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Coffee Alternatives to Consider

One of Dr Ron’s articles that was featured on Elephant Journal.

Five Coffee Alternatives You Need To know About

I consider myself to be straddling the coffee debate. In my critical mind as an integrative practitioner I know it can function as a credit card for our energy levels, it can also make us more toxic, cause dehydration, and disrupt digestion. However, I often come back to coffee’s powerful lure, convinced of the medicinal benefits provided from those rich phenolic antioxidants.

Aside from the pros and cons, I see the true value in taking a break from everyday habitual foods (coffee included) which has lead me to develop a great list of alternatives. These options have added more value to my coffee-free days by selecting nutrient-dense and antioxidant-loaded choices.


This one seems fairly basic but a great place to start. Tea across various cultures has many medicinal properties and for me to completely deny myself of potential health benefits from tea because of a coffee fixation seems ludicrous. For anything else in a similar position who simply thinks tea is just not for them, my suggestion is to give is a real go as there has got be one blend for you.

With a preference for sweet and warm flavours, my favourite blends often contain chai, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and liquorice. For a stimulating tea, there’s yerba matte, green, Oolong, or Pu’erh. Lemon balm, lemon grass, fennel, and peppermint blends are refreshing for an afternoon pick-me-up. For the evening, I often find a calming chamomile, lavender, or rose tea to work best. Herbal medicine practitioners such as Chinese medicine herbalists are also very skilful in finding a specific tea blend for one’s body type.


Herbal coffee has been revolutionary in my personal coffee-free journey. Herbal coffee grounds are made from roasted chicory and dandelion roots. Nowadays, there are fabulous innovative companies who have totally perfected the flavour.

Because the grounds can be subsisted equally in a plunger, I’ve found this coffee alternative is kinder on the psyche. Often preparing a coffee is ritualistic and by being able to use similar coffee-making tools at home or work, this alternative is a straight forward swap.


Matcha and Turmeric lattes are all the rage at the latest trendy whole food cafés.  With the prices, though, being deterring and often in inconvenient locations, I’ve managed to master these superfood lattes at home given my own experimentation.

Typically, a non-latte is made from warm fresh nut milk (coconut, cashew, almond… as you desire) matcha tea (for a matcha latte), turmeric juice (for a turmeric or golden latte), beetroot juice (for a red velvet latte), or even an ayurvedic spicy chai blend. Finding the perfect one to sub out a flash café style coffee is all about playing around with different flavour profiles to work out what you prefer. Often true reward is in the love and labour, then the powerful antioxidants and nutritional benefits from these alternatives are the added bonus.


Chocolate deserves its own category and its own food group. While growing up, hot chocolate was a cream and marshmallow-topped sugar bomb, to which I remember adding an extra teaspoon of sugar or two. A superfood hot cacao drink, however, is the absolute polar opposite with many anti-inflammatory health-promoting benefits.

This alternative also takes preparation and experimentation using raw cacao, nut milk, and a natural sweetener. I often use raw cacao drinks as an energising tool because of its stimulant-like properties it provides without the same jarring and crashing effects of a strong espresso.


While a fresh pressed vegetable juice may not be the most convenient coffee swap, it certainly packs a health-promoting punch.

Fresh pressed green juice is one of the best hydrating substances on the earth. While it’s not the most convenient coffee swap in my household, it certainly deserves a mention due its many health-promoting benefits.

Vegetable juices contain structured water which is easily absorbed by our cells. They also contain many vitamins and minerals and are strongly alkalizing. I always sip green juice slowly (like a hot coffee) to allow for best nutrient absorption and hydration.

The next best beautifully hydrating and mineral rich alternative is artesian mineral water. With understanding the true benefits of drinking enough good quality water, this alternative is often a no-brainer when out at a café that has a limited tea selection. Sipped slowly over a morning coffee meeting, bottled artisan mineral water is a real treat.


Ron Goedeke MD, BSc Hons MBChB, FNZCAM

Dr. Ron Goedeke, an expert in the domain of functional medicine, dedicates his practice to uncovering the root causes of health issues by focusing on nutrition and supplement-based healing and health optimisation strategies. An esteemed founding member of the New Zealand College of Appearance Medicine, Dr. Goedeke's professional journey has always been aligned with cutting-edge health concepts.

Having been actively involved with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine since 1999, he brings over two decades of knowledge and experience in the field of anti-aging medicine, making him an eminent figure in this evolving realm of healthcare. Throughout his career, Dr. Goedeke has been steadfast in his commitment to leverage appropriate nutritional guidance and supplementation to encourage optimal health.

This has allowed him to ascend as one of the most trusted authorities in the arena of nutritional medicine in New Zealand. His expertise in the intricate relationship between diet, nutritional supplements, and overall health forms the backbone of his treatment approach, allowing patients to benefit from a balanced and sustainable pathway to improved wellbeing.

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