For many people, coffee is the centerpoint of a good and productive morning–but not everyone is an avid coffee drinker. Whether you avoid coffee because you aren’t fond of its robust flavor or because you prefer to avoid caffeine (or any other multitude of reasons), there are options out there that will suit your needs.
So, what’s the best coffee for non coffee drinkers? We’ll break it down three ways–best coffee shop options, best coffee alternatives, and best low-caffeine coffee alternatives. Let’s go:
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Best Coffee For Non-Coffee Drinkers to Order at the Coffee Shop
If you don’t care for coffee because of its bold flavor or just simply aren’t well versed in the coffee options that are out there but want to keep a regular coffee shop order up your sleeve, there are plenty of things you can try. A good coffee shop can blend them sweet, bold, or anywhere in between.
Here’s what you might choose if you want a simple, but delicious coffee that will suit the non-coffee drinker:
A caffe latte, often shortened to just “latte” is a coffee drink that’s blended with milk to create a creamy, mild flavored beverage. In fact, it’s about ⅓ expression and ⅔ milk. Add in your favorite flavors or sweeteners or take it plain and it's ready to go.
Many menu options at the most popular coffee joints are lattes–like the pumpkin spice latte or peppermint mocha lattes that rear their heads around the holidays. That’s because a latte has such a mild coffee profile that it takes on other flavors well. This is a great option if you want a sophisticated coffee beverage with a mild energy boost.
A cappuccino is a step up from a latte–containing slightly more espresso and therefore a bolder coffee flavor overall. Still, cappuccinos are a perfect starting point for someone who wants a tasty coffee beverage that’s not as stark as a regular cup of joe.
A cappuccino contains espresso that’s topped off with steamed milk and thick foamed milk, and it can be blended with a multitude of flavors just like a latte. It will have more of a caffeine kick than the latte, but still has an enjoyable flavor and creamy texture that may be appealing even to non-coffee drinkers.
Iced coffee is a good alternative for non-coffee drinkers because it’s a versatile beverage that can be dressed up however you like. If you aren’t ordering iced coffee off the menu, though, you may have a sort of complicated order–iced coffee is served black, and you need to add the milk, flavor syrups, and sweeteners that you’d enjoy. The caffeine content is mild compared to some espresso beverages but still significant–around 60-100 milligrams per cup depending on size.
Best Coffee Alternatives for Non-Coffee Drinkers
If you’re looking for a hot beverage that’s not coffee, but may be suitable to drink when those around you are drinking coffee or just when you need a morning pick-me-up, here are some good options:
Chai tea is a hearty tea option that can replace a morning cup of coffee thanks to its bold, warm flavor and mood and focus-boosting effects. This black tea is commonly blended with warming spices, like cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg, & allspice. Cream or sweeteners may be added to make a beverage that’s close to a traditional cup of coffee.
Chai is slightly less caffeinated than coffee but still has many of the same mental and cognitive benefits. Black tea may help to improve mental alertness, and the antioxidant properties of chai may help to support a healthy heart and brain.
Our Super Chai is a spicy, herbal blend of Masala Chai, Lion's Mane, Maitake, Alpha-GPC, Ginkgo Biloba, BCAA's, and other cognition and energy-enhancing therapeutics designed to help you start your day off on a high note.
Hot cocoa isn’t just for kids and cold winter nights–ask for a hot chocolate with peppermint or a layer of foam, or spice it up with cinnamon and nutmeg to make it more exciting. Cocoa has a trivial amount of caffeine, but not enough to cause any caffeine jitters, so this is a good option for those looking to avoid the caffeine boost completely.
Chicory coffee is made from the roasted root of the chicory plant, and it’s one of the most well-known coffee substitutes because it has a flavor that is very similar to coffee.
It also is a rich source of inulin, a soluble fiber that supports a healthy gut microbiome and can aid in the digestive process. In fact, inulin has been found to support the growth of both primary probiotic colonies–Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli. It may also support bile production, which can help the body break down substances that are otherwise hard to digest, like fat.
Chicory root coffee is pre-ground and roasted and comes in a form similar to coffee grounds. It’s also brewed the same way and can be made using any coffee machine, french press, or typical coffee-brewing method, making it an excellent coffee alternative for those who want to emulate the real thing.
Best Mildly Caffeinated Coffee Options
If you simply need a low-caffeine alternative to traditional coffee that will help wake you up without the jitters, but still want the coffee flavor, here are the best options:
You can always go for decaf if you want to avoid caffeine. Decaf coffee can be used to make any regular blended or steamed coffee beverage–but it only has about 2 milligrams of caffeine per cup, a huge decrease to the 60-100 milligrams present in traditional coffee.
Of course, if you’re looking for a jitter-free pick me up, this isn’t the best option. Decaf coffee is more for appearance and flavor, not for a morning or midday boost.
Coffee made with mushrooms is an excellent substitute for a normal cup of coffee that offers a boost without the overpowering effects of highly caffeinated coffee.
Some mushroom coffee formulas do contain small amounts of coffee, while others are formulated with only medicinal mushrooms and are designed to be a coffee replacement. Either way, mushroom coffee can be a great low-caffeine, therapeutic option for starting your day.
Some of the medicinal mushrooms you may find in mushroom coffee include reishi, cordyceps, lion’s mane, tremella, maitake, shiitake, and more. The specific mushroom blend will determine the benefits you see from each dose. For instance, lion’s mane coffee is known for promoting focus and improving cognition, while maitake is known to support the immune system.
Lucid Super Coffee is a great substitute for the traditional cup of coffee because it contains only 45 milligrams of caffeine paired with energy and cognition-supporting mushroom+nootropics. All the fuel, none of the jittery side effects.