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CLIF Blog

Jan. 5, 2006
ISO a good coffee substitute
There is something so rich and delicious about coffee that is just impossible to imitate. I have gotten into the habit of having a cup each morning as I turn my computer on and go through my emails. As a result, I have felt myself relishing both the ritual and (I hate to admit) the caffeine, of course.
I am not one to enjoy the feeling of habit, in fact, I generally prefer change and in that spirit, I have been attempting to modify my morning habit. I've tried a number of different possiblities:

1. Plain water - easily justifiable, since everyone could be drinking more water.

2. Hot Tea - works okay for a while, but I get bored with it. It just doesn’t have the same rich and bold flavor that coffee does.

3. Hot Chocolate - this is delicious, one of my favorites. However, it's a bit too sweet.

4.Herbal Coffee Substitutes - in this category, there are a few good ones, but none have really done it for me yet. I kind of wonder if the makers of these are actually coffee drinkers and really know what they are trying to imitate.

Could it be that I am really just a caffeine addict? AAAARRRGHHHHH! That is even worse than falling into a daily routine, the feeling that I am dependent on something to get me going!

Oh, sorry, I better go get my mug so I can settle down and think this dilemma through.

Here are some of the imitations I have tried:

Yogi Tea Decaffe Roast - I’d give it 3 stars (out of 5). It tastes more like Chai, because it is heavily spiced with cardamom. I happen to like this flavor, but the spice totally removes any resemblance to coffee. Add some soy milk or cream and it's quite enjoyable. No sugar needed.

Teeccino - I’d give this 4.5 stars. Flavor is quite good, no sugar is needed. The preparation is the problem. You need to brew it like coffee. I'm lazy and am not going to do this just for my one morning cup. But, they do have quite a selection of flavors.

Raja’s Cup - I give this 3 stars. The flavor is surpisingly good—not exactly like coffee, but good. Lacks richness, but is easily brewed like tea. Also, they claim that it has a lot of antioxidants, so that's a bonus.

Inka - It gets 4.5 stars. This is made from a blend of grains. Also, more difficult to brew but a more similar flavor and texture to regular coffee.

There are many more out there—so that's part of the fun! Anyone have any suggestions, or should I just get over it and enjoy the coffee?
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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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