Busting coffee: friendlier alternatives

ground chicory coffee substitute

I have always loved coffee and relish the buzzy perks after a nice steaming cup. And although caffeine messes with your blood sugar levels and places a big burden on our usually exhausted livers, in moderation these things aren’t a cardinal sin. But it was only when I started our street food truck that I became reliant on inordinate quantities to power madly through the days – and the dawn, and the evening, and the night. And I knew there had to be a better way than racing through your day buzzing at the top of a crazy caffeine spike or sliding slowly and hungrily down the other side of one.

Most vitally, you can’t fully cleanse or restore with coffee in the background – or the foreground – and so I kicked it for a month and now limit my intake. And no matter what the label says, decaf isn’t really a better option as it still contains enough caffeine to impact negatively. I still lust after the occasional cup (Colombian, please) but ever since my days have started not with caffeine but with lovingly-made smoothies and super duper wholefoods I feel like a different person. And in truth I rarely miss it.

I say hardly – for there is always that time of day, and mine is around 11am when the joy of a delicious breakfast is but a long lost memory, when the taste of hard caffeine calls and a herbal tea just won’t cut it. If you’re looking for a good natural decoy, here are my three favourites:

Barleycup: a staple at most health food stores, Barleycup is made from roasted barley, rye and chicory (pictured above), and tastes just like your usual fix but without the payoff. Planet Organic do a mean vanilla barleycup latte.

Teeccino: herbal coffee Teeccino takes it one step further by infusing chicory, barley and carob with a properly exciting array of natural flavours like fig, date, almond and ramon seeds to create impressively distinctive blends like French Roast, Dandelion Vanilla Nut, Maya Flavours and Southern Pecan. The list goes on, and they love it in LA, which means we should too.

Chicory: if you’re trying to bust gluten, roasted Chicory is your best option. It is harder to get hold of but Wholefoods and Planet Organic always have it and that is one more reason why we love them.

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