From one reformed caffeine addict to another: when it comes to making the switch from coffee to tea, you’re in the right place!
It’s one of the most common questions that the loose leaf experts in our stores receive:
“I’m looking for an alternative to coffee. What would you suggest?”
While our go-to recommendation is breakfast tea or Assam Dimakusi, The Tea Centre prefers to curate our loose leaf suggestions around your ‘why’. Why are you looking to switch from coffee to tea? Moreover, what is it about coffee that made you crave it in the first place?
To help you on your journey, we’ve compiled the most common coffee cravings and the healthy tea alternatives below!
Craving the ‘buzz’: Yorkshire Blend & Yerba Maté
It’s the craving as age-old as the coffee bean itself. When it comes to energy, caffeine is king. But with the buzz comes the crash, especially for those sippers prone to caffeine sensitivity. Cue the headaches, the shakes, the anxiety, or the dreaded afternoon slump!
However—unless your health practitioner says otherwise—we wouldn’t recommend a cold turkey approach. More often than not, the problem is not that coffee contains caffeine, but that it contains too much.
Therefore, for those who want the buzz without the bust, we suggest weaning off coffee with help from a smooth tea like Yorkshire Blend. When it comes to how much caffeine is in tea, a gentle Ceylon like Yorkshire (60mg) contains approximately one third of the caffeine you’d expect to find in a Long Black (120mgs).
Moreover, what tea lacks in caffeine, it makes up for in its abundance of catechins, theaflavins, polyphenols, and the amino acid theanine. These antioxidants support your holistic health while theanine is thought to increase alertness. Together with the smaller dose of caffeine, Yorkshire is a blend that keeps you energised for longer.
As for those who love to live adventurously? Be sure to try Yerba maté! Brazilians and Argentinians tend to prefer this South American brew over coffee because it’s equally energising. It also doesn’t make you crash like coffee due to the prevalence of theobromine. Unlike caffeine, which can block receptors in the brain, theobromine relaxes the muscles, allowing nutrients (read: energy) to flow more easily through the body. This also means fewer post-caffeine headaches!
Craving the flavour: Tiramisu & East Frisian
We tend to find that many reformed coffee drinkers gravitate towards broken Assam teas like Rani and Dimakusi as well as East Frisian. This may be because their broken leaves are what allow these black teas to impart bolder flavour upon infusion. The resulting brews are deliciously robust and tannin-forward, a combination that’s elevated when adding milk (a bonus for latte lovers).
We also want to spotlight the dark horse of coffee dupes; our highly fragrant Tiramisu tea. While our intention with this tea was to recreate the beloved Italian dessert in a cup, an added bonus was that sippers love the coffee aftertaste! Given this black tea blend sports theobromine (from the chocolate drops and cacao), Tiramisu curbs the cravings for coffee in more ways than one.
Craving the ritual: matcha & pu-erh
This is a craving that’s often under-appreciated and all too prevalent in our fast-paced community. Sometimes, we find ourselves craving coffee not for what it is, but for what it represents…a break.
Especially in Australia where coffee culture is omnipresent, there is a unique excitement that comes with walking to your local, turning on the espresso machine or having a barista remember your order.
Luckily, you can create your own rituals and break up the day with tea as well! After all, we have ‘tea time’, ‘morning tea’, and ‘afternoon tea’ for a reason. For example, teas like Japanese matcha and pu-erh tuo cha sport traditional brewing methods that are as meditative and enjoyable as brewing a cup of coffee.
For a detailed summary of both methods (including the Japanese tea ceremony) be sure to explore our comprehensive online brewing guide.
Moreover, while matcha tastes very different to coffee, it does also hit the ‘buzz’ and satiety factors. Specifically, matcha is a shaded green tea whose unique crop-growing conditions imbue the leaves with some of the highest levels of L-theanine and EGCG found in any tea. Such bioactive compounds not only improve how the body expends energy from caffeine but carry anti-inflammatory properties too.
Craving the calm: Decaf Assam FBOP & Relaxation
It may seem counterintuitive given caffeine is a stimulant, but some people enjoy coffee for how relaxed brewing and drinking it can be, to the point where it’s not unheard of to see people sip in the late afternoon and before bed!
However, countless studies have shown that caffeine before bedtime is not the best idea. Drinking coffee late in the day can cause sleep deprivation (impacting your adenosine receptors), irritability, and cognitive performance over the long run.
Therefore, if making a cuppa before bed is important to your routine, we definitely recommend switching out coffee for either Relaxation herbal tea or Decaf Assam FBOP. The latter decaf (new to our range!) is particularly good for those who also prioritise coffee-like taste along with relaxation.
Our relaxation tea carries familiar herbs like chamomile, peppermint and lemon balm; all of which carry calming properties and sedative effects. As for our Decaf Assam, it’s a broken grade and decaffeinated via the carbon dioxide method. This makes it an Assam that’s only stripped of its caffeine content; not its flavour.