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Trying To Cut Back On Coffee In 2021? Try This Herbal Version Instead

Eliza Sullivan
January 10, 2021
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
By Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer
Eliza Sullivan is a food writer and SEO editor at mindbodygreen. She writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She studied journalism at Boston University.
Herbal coffee
Image by Erin Little / Contributor
January 10, 2021
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For me, coffee is a part of my morning routine. Some days, that means an espresso-based pick-me-up from my local coffee shop, or sometimes it's a carefully crafted cup of decaf when my body doesn't need the caffeine. One thing I hadn't considered, though, was the potential to make "coffee" out of something other than the coffee plant itself.

In Herbal Revolution, Kathi Langelier shares plenty of creative ways to use herbal ingredients—including a clever morning pick-me-up drink. "Whether you can't drink coffee or you're looking to cut back, this is the perfect blend," she writes. "Because this isn't coffee, you can enjoy it throughout the day without worrying about afternoon jitters, anxiousness, or insomnia."

This herbal coffee alternative is packed with herbs and adaptogens, including maca powder, and cacao. Both superfood ingredients can help support energy levels, which means that you might not even miss the caffeine in classic coffee (they can help balance mood, too). Langelier also recommends adding ingredients like cardamom, cinnamon, or ginger if you're seeking a bit more flavor in the mix—or try ashwagandha for even more benefits.

So if this year you're hoping to cut back on coffee, consider trying this herbal alternative—hot or iced—to take its place.

Roasted Roots Herbal Coffee

Yield varies


For the coffee:

  • 1 part dried roasted dandelion
  • 1 part dried roasted chicory
  • ½ part dried burdock root
  • ¼ part dried maca powder
  • ¼ part dried raw cacao powder and/or cacao nibs (optional, see Note)
  • ⅛ part dried astragalus

Note: There is a small amount of naturally occurring caffeine in cacao, but the amount in this blend would not be noticeable to most people. If you need this totally caffeine-free, simply omit the cacao powder/nibs.

Optional Ingredients:

  • ⅛ to ¼ part dried ashwagandha
  • ⅛ to ¼ part dried cinnamon chips
  • ⅛ to ¼ part cardamom pods
  • ⅛ to ¼ part dried ginger pieces

What You'll Need:

  • Jar, for storage
  • Kettle jar or French press
  • Strainer


To Make the Coffee Blend

  • First, decide how much of the coffee blend you'd like to make. I use cups for the parts, so I have a large batch that will last me a couple of weeks.
  • When using cups, you will get about 3 cups (400 g) of the blend. If you're looking to make just a couple of cups of coffee, then I suggest using tablespoon measurements, which will give you around ¼ cup (36 g) of blend. For a single cup, use teaspoons.
  • Once you've figured out how much you want to make, start measuring the herbs into a mixing bowl. Get right in there and use your hands to mix the herbs until it all comes together into a lovely, cohesive blend. Store in a jar until ready to use.

To Make the Coffee

  • Use 2 to 3 teaspoons (6 to 9 g) of coffee blend per 1 cup (240 ml) of boiling water.
  • Place the herbs in a jar or French press and cover with boiling water. If using a jar, cover with a lid, and if using a French press, make sure not to press down on the herbs until after they've had time to infuse.
  • Let it steep for 15 to 30 minutes, then strain into your favorite mug and enjoy warm.
  • For a chilled drink, let it steep at room temperature for at least 15 and up to 60 minutes before placing in the fridge to chill. If you'd like a more robust flavor, which I prefer, then no need to strain before chilling in the fridge.
Reprinted with permission from Herbal Revolution by Kathi Langelier, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Erin Little.
Eliza Sullivan author page.
Eliza Sullivan
mbg Nutrition & Health Writer

Eliza Sullivan is an SEO Editor at mindbodygreen, where she writes about food, recipes, and nutrition—among other things. She received a B.S. in journalism and B.A. in english literature with honors from Boston University, and she has previously written for Boston Magazine,, and SUITCASE magazine.