this really doesn’t change the nature of the substance and the effects it may be having on you, particularly on your digestive system.

We are fortunate that more and more people are demanding healthy coffee substitutes to drink and the caffeine-free options at restaurants and cafes are extensive.

Additionally, most of the coffee alternatives I’ll suggest ahead are easy to take to work and use when traveling.

Step 2: Momentum and Motivation

Get some momentum on yourself and motivation as to why you want to replace coffee. This was key for me. Having a strong enough reason why.

At some level I probably knew that it wasn’t that good for me. But when I really looked deeply into just how damaging it can be, I found I just didn’t want to drink it anymore.

If you haven’t read the previous post on the digestive problems with coffee it’s worth taking a few minutes now for some extra motivation.

Coffee also elevates the stress hormone cortisol, depletes minerals in your body, and raises triglycerides and homocysteine. All of these are markers for an increased risk of circulatory issues.

Step 3: Set a Start Time and Follow a Replacement Plan

Plan a time to start and have your coffee replacements and the upcoming withdrawal remedies ready.

The physiological effects of the caffeine are well-documented, but in any addiction it’s also worth remembering the psychological power of habit and ritual.

If you know that you drink coffee at a certain time and in certain situations it’s very important to have your replacements ready.

Starting on a weekend or other time away from work is a good idea too, as many of us are on autopilot at the start of the working day. Given this, you may find a cup of java in your hand at the same time as usual, without even realizing what you’ve done.Caffeine free java alternatives

On the other hand, if you start on a Saturday when you’re less busy, you’ll have two days of retraining the habit and any withdrawal symptoms will be greatly diminished by Monday.

This is the 10 step plan I used to give up coffee. It uses the healthy alternatives below and these two caffeine withdrawal remedies to make replacement as simple as possible.

Teeccino Java Alternative

For people who want a healthy alternative to coffee, but really enjoy drinking it, rich-tasting Teeccino has been a godsend. There have been java substitutes in the past but it seems that the flavor has never really been up to scratch.

Teeccino is a rare thing — a direct, tastes like coffee replacement that most people enjoy the flavor of. Even better, its ingredients, like organic carob and chicory root with inulin, are beneficial for gut health.

Drinking Teeccino can have an alkalizing effect on your body as well. That’s very different to the acidity of coffee.

My favorites are the French Roast and Maca Chocolate but there are many different Teeccino flavors. Some of the new ones, like hazelnut, raspberry mocha and vanilla nut, sound well worth trying too.

Keep the bags in the fridge and make them up as you would regular grounds in a coffee machine, filter or French press.

The 4 Best Teas to Replace Coffee

1. Peppermint Tea

One of my personal favorite coffee replacements is a strong peppermint tea. It has no caffeine but still has a refreshing and invigorating energy to it.

A warm cup of peppermint tea can be a great alternative for people who need something to get them going in the morning. There is much more on the potent digestive benefits of peppermint tea here.

2. Ginger Tea

Like peppermint tea, ginger tea is both energizing and great for improving digestion. It makes an excellent coffee alternative as a strong ginger tea can really wake you up if you’re tired and improve your mood if the day isn’t going that well.

Ginger has traditionally been used to settle an upset stomach and can also help reduce bloating, IBS and flatulence. It can even help with natural weight loss.

Ginger tea java substitute

3. Organic Green Tea

Green tea does have some caffeine in it, but it’s much less than in coffee, and various compounds in green tea can be very beneficial.

For many people, switching to organic green tea can be a real help in replacing java without negative side effects.

Once you’ve made the switch to green tea and have got through the initial caffeine withdrawal symptoms, there are healthy decaffeinated green tea options.

Unfortunately, decaffeinated coffee can’t be recommended. Studies show that decaf is just as acidic in the stomach as regular java. More on this in a previous post on coffee and digestion.

4. Chamomile Tea

For anyone feeling a little tense as coffee lets go of its grip on them, chamomile tea can be a relaxing and soothing drink. Caffeine-free chamomile tea has been shown to help relaxation, reduce tension and improve sleep.

This tea is not good for getting going first thing in the morning. But should you find yourself a bit stressed out later in the day then chamomile is an ideal tea to go for.

Making the Switch

Finding a replacement for coffee that you like is much more effective than trying to stop cold turkey. These are my favorite healthy alternatives and I’d recommend giving them a try if you’re ready to make the switch.

To make the whole process much easier though, combine them with these natural caffeine withdrawal remedies and follow the 10 steps to giving up coffee here.


Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 30 comments

I like green tea. It is very tasty and also healthy. Coffee has a lot of health problem. Thank you for this information.


I was so hoping to find a new suggestion for something that tastes close enough to coffee. Unfortunately, for those with intestinal problems, something containing barley and chicory root with inulin would be a nightmare if they already have pain and bloating from the compounds within coffee. The search goes on. Not a fan of tea, but I’m trying to substitute it for coffee. Unfortunately, many flavored teas also have inulin/chickory root (inulin is typically made from chickory root).


Thanks for the substitute ideas! The Amazon link was particularly helpful–I’m going to try Campono–I like that it’s gluten free and a single ingredient. I think it could actually be a great substitute seeing as I can have it whenever I want and I don’t “need” to have it everyday, since I like to drink for taste anyway.
Thanks again! Reading about all the problems it can cause provides extra motivation!!

    James Dillan

    Thanks for your positive comments Kaitlin.

Gloria J. Isaac

I decided to stop drinking coffee on this day Oct 12 of 2016 and started drinking peppermint tea.thank you


What about Yerba Mate as an alternative?


    Hi there,

    You’re right, yerba mate could be a good alternative to coffee. I might edit the page with this.

    All the best,



I have severe GERD and heartburn and have found drinking rooibos tea doesn’t bother me as it’s alkaline rather than acidic.


    Hi Piper,

    Just wondered if you have tried any of the low-acidic coffees? I have GERD and I am thinking of switching to one of these coffees.


michelle helps

Thanks for the article, very interesting. It has helped me to make up my mind to give up coffee. I like very strong coffee on empty stomach and I’ve experienced really bad abdominal cramps. Having read the article I am going to replace it with peppermint or ginger tea.



    Hi Michelle,

    I think it’s definitely a health decision to make. If it heps there’s the exact way I did it without caffeine withdrawal symptoms here

    All the best,


    George Rust

    Hi Michelle.
    I stopped drinking coffee 3 weeks ago.Abdominal cramps and pain in the morning has been part of my life for the last 10 -15 years.I jog and exercise in the morning which had a neutralizing effect via the endorphin release so I coped.With time the pain every morning was having an effect on my mood especially if I didn’t exercise. Then I had this “brilliant “idea of drinking an Irish coffee in the morning which resulted in a “happy pain free 10 min” until the alcohol affect wore off. My whiskey consumption was now a bottle a week. Was I now becoming an alcoholic because of my coffee addiction ?? This went on some time and my marriage was taking strain.
    The local cafe on the corner had a special of an espresso and a doughnut. The machine malfunctioned this one occasion.The nett effect was that I got served a triple strength espresso.Coffee could (for me at least) never be strong enough.My pain went into overdrive after downing the the coffee. And that was it 3 weeks ago. I’ve switched to a local herbal tee called Rooibos here in South Africa and the rest is history. The pain,nearly from the 1st day of my “conversion” dissipated like mist before the sun.



I reeeeaaally do want to give up coffee & will try hot water with cinnamon, honey & soya milk! I find green tea very high in caffeine & gives me almost the same buzz as coffee but I guess not as acidic or bloating!


    Hi Mairead,

    Green tea is definitely less problematic but if you’d like to try going caffeine free with some other great tasting alternatives here’s the exact method I used to give up coffee without withdrawal symptoms

    Hope this helps,



    Watch the honey bc it is mostly sugar.

Kevin M.

Did you run across anything regarxing cold brewed coffee which is much less acidic? Im wondering if that is less damaging on the digestive system?


    Hi Kevin,

    It does look like cold brew coffee is less acidic and this could be the difference for people who are borderline and only have occasional issues. For some though the caffeine and other compounds simply cause too many digestive problems and they’d be much better following a plan like this to replace coffee while minimizing withdrawal symptoms

    All the best,



Hey there,
Enjoyed the article. Just wondering what you think about agave nectar- heard it was good for you?


    Hi Kelsey,

    I think stevia extract is much better than agave nectar which can have a very high glycemic index and is often found to be adulterated with high fructose corn syrup.

    All the best,



I’ve been investigating different herb teas for a while but haven’t made the jump (again) to give up coffee. (Didn’t drink it for 2 years, but started again) Recently I’ve been noticing bloating. It’s time. Also camomile helps with the headaches because it is a mild analgesic.

charles best

I found out a lot of things about coffee, and found your article
on these and others very interesting
thanks, from, Charles


thanks for the article, i enjoyed it very much. However don’t be fooled by GreenTea,if you speak to Tea Specialists who really know what they are talking about they will tell you Green tea is exceptionally high in caffeine.


I need to do this more for my teeth than anything else!


    Hi David. Coffee’s effect on your teeth is yet another reason to add to the list.

    While I’m well aware coffee is almost too sacred to criticise for some people, it does give many of us digestive problems as detailed here –

    All the best.

margatet couls

I found decaf coffee still was not decaf enough for me!!!!!! I now use 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar in my hot water with half and half ! Works for me. Maybe just a placebo but I am much calmer and sleep much better.:-):-):-):-)


    Hi there,

    Cinnamon is quite good for controlling the blood sugar spikes which sugar and caffeine can provoke so I’m not surprised it helps. I’d recommend trying a drop of stevia instead of the sugar as well.

    All the best.

    Dandy Gordon

    Adding a stick of Cinnamon to your tea and even coffee (yes, I know….coffee) adds both in taste and in health. Cinnamon is a carminative, an agent that helps break up intestinal gas that has traditionally been used to combat diarrhea and morning sickness – which explains why cinnamon extracts have been used medically to treat gastrointestinal problems and to help calm the stomach.

    As for “Margatet Couls” comment about “decaf coffee still not decaf enough….” – regarding flatulences – from what I understand both caffeine (by itself) and coffee (if you like – the roasted bean) cause the issue – so just drinking decaf will not solve the problem ;-)

    There are very few natural alternatives for the morning kick not to mention the taste, aroma and body of a good cup of coffee.

    I suggest you try to mix a coffee alternative (one which tastes pretty bland) with a tiny amount of real coffee. That way you will gain from both worlds!

    If you are looking for some healthy coffee substitutes which taste a bit like coffee I recommend what is called “date seed coffee”. It is actually a coffee like beverage drank in the Middle East for thousands of years.

    You can either prepare it at home (not recommend :-) or purchase it on-line.


    Thanks for your comments Dandy.

    You’re right that other compounds affect people in coffee digestively beyond the caffeine so decaf is not a good solution.

    All the best,


    Aaron edwards

    Gunpowder green tea is really great and has a almost identical taste to coffee


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