can’t and won’t function without a cup of coffee to start the day. This has
been an age-long tradition which transcends age, cultures, and circumstances. Whether
it’s 3-in-1 coffee, your own pour-over, or a fancy takeout from your favorite café,
caffeine is essential.
though drinking coffee has been a large part of our everyday, there are many
people who avoid coffee for many reasons. Some do it for health reasons, such as
those who experience acid reflux. Some say it’s more a lifestyle thing. But while
coffee has its benefits (eg. keeping you awake and alert, it tastes good,
etc.), there are also benefits to skipping that cup of coffee in the morning.
coffee better, let’s look at what caffeine does to our body.
are largely due to its ability to block adenosine, a sleep-inducing molecule
that tells your brain it’s time to sleep. Because caffeine blocks adenosine, the
result is that you feel more awake and alert, allowing you to accomplish the
task at hand.
makes you more sensitive to dopamine, known as the “happy hormone” because it
is responsible for letting you feel happiness. Because of this phenomenon, caffeine
also has the ability to make you feel happy.
all of these benefits of caffeine sound great and well, the problem is that our
bodies develop a tolerance to caffeine. This means that as time goes, you will
have to consume more to experience the benefits of caffeine.
and cravings will make you more susceptible to feeling down, unhappy, or just
generally tired. The Sleep Foundation also found that consuming too much
caffeine can impact the onset of sleep, and reduce sleep time and quality.
Therefore, caffeine-interrupted sleep can lead to sleep deprivation the
following day, which can make you feel more fatigued and encounter problems
with learning, memory, and emotion regulation.
So, if you
feel like you’re losing sleep quality, drinking much more coffee than you want,
or feeling slower and slower each day, then you might have to cut back on your
We’re not really
saying you have to remove caffeine from your life to function properly. In
fact, the reality is that most beverages actually contain caffeine.
unarguably, contains the most caffeine per cup. One grande cup of brewed coffee
from Starbucks, for example, contains at least 360 mg of caffeine. Compare that
to one Lipton black tea bag which averages at 55 mg or a hot Swiss Miss drink
at 1-3 mg.
easy to tell yourself “just cut back on coffee,” caffeine withdrawal can be
quite of a bummer. Couple that with chilly days thanks to the rainy season, and
you’ll be reaching for that cup of coffee quicker than you can stop yourself.
there are many alternatives that you can turn to which can help you quit coffee
or maybe just cut back on your caffeine. Swipe through the gallery below for our list
of healthier low-caffeine and caffeine-free hot drinks and where to buy them:
Warm Drink Ideas
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Immune Brew tea from Sekaya
Tea is probably the most popular alternative to coffee when you’re looking for something healthier and low in caffine. And in this time of pandemic, it’s nice to drink something that will help boost your immune system to help protect you from flu and viruses. Start your morning or cap your day with the Sekaya Immune Brew, which packs an immunity boost and anti-bacterial properties in a fragrant and soothing drink.
English Breakfast is one of the most popular black tea blends usually common in British high tea culture. To dine in style like the Brits do, steep a bag of English breakfast, add milk, and sweeten with sugar cubes. It also contains a bit of caffeine to give you some energy, around 40 mg per cup, which should not be too much to mess with your sleep patterns. For a spectacular cup of English Breakfast, buy your tea bags from TWG Tea, a global luxury tea brand known for their huge list of whole leaf teas.
https://www.instagram.com/twgtea.ph/ Matcha tea from Uji Matcha PH
Matcha is a type of green tea that has been enjoyed in Japan and China for hundreds of years. Unlike usual tea leaves which are steeped, matcha is ground into a fine powder and diluted directly in water using a traditional Japanese bamboo whisk. Preparing matcha tea is in itself already very calming, as you need to whisk the tea before adding milk or sweeteners. The best matcha undoubtedly comes from Uji, Japan, the historical home of matcha. So for authentic ceremonial grade matcha tea sourced directly from Uji, order from Uji Matcha PH.
For lactose intolerant people who would still like a hot, milky beverage with tons of health benefits, check out Perfect Milk Blends’s powdered golden milk. It’s made from turmeric powder, coconut milk powder, coconut sugar, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and vanilla to create an herby and flavorful cup. Instead of breaking your back and making one from scratch whenever you need a hot cup of golden milk, all you need to do is scoop 2 tablespoons of Perfect Milk Blend’s golden milk powder into a cup of hot water and stir to dissolve. Thanks to its turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon ingredients, golden milk is said to help boost immunity, improve blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and aid in weight loss.
Another fragrant and spicy hot beverage is masala chai tea, which is a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices boiled in milk and water. Originating from India, masala chai tea also has health benefits such as improving heart health, lowering of blood sugar levels, and improving digestion. Brewing your own masala chai tea from scratch takes time and work, so it’s nice to know that there’s a reliable brand locally that handblends a preservative-free masala chai tea concentrate. Jacob’s Well masala chai tea concentrate is definitely a cult favorite, and can be kept in the fridge for up to 24 months. Just mix a few tablespoons with steamed milk and your hot masala chai tea is ready to go.
If you’re looking for a completely caffeine-free option, chamomile tea is a popular steeped herbal tea that you can enjoy any time of the day. It makes for a nice morning cup to start your day with a calm mind, and perfect even at night since it promotes restful sleep. Chamomile tea is also one of the few beverages friendly to the gut, so those experiencing from acid reflux will not have a problem drinking this tea. Get your chamomile tea or other herbal caffeine-free alternatives from Tea Source MNL.
Just like turmeric, ginger is also a popular aromatic that’s usually made into hot tea. Locally, it’s available as salabat—powdered ginger sweetened with sugar—and is popularly known for caring for the throat, providing relief from coughs and inflammation, and boosting immunity. For a comforting cup of salabat, order this ginger tea from Promdi Cupboard, available at The Seven Pantry.
On chilly days, warm yourself with something richer and more decadent such as hot chocolate made from Malagos Chocolate’s unsweetened cacao. Malagos Chocolate is a Davao-based tree-to-bar chocolatier home to the award-winning 100% pure unsweetened chocolate. Their cacao products have been gaining international recognition since 2015, and for good reason: their chocolate’s flavor profile is impeccable, and they make sure to maintain the quality of all their products. For a rich cup, just melt 20-30 grams of unsweetened chocolate in one cup of milk. Sweeten as desired.