The 7 Best Caffeine-Free Drinks If You're Trying to Give Up Coffee

Take a coffee break now without the crash later.

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August 26, 2021

If you’re looking to cut caffeine but don’t want to give up the ritual of drinking coffee then we have some really great caffeine-free alternatives. We brewed each drink according to package instructions and then sipped them all plain, with cream and sweetener, and iced. We looked for attributes similar to that of coffee: aroma and balanced flavor with some complexity. Plus we added bonus points for coziness and contentment.

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Caramel macchiato lovers can do a happy dance: This 100% naturally caffeine-free herbal tea has all the flavors you crave but without the buzz (or extra calories). It has caramel-notes from figs and dates, a nutty sweetness thanks to carob and a pleasant balance of bitterness from chicory and dandelion. (We honestly couldn’t stop smelling the tea bag — the aroma was that good.) Sip on it plain or add your favorite creamer and/or sweetener (and maybe some foam) for a macchiato doppelganger. Teeccino also offers the same flavor as an herbal coffee for a more robust blend. Purchase knowing the company is working hard to preserve rainforests and provide poverty relief in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

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Earthy, slightly smokey, sweet and never bitter rooibos (pronounced ROY-BOSS) translates into “red bush” and is a shrub that grows only in the mountainous Cederberg region of South Africa. Our tasters loved certified USDA organic Rooibos Rocks tea unadulterated, both hot and iced. It was the perfect caffeine-free pick-me-up with a unique aroma and taste. (We also think it’s a great sub for brewed coffee in recipes like chili and chocolate cake.) Look for the signature necking zebra logo (the founders’ favorite animal) and choose between bags and loose leaf.

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The secret to Cafix’s 100% caffeine-free toasty flavor is a blend of roasted barley, chicory and sugar beets. Preparing is simple: add hot water to a scoop of the instant granules in your mug, stir and sip. Our tasters loved it with a glug of sweetened non-dairy creamer. It also makes a pretty impressive cold brew substitute. Cafix brings the same warming satisfaction of coffee without the caffeine or acidity.

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Here’s a caffeine-free alternative for iced coffee lovers: Earth & Star’s can of Cacao is made with their signature combination of organic mushroom extracts and oat milk. The combination of functional mushrooms mixed with the caffeine-like compound theobromine (found in cacao) could potentially help energize without the 3 o’clock slump many coffee drinkers experience. Health claims aside, it tastes great and is super refreshing.

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Brewed cacao sounds like it would be similar to hot cocoa but they couldn’t be more different. Like the peanut coffee, Crio Bru’s granules look similar to ground coffee and can be brewed in the same way. A cup of brewed cacao is 99.9% caffeine-free, complex, rich, roasted with pleasantly bitter notes. Cream and sweetener make it a kid-friendly beverage that you can sip together.

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The bright yellow color of this spiced beverage is thanks to turmeric, which has long been touted for its anti-inflammatory properties. Potential health benefits aside, we thought golden milk was the most indulgent-tasting of the bunch. The spice mixture is briefly simmered with milk (animal- or plant-based) and can be sweetened to taste. The brilliant combination of turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and coriander is so warming. There’s even a subtle black pepper punch at the end which is delightful. Spice Walla was created by James Beard-nominated chef Meherwan Irani and buys small quantities of spices directly from suppliers to ensure ultimate freshness.

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Say hello to the first of its kind. Made from 100% peanuts and using proprietary technology for processing, peanut coffee looks very similar to regular ground coffee. Best of all, it brews the same way too whether you’re using an automatic drip coffee machine or a French press. No surprise, it smells like roasted peanuts and has a pleasant and rich peanut flavor that is reminiscent of coffee. There’s a caffeinated version available as well and bonus: roasted peanut oil is a byproduct.

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