Have you decided to quit coffee and switch to tea? These 11 teas will give you the morning pick-me-up you’re looking for without the jittery side effects of coffee.
Can a coffee lover switch to tea?
A lot of coffee drinkers become fatigued by the extreme caffeine highs followed by the inevitable crash. This gets very tiresome and eventually quitting coffee becomes the only answer.
I’ve been a tea drinker my entire life but when I was in nursing school the pace was intense. I took up drinking coffee to help me power through the late night studying and pre-dawn wake-ups for early morning clinical.
This pace continued after I graduated as I worked many 16-hour shifts in the critical care unit. Even though I was young I still needed the quick energy boost.
I finally quit my morning coffee routine after I had enough of the ups and downs of coffee and went back to drinking tea. I really do prefer tea but will still drink coffee on occasion.
Know Your Coffee Flavor Profile
If you’re a coffee lover, you can appreciate that different coffees produce different flavors. You could enjoy one type of coffee and not another. The same is true of tea.
Knowing your coffee taste profile will help you select a tea to your liking. For a better experience, I suggest you stay away from supermarket commodity tea bags and shop the specialty tea markets. When you shop better quality teas, the flavor profiles are in the description or tasting notes.
For example, if you’re a coffee drinker who likes dark, chocolaty, earthy coffee but you’re trying to quit coffee, look for black teas such as Keemun, Ceylon, Assam or Puerh. Even a heavily roasted oolong can give you the flavors you enjoy with that morning eye-opener you crave.
Fresh loose leaf tea has a lot more flavor than tea bags, so looking for that is a good start when you’re looking for a substitute to quit coffee!
Best Teas to Help You Quit Coffee
If you like your coffee with milk, sugar or a little frothy try a tea latte. Most teas have a thinner mouth-feel than coffee, so a latte helps give tea that fullness coffee drinkers like.
- Espresso Green Tea Latte: A Matcha green tea espresso latte is great if you’re not ready to go completely coffee free and want the best of both worlds. This is a blend of milk, matcha green tea, and espresso. Kind of like a cappuccino but better. I guarantee this is the best green tea latte you’ve ever had.
- London Fog (Earl Grey latte): The secret to making an amazing London Fog tea latte is in the bergamot. Earl Grey tea is the main ingredient in the London Fog tea latte and using the best Earl Grey tea you can find makes a magnificent latte.
- Chai Latte: Masala chai latte is a delicious and powerful blend of tea, herbs, and spices cherished for centuries in India. Chai latte from scratch can be made quickly and easily with this homemade chai spice mix. This chai latte is perfect for cold winter days. You’ll never go back to store-bought chai lattes with this authentic recipe!
- Oolong: A dark roast oolong gives a nice earthy flavor and often slightly sweet fruit flavors too. Another heavily oxidized oolong, like oriental beauty, is one of my favorite oolongs. I love the aroma of the dried leaf. It has a natural sweet honey and woody fragrance with a slight scent of cocoa.
- Black teas blends: English breakfast styles have a bold flavor and strong astringency. They are usually a blend of Indian teas such as Assam and Chinese teas such as Keemun. They are designed as a strong brew to stand up well to milk and sugar and make an excellent morning brew.
- Keemun: A Chinese black tea prized for its toasty rich flavor, and is often used in breakfast tea blends. A smoky and slightly malty smooth tea. Try Adagio, The Tea Spot, TeaVivre or Palais Des Thes for superb selections. This is another tea that stands up well to milk and sugar.
- Black Dragon Pearl: One of my favorites and my morning tea. Black Dragon Pearl Tea is a rare tightly hand-rolled black tea from the Yunnan province of China. Exquisite and naturally sweet, with a touch of earthiness and hint of cocoa, this tea is simply divine. I have purchased good quality Black Dragon Pearl from Adagio, The Tea Spot, and TeaVivre.
- Flavored Black tea: Flavored teas such as Adagios chestnut flavored tea is popular with coffee drinkers. It’s a roasty full bodied Ceylon tea flavored with chestnut.
- Lapsang Souchong: This is a black tea from the Fujian province of China, famous for its smoky aroma and a hint of pine flavor. This tea usually has a deep, rich liquor, with a smooth taste. Another great choice for coffee drinkers looking to quit coffee. Again you can find some very good quality Lapsang Souchong from Adagio, The Tea Spot, and TeaVivre.
- Green teas: Green teas that are toasted or pan-fried give a nutty flavor to the tea, mellowing out the grassiness. Green teas can be nice, with nutty, fruity, vegetal, or herbal notes. Hojicha and genmaicha are examples of nutty flavor Japanese teas that may appeal to a coffee drinker. The Tea Spot and Adagio Tea both have a nice selection of these teas.
- Pu-erh: Pu-erh tea is a specially processed tea that allows microbial fermentation after the tea leaves are dried and rolled. It is a very highly fermented tea that can be aged for decades. Pu-erh comes in loose or brick form. In general, Pu-erh is a deep, dark, earthy, and woodsy tea. Sometimes it can be fruity, but not really bitter.
Pu-erh comes in two forms “ripe” or “raw”, depending on how it’s aged. Usually, a beginner will appreciate a “ripe” Pu-ehr tea more. Pu-ehr is exclusive to the Yunnan Province in China. Try tea shops like TeaVivre that specialize in Chinese teas or Yunnan Sourcing where the bulk of their selection is Pu-erh.
Related: 10 Best Online Tea Shops
The Caffeine in Coffee Vs Tea
Tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine, found only in tea and has some very interesting effects on the brain. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves inducing a calm and deeply relaxed state.
The l-theanine counterbalances the caffeine in tea, resulting in an overall effect of relaxation and a focused calm. This gives you a much smoother caffeine experience without all the caffeine jitters commonly associated with coffee.
Because of alpha waves’ connection with relaxed mental states, an increase in alpha wave activity is desirable. This is why many people drink tea to relax or concentrate on tasks.
The exact amount of caffeine in a cup of tea varies depending on the type of tea brewed and the amount of infusion time. A cup of black tea, for example, contains about 40 milligrams of caffeine, which is about half the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.
Realize Drinking Tea is Different
People drink coffee to get moving, they drink tea to get aware. It’s a very different experience when you start your day with calmness.
I suggest you purchase some sampler packs from the tea vendor you choose and see what you like. You just want a tea that tastes good, not a tea that tastes like coffee.
Once you’ve made the transition from coffee to tea, I hope waking up in the morning will feel different somehow.