For many folks, the best part of waking up is a warm cup of joe.
Coffee drinking has become so embedded in our culture that we don’t think twice about it. I mean, a lot of us were practically born with a coffee cup in our hands!
But when it comes to optimizing our health and happiness, it’s sometimes worth examining the habits that we take for granted.
There is science indicating that a little bit of coffee here and there can help with brain function and longevity BUT… There are stacks of studies showing that the overuse of coffee can have the exact opposite effect, leading to elevated levels of stress, anxiety, adrenal fatigue, anger and a host of other undesirable side effects.
Now, I’m not telling you to take coffee completely out of your diet. I still have the occasional cup, but I’ve found that too much coffee makes me really irritable and jittery, so I’ve gotta be careful.
Thankfully, there are some equally amazing coffee alternatives that we can turn to…
Today I’m going to share the recipe for a delicious coffee alternative that we love in the Polizzi home.
Okay, ready to get brewing?
A Delicious and Energizing Coffee Alternative [Recipe!]
Serving size: 1 cup
- 1-2 tsp dried Guayusa leaves
- 1 tsp Chaga powdered extract
- 1 tsp Cacao powder
- ¼ tsp ground Cinnamon
- Dash of Vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- Splash of your favorite milk (oat milk for me!)
- Honey (optional)
- Put the Guayusa in a tea ball or infuser and drop into your favorite mug.
- Add the Chaga, Cacao, Vanilla, Salt and Cinnamon.
- Pour boiling water over the tea blend and steep for 5-7 minutes
- Remove the tea ball or infuser and pour the mixture into a blender. Add a touch of honey and a splash of milk here if you’d like.
- Blend on medium speed for 10 seconds.
- Pour back into your mug and enjoy!
Crave more? This recipe makes one perfect cup, but if you want more or yearn for the coffee-like experience, then grab a French press. We use a 4-6 cupper and triple the ingredients in the Polizzi household.
Health Benefits Galore
In addition to boosting your energy, this healthy coffee alternative includes multiple beneficial compounds too.
Here’s what you’re packing into just one cup…
Chaga powder, which comes from the chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus), is chock full of vitality-boosting nutrients including: B-complex vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Chaga also includes lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. The fruiting body of this mushroom is not edible, instead an extracted tea has been traditionally used – so always get an extract powder to gain the full benefits (or brew a batch of tea).
Guayusa (Ilex guayusa) gives us the caffeine punch but at much more manageable levels than coffee. A cup of guayusa tea contains approximately half as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. A relative to yerba maté, guayusa is also loaded with antioxidants and other beneficial compounds that have been found to improve moods and alertness. This Amazonian holly species also contains triterpenoids that have antihyperglycemic effects, meaning it can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Cacao (Theobroma cacao) not only ups the taste factor (seriously, who doesn’t love chocolate?), but it also helps reduce stress, boost cognition, improve digestion, and enhance energy. This powder—which comes from the unroasted seed of the cacao tree—is also high in protein, fiber, magnesium, and iron. Theobromine is one of the active ingredients in cacao, which acts as a stimulant – with vasodilation and bronchodilation properties. This is literally a lung and heart-opener. Opting for cacao (not to be confused with cocoa which comes from the roasted seed) means that you’re in good company… Ancient Mesoamerican peoples including the Aztecs and the Mayans believed cacao was sacred, and they used it in many healing ceremonies and rituals.
Beyond its delicious taste, cinnamon (Cinnamomum sp.) is a powerhouse superfood spice. It’s loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, it may reduce the risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, and it can help fight bacterial and fungal infections.
I love anything and everything vanilla (Vanilla planifolia). It adds so much flavor. Plus, it’s got some seriously promising health benefits. It may offer antioxidant protection, anti-inflammatory properties, and even neuroprotective properties too.
Where to find your ingredients:
Your local natural food store or co-op will probably carry these ingredients. If they don’t, you can easily find them online. In my home, Mountain Rose Herbs is our go-to store.
As we start tuning in to the wisdom of our bodies, and to the knowledge of our elders and ancestors, everything eventually comes under the microscope for evaluation.
For many of us, that might include coffee.
But with the right healthy coffee alternative, you might surprise yourself by how little coffee you need – if any at all. Instead of reaching for that morning cup as soon as you get out of bed, you may even find yourself craving the recipe above for that delicious flavor and energy boost.
Try it out and let us know how it works for you in the comments below!
Host of Remedy: Ancient Medicine for Modern Illness
& Founder of The Sacred Science
I drink yerba mate, Guayaki brand.
What is the difference between the guayusa and the yerba mate from Guayaki?
Guayusa leaves, chaga powder, yeah right, I got pounds of that sitting in my cupboards. If I’m not going to have my java, I may as well go in the back yard and pull some dandelions. At least those don’t carry “health food” prices.
Hello Nick, l look forward to your emails everyday. By staying curious as you so well put it, l have learnt so much from your site and would like to say a big thank you from Texas, Queensland. My morning freshly brewed (no instant) coffee includes reishi powder, cacao, cinnamon, turmeric, little cracked pepper and honey… delicious. Cheers.
I gave up coffee three years ago and I have felt better ever since no more anxiety from caffeine. Coffee used to make me sweat profusely and it was too acidic for my digestion. I drink Teecciono Dandelion Carmel Nut tea blended with Chicory that smells like coffee but no side effects. Another one from Teecciono is their Vanilla Nut Chicory herbal coffee (caffeine free). I find it is easier to carry these tea bags to work or for travel keeping it simple.
Really looking forward to trying it, just need to buy the things first…
It is delicious and makes me feel calm and energetic at the same time. Thanks to you I am richer wit new magical ingredients 🙂 Thank you for that recepie. Warm wishes from Poland, Anna
Hey Nick, I love your coffee substitute idea – I usually use Pero with bunches of supplements including medicinal mushrooms, chaga, reishi, and lion’s mane as well as collagen, tumeric/black pepper, cacao, and cinnamon. Two questions: can you add too many ingredients for digestion and liver health? And I’ve recently been told to only use Ceylon cinnamon, comments? Thank you!
I’ve read that Ceyoln Cinnamon is real Cinnamon, most of what we see at the market is fake cinnamon, taste and smells like it but doesn’t have all the benefits of real cinnamon. Research yourself too. You will read both sides, then decide logically which is you prefer.
Coffee is a drug, because you will have a headache in the morning for the first 5 days if you stop drinking it. Why? Because you got used to this drug. But in the morning, instead of coffee, you drink half a liter of water with half a squeezed lemon, which is the best tonic. Instead of coffee, you can drink a coffee substitute made from rye or Chicory – roasted chicory root.
What happens to the body when it drinks coffee?
1. Blood pressure is artificially raised. Drinking coffee is like an energy drink. Coffee is a mild version of energy drinks that have a high concentration of caffeine. It’s a real drug that artificially raises your blood pressure and gives you energy. It’s an addicting potion. When you drink coffee, your body artificially raises your blood pressure and then your body tries to reduce the raised blood pressure. Then, when you fall in energy, you drink coffee again in a few hours to get strength or energy. The body tries to lower the blood pressure again. You are training your body to keep your blood pressure down. When you wake up in the morning, your body immediately lowers your blood pressure because you trained it by mistreating it with coffee. In the morning, you immediately start with coffee to wake up. You have a headache because you have low blood pressure. If you want to wake up in the morning, you take an alternate hot shower and a cold shower and repeat this 4 times and wake up. This is how you clean your face. You will have a headache for the first 5 days as your body gets used to the new regime without coffee.
2. Deuretic – reduces the fluid (water) in your body, two-thirds of our body is water, when you are dehydrated your brain collapses, your bones and cheeks dry out, and you have a dry mouth. That’s why you must always have a glass of water with you, like in a bar, so that they always give you water next to your coffee.
3. Coffee causes heart arrhythmia – the heart pumps blood in a certain rhythm and this is called rhythmic contraction of the heart. Coffee creates an additional rhythm for the contraction of the heart. This is how heart arrhythmia are created.
4. Coffee causes an increase in gastric acid secretion. When you drink coffee, stomach acid is secreted additionally and you get acid in your stomach and then you can get a stomach ulcer, if you drink a lot of coffee you can get stomach cancer. Then you go to the Doctor and he gives you “Ranisan – Ranitidine” to reduce stomach acid. You drink this to reduce the secretion of stomach acid.
5. Coffee increases anxiety and insomnia.
Cacao is a poison, but there is a supplement for it: Carob. Compared to cocoa, carobs do not contain stimulants to raise blood pressure, but they contain much more calcium. Carobs contain no cholesterol and have fewer calories than cocoa. But they contain a lot of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which help regulate our digestion.
Please read a book: Poison with a Capital C: A Case Against Coffee and Other Brown Drinks, Agatha M. Thrash.
Like your recipe. Will try it someday. My recipe is chicory, sage and rosemary adding other ingredients available such as calendula, eleuthero powder or gymnema powder. I use 6 tbsp of chicory 2 T each of sage and rosemary. Makes a reg coffee pot full (Keurig) Drink 1 cup per day and store rest in jars. Add creamer, honey etc/ delicious!
Dear Nick ! I drink Biochaga (instant water soluble freeze dried chaga mushroom extract) or I add extract to coffee and get mild taste. I can share Biochaga with anyone
I’ve never been a coffee drinker because though I love the smell, I can’t stand the taste (without a lot of sweetener and cream). As well, coffee heightens my anxiety and one cup sends me running to the restroom! I was quite the funny mess when I drove cross-country alone during 9/11/01 week and officers were giving free coffee to those of us weary drivers at truck stops and convenience stores, and I decided to choke it down to stay awake! It wasn’t a good idea. Lesson learned. Ha!
But I read this because my love-of-my-life husband adores coffee and recently had a stroke, so I am open to helping him find a nourishing replacement. He quit coffee cold-turkey while he was in the hospital and only now, three months later is having the occasional decaf coffee. He is on Warfarin/Coumadin blood thinner medication too now and very limited in foods that have vitamin K (on top of low sodium and low sugar diet).
I love following Nick and The Sacred Science and learning all I can. I have totally changed my diet and lifestyle since doing the Sacred Science detox a couple years ago. Thank you ALL for what you put out into the world.
This coffee drink recipe u just wrote about sounds great can I buy it all mixed!??
In the mid 1960’s I was doing audit of an institution. They offered me coffee in the after noon. On the third day of drinking one cup daily I had abdominal pain. After that I never drank coffee. I don’t feel the need to drink coffee, tea or alcohol. I have not touched meat for over 37 years.