Top Five Coffee Substitutes
A good morning starts with a cup of coffee. That is the mantra that many of you agree and partake in on a daily basis. With the widespread of online coffee memes, it is clear that this morning ritual is not a uniquely Singaporean phenomenon.
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However, do you know the ramifications that your morning cup of coffee has on your body? Caffeine, the main active ingredient in coffee, is a stimulant that acts on the central nervous system to reduce physical fatigue. At the same time, caffeine boosts the body’s attentiveness enabling an enhanced flow of thoughts and body coordination.
But, caffeine is a double edged sword with drawbacks as well. It is generally established that prolonged caffeine consumption can lead to sleeping disorders and puts you at a higher risk of suffering from high blood pressure. In addition, caffeine is an addictive substance which causes headache and fatigue during withdrawal.
So, what are the coffee alternatives out there that can perk you up in the morning? While some of you might be thinking of running to the nearest 7-Eleven and downing a whole can of Red Bull, we bring you five healthier alternatives to kick that caffeine habit.
1. Herbal Coffee (Teeccino)
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Herbal coffees are usually roasted grain or malt beverages that are commonly used as a substitute for coffee. Teeccino, one of the leading brands of herbal coffee is now available locally at Dann’s Daily Pescetarian Café. Made from barley, figs, almonds, chicory roots and roasted carob, Teeccino contains no caffeine and is gluten free. Expect a full bodied concoction that calls to mind an earthen citrusy flavour.
2. Cacao or Raw Cocoa Powder
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Otherwise known as the purest form of chocolate, cacao powder is made from crushed cacao beans. Just think of it as the adult version of Milo, without the sugar and preservatives that come along with it. Researchers have found that prolong consumption can have beneficial effects for the heart and brain. At the same time, it can also reduce the body’s blood pressure while preparing you for the day ahead. You can find cacao powder at major supermarkets such as Cold Storage and NTUC.
3. Herbal Teas
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Often playing second fiddle to coffee, few people realise that there is a huge range of herbal teas out there. Herbal tea offers a whole variety of taste and aromatic smell while almost always being caffeine-free. Start the day with a cup of spiced tea. Or if you feel like something exotic, try some South African rooibos tea which is high in anti-oxidants and known to have cancer fighting qualities.
Herbal Tea Lattes
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However if you still can’t live without your sweet steamed milk, why not switch to healthier options like say Green Tea or Chai Latte? Both options contain significant less caffeine than a cup of Joe and are easily available from your nearest Starbucks. For a truly local frothy tea option, just head to your nearest coffee shop and ask the uncle for a teh halia tarik or masala teh tarik instead.
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There is a traditional Chinese saying, “The difficulty in stomaching a remedy determines the effectiveness of it.” Although ginseng can be quite jarring when tasted for the first time, you will get used to the copperish taste after a few sips. The most effective method will be to infuse a few slices of ginseng in some hot water. We will advise against adding any sweetener such as sugar or honey so as to not dilute its potency. But, it will deliver an energy boost which will keep you feeling sharp for the whole day. Available at traditional Chinese medicine stores across the island.
5. Fruit Smoothies
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Your morning cannot doesn’t get much healthier than fruits and yoghurt! You can easily create your very own breakfast smoothie in the comfort of your own home. Simply stock up on your favourite fruits and with the ease of the modern blender, you can make a smoothie in mere minutes. However if you are too lazy, you can also head over to Boost Juice Bars or your neighbourhood fruit juice stall along the way to work!