Alternative hot drinks for when you are avoiding caffeine

27 November, 2020

Alternative hot drinks for when you are avoiding caffeine

As the winter turns cold and crisp, the festive menus start making an appearance in our favourite coffee shops. Whether you prefer a chain or a local spot, you can guarantee the winter menu will have a drink or two that you can't get enough of!

But what if you are trying to avoid caffeine, or sugar (or both)? Fear not, we have put together a list of drinks to look out for when out and about or to try and make at home.


Turmeric latte

Turmeric has long been used because of its medicinal, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are said to aid digestion, detoxify the body and even help to relieve pain.

This drink, also known as turmeric milk, or golden milk is not only healthy but also incredibly warming, combining turmeric with spices like ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. These elements also help to lower and stabilise blood sugar levels, preventing you crashing after consuming – incredibly helpful when chasing after little ones.

To make at home, all you need is the following:


  • Milk (cows or plant-based)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • Few grinds of black pepper


Whisk all ingredients slowly over low heat until warm and frothy. Find this BBC recipe here.


Mushroom coffee

Are you someone that starts the day with a caffeine fix? Mushroom coffee might give you the natural lift you need.

Mushroom coffee is a strong contender in the 'wellness' trend stakes, thanks to it being exceptionally nutrient-dense. Used for generations in Chinese medicine, mushrooms such as Chaga, Reishi and Lion Mane are famed for their immune-boosting and stress relieving qualities. They are also said to help give the same boost as coffee, without any of the jittery-ness and caffeine crash.

If you are pregnant – it's advised to check with your doctor or midwife before starting.

There are several brands to take a look at if you would like to know more, some of the most popular include Four Sigmatic, Superu and Café Shroom.


Mulled apple juice 

If it were acceptable to drink mulled cider all day, we would undoubtedly oblige – but when there are errands to run and little ones to take care of, the soft version will have to do!

Alcohol-free but just as wonderful, mulled apple juice is the perfect hot drink to raise those Christmas spirits. Cinnamon, ginger, citrus and honey are perfect festive flavours to warm you as the temperature outside drops, and even better – the little ones can join in too!

All you need is:


  • 1 carton of apple juice (cloudy if you prefer!)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Pell of 1 orange
  • Peel of one lemon
  • Small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 teaspoons of honey

Let all of the ingredients infuse together by simmering over low heat for 15 mins, before straining into a jug and serving warm, see the full recipe here. For an extra health (and taste) kick, you can also add some apple cider vinegar.


Beetroot latte

Admittedly not a taste that will appeal to everyone, but the health benefits of beetroot are indeed becoming more widely known! Beetroot is hailed for contributing to heart health and lower and stabilise blood pressure – leading to the cerise pink veg being labelled as a superfood. They are also high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

While you can make these at home, you are likely to need a juicer to do so, unless you want to buy beetroot juice. Suppose you do want to opt for the DIY approach. In that case, we recommend you follow this recipe that combines almond milk, beetroot juice, honey and cinnamon. If you want to take a less labour intensive approach, there are some fabulous powdered beetroot latte's to try including Boroughbox and Blendsmiths Drinkmakers.


Hot cacao

Hot chocolate is an absolute must as the weather gets colder, and if you are an avid 'pinner' on Pinterest, it's hard to escape all of the tempting cosy photos of slow mornings and evening film nights.

Don't worry – we have found you a drink that combines all of the delicious of hot chocolate, with less sugar and more health benefits. Cacao is the purest form of chocolate - still rich and creamy, cacao it's unprocessed, free from refined sugar and full of nutrients.

In fact, it's that healthy that you could have this hot drink for breakfast, guilt-free. You can make a delicious health hot cacao by combining:

  • 2 tablespoons Cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon Maca power
  • Milk (cows or plant-based)
  • 2 tablespoons Maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil (optional)

Whizz up the ingredients in a blender and heat slowly over low heat. For the full recipe, see here.


Fresh mint tea 

Sometimes a fresh mint tea is all you need. Whether it's for a refreshing lift, or a cup to soothe you at the end of the day, this super-speedy hot drink can be whipped up in seconds.

Mint tea is also an excellent remedy for indigestion and bloating, so sipped regularly before or after eating can also help to ease these symptoms. All you need is boiling water, and fresh mint leaves left to steep before removing the stems or leaves – of course, you can reach for a peppermint tea bag, but nothing comes close to the authentic taste of fresh mint tea.


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