Many avid coffee drinkers reach a point where they want to cut back on caffeine. The easiest solution is to find the best herbal tea that tastes like coffee.
Unfortunately, coffee has a pretty distinct flavor, so it might be hard to believe there’s a substitute.
Fortunately, you won’t have to look far for an alternative. There are actually several types of herbal tea that have a flavor similar to coffee.
The rich, roasted taste is hard to replicate, but you might be surprised at how many options are out there.
The most common herbal teas that taste like coffee have plant-based ingredients, including acorn, dandelion, carob, barley, or chicory. Once roasted, these roots, seeds, and grains take on a similar taste to your morning favorite.
What’s the Best Herbal Tea That Tastes Like Coffee?
So, is there an herbal tea that tastes like coffee? Absolutely.
However, you won’t find it with your standard chamomile or green tea blend. Instead, you’ll need to seek out specific ingredients.
These include acorns, barley, dandelion root, carob, and chicory. Each of these will provide a rich base for a coffee-flavored herbal tea.
What is Herbal Tea?
Despite its name, herbal tea isn’t actually tea, nor is it only made from just herbs.
Instead, these teas combine fruit, herbs, spices, roots, flowers, bark, and other ingredients.
Tip: As long as the ingredients are plant-based, you can consider it herbal tea.
Herbal tea is prepared the same way as traditional black tea. However, the flavor isn’t always as strong.
Fortunately, if you want your herbal tea to taste like coffee, you won’t have difficulty achieving the right flavor. All you need is a few simple ingredients.
What Makes Tea Taste Like Coffee?
There are a lot of natural ingredients that’ll give your tea a coffee-like flavor.
Most herbal teas that taste like coffee consist of blends that include seeds, grains, or roots combined with flavorful seasonings.
The key to getting the right flavor is roasting those main ingredients.
If you want an herbal tea that tastes similar to your favorite morning brew, take a look at your teas’ ingredient lists and pick blends that contain any of the following.
Barley is a grain with endless uses in the kitchen. You’ll find it in beer, side dishes, and teas. It’s also a popular iced drink in many East Asian countries.
However, you can use roasted barley as a component in tea if you want to get a rich, coffee-like flavor.
The easiest way to make barley tea is to purchase it pre-made.
However, you can make your own roasted barley from scratch by roasting the grain at home.
Simply toast your grains in a skillet, then grind them up. Use three tablespoons of barley powder for every eight cups of boiling water.
Dandelion is something most consider a pesky springtime weed. However, all parts of this tiny yellow flower are edible.
You can put them in tea or use them on their own.
The petals and leaves are sweet, but the root has a more bitter taste that resembles coffee once you roast and steep it.
Dandelion tea is a lighter alternative to coffee.
You can purchase dried dandelion roots at the grocery store or make your own at home by roasting the roots at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-20 minutes.
Use two tablespoons of dried root for every eight ounces of water. Let it steep for about 30 minutes.
Tip: Be sure to harvest your dandelions before spraying any weedkiller in your yard.
Chicory root is common in herbal teas. It also has a long history as a coffee substitute.
It’s a bit sweet, but you can roast and grind dried chicory root and brew it as part of your morning tea or coffee.
If you prefer your morning beverage a bit sweet, this is a good choice. A standard chicory root coffee alternative requires two tablespoons of chicory grinds.
Although it’s naturally sweet, you can add cinnamon or dandelion to give the flavor a twist.
If you want to roast chicory on your own, simply harvest, scrub, then roast your roots at 300 degrees until they’re crispy.
Carob is a Mediterranean tree that produces dark brown pods. It’s a popular substitute for chocolate in sugar-free desserts, but you can also use it as a coffee substitute.
In addition, carob is a good choice if you want a rich, sweet flavor in your herbal tea.
You can roast your own carob pods at home if you want a fresher tea. All you need to do is rinse your pods and roast them for 40 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then grind them up and use one tablespoon of powder for every eight ounces of water.
Tip: For a more coffee-like experience, turn your carob tea into a carob-spice latte.
Much like unroasted coffee beans, acorns have a bitter and unappealing taste in their raw form.
However, once roasted, you can use them in any number of recipes, including tea.
Not only can you use them as an ingredient in herbal tea, but you can also use them on their own as a coffee substitute.
The best way to use acorns in your tea is to harvest them after they drop. Making acorn tea from scratch is a bit more complicated than other varieties.
- Boil for 15 minutes to eliminate any insects.
- Shell and discard any rotten acorns.
- Roast for one hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grind to a fine powder.
- Roast your acorn powder again until it’s turned the color of coffee.
- Use 1.5 teaspoons for every eight ounces of hot water to make your coffee.
Tip: Bring a skillet and grinder when you go camping to make acorn tea in the wild.
How to Prepare Herbal Tea
Herbal tea often tastes best when it consists of complementing ingredients. Some will add flavor, while others will add health and wellness benefits.
If you want to add extra flavor to your tea, you can add cinnamon, orange peel, vanilla, or peppermint. Each will complement the coffee flavor wonderfully.
You can purchase herbal tea at any grocery store or buy or harvest the ingredients and mix the tea yourself. For the best-tasting tea, using fresh ingredients is always best.
Premade tea bags or mixes are fine if you can't access fresh or simply don't have the time to harvest.
If you want to make an herbal tea that replaces your morning coffee, you can follow these steps.
- Place your ingredients in an infuser or tea bag.
- Pour boiling water over your ingredients into a mug or teapot.
- 3. Allow your tea to steep for a few minutes
The longer you let your tea steep, the stronger the flavor. For strong coffee drinkers, steeping longer will give you a taste closer to what you’re looking for.
Tip: grinding your own fresh ingredients will give you a more intense coffee flavor.
Why Drink Herbal Tea?
Tea and coffee drinkers choose herbal tea for several reasons. Here are just a few.
All herbal tea is caffeine-free, including those that taste like coffee. However, if you want a bit of a boost, specific ingredients, such as peppermint, can give you a bit of energy.
One of the most common reasons to drink herbal tea is the health and wellness benefits.
For example, you could add a bit of cinnamon to your coffee-flavored tea to benefit from its antibacterial properties.
Soothing Evening Treat
When you’re used to enjoying a cup of coffee in the evening, adjusting to its absence can be challenging.
Fortunately, a cup of herbal tea that tastes like coffee is an excellent replacement.
Ingredients in Your Backyard
Many of the ingredients in the teas listed above might be growing in your backyard. Acorn-bearing oak trees, dandelions, and even chicory grow all over the place.
This makes it easy to brew a cup of tea that tastes like coffee without spending a dime.
So, if you’re wondering what’s the best herbal tea that tastes like coffee, you’re in luck. Take a look at each of the options listed above.
They’ll all give you great substitutes but be careful about drinking it every moment that you want as you might get a stain on your teeth!
The best part is that they’re easy to make from scratch with ingredients in your backyard.
When you want to find a replacement for your morning cup of joe, choosing tea might seem like a strange option.