Coffee and tea are popular and enjoyable beverages. However, drinking more than a few cups a day may affect your health. High consumption of caffeinated drinks can increase blood pressure, raise cholesterol levels and cause dehydration. If this is a concern, why not replace one or more cups a day with these delicious alternatives?
Chai latte is becoming an increasingly popular choice in coffee shops while redbush tea (or rooibos) is an ideal drink for the evening because it tastes like tea but is caffeine-free. Peppermint tea is a refreshing drink that soothes your stomach.
If you always order a cappuccino or a latte at your local coffee shop, why not try a chai latte instead? A chai latte is a tea-based drink blended with spices and topped with frothed milk. Chai comes from India where sweet, spiced tea is sold at market stalls and from small vans.
The combination of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and nutmeg gives the tea a warm, comforting flavor, making it a perfect pick-me-up on a cold winter day. In the summer, an iced chai latte is a refreshing alternative to an iced coffee.
If you are looking to reduce the amount of caffeine that you consume, chai latte is a good choice because it is lower in caffeine than other coffee and tea-based drinks sold in coffee shops. However, the caffeine content of chai latte can vary significantly between coffee shops.
Some coffee shops use a powdered chai latte mix containing an extract of black tea, which accounts for between one percent and five percent of the total ingredients. Chai lattes based on these mixes tend to be very low in caffeine as they only contain a small amount of black tea extract.
Other coffee shops, such as Starbucks, prepare chai latte using black tea. In this case, the caffeine content of chai latte is higher than if a powdered chai latte mix is used but not as high as other coffee or tea-based drinks.
For example, according to the Starbucks website, one of its chai lattes contains around 95mg of caffeine, compared with 115mg in a cup of its Earl Grey tea and 150mg of caffeine in its coffee-based latte.
Although it is lower in caffeine, the tea in chai latte still contains antioxidants, which are thought to be beneficial to health because they may help the body to neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals which can cause cancer.
A chai latte can, however, have a high sugar content, so if you need to reduce your sugar intake, it is a good idea to limit your consumption of chai latte.
As well drinking chai latte in your favorite coffee shop, you can also buy a powdered chai latte mix so that you can prepare it at home. This is a good idea if you are trying to reduce your consumption of caffeine because you can check the caffeine content on the packaging.
New blends of powdered chai latte are becoming available all the time. You can try chai latte blended with vanilla chocolate, peppermint, mango and other flavors.
Redbush Tea (Rooibos)
Redbush tea comes from South Africa where it is known as rooibos, which means “red bush” in the Afrikaans language. It is made from a wild plant called Aspalathus linearis that grows in just one area of the South Africa – the Cederberg Mountains. Rooibos was traditionally used by the indigenous Bushmen as an herbal medicine.
Redbush tea contains no caffeine and no calories, which makes it a particularly good choice if you are trying to lose weight. It also contains about fifty percent less tannin than traditional black tea, giving it a less bitter flavor. Tannin can inhibit your body’s ability to absorb and store iron and some proteins, so it makes sense to reduce your intake of it.
Redbush tea does, however, contain antioxidants and flavonoids, enabling you to enjoy the more beneficial effects of tea.
Redbush tea is reddish-brown in color and tastes sweeter than traditional black tea. If you normally take sugar in your tea, you may not need to add it to rooibos. You can drink rooibos with or without milk.
The best way of enjoying redbush tea is to buy rooibos tea bags and make a cup or pot of redbush tea at home. Although it is becoming more popular, redbush tea is not yet widely available in coffee shops. You may find it in some specialty coffee shops and tea rooms that serve health-conscious beverages.
You may like peppermint tea even if you do not like other herbal and fruit teas. It has a pleasant aroma and a strong, minty flavor.
Peppermint tea doesn’t contain any caffeine and is said to have a wide range of beneficial effects. Primarily, it has a soothing effect on the stomach, aiding digestion and soothing indigestion.
It is also claimed that peppermint tea can help the body to digest fat more efficiently and it may help to break down gallstones. However, peppermint tea may not help all stomach conditions. If you are affected by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it is a good idea to avoid peppermint tea as it may make your symptoms worse.
Peppermint tea is also reputed to be good at reducing the symptoms of colds and flu as it can help you coughing up green mucus and help you to breathe more easily.
Replacing a cup of coffee or tea with peppermint tea each day could give your digestive system a boost whilst reducing your caffeine intake. However, it is not a good idea to sip a cup of peppermint tea before bedtime as it can cause insomnia.
Try each of these alternatives to coffee and tea to find out which you prefer. Replacing just one or two cups of coffee or tea per day will help you to reduce your caffeine intake. You may also find that your health improves.