Coffee alternatives have come a hell of a long way since they were first developed in the 1890s (read: they don’t suck anymore). Here are five that actually taste like the real thing (well, as close as you’re gonna get).
This company is making their caffeine-free alternatives to coffee with chaga mushroom powder—chaga mushrooms are those weird black things that growon birch trees. Weird, maybe, but this is a cult favorite coffee replacement. I found that it tastes surprisingly similar to coffee, and regular drinkers insist that it imparts some sort of mental clarity. Oh, and it’s got antioxidants, and the packaging is pretty. Sign me up.
The ingredients in the super-popular Teeccino include roasted carob, barley, chicory, and organic ramon seeds, which all have a robust, rich, coffee-like flavor. Reviewers on the website are all mind-blown by the taste, saying it’s almost indistinguishable from the real thing—and you can prepare it however you would normal coffee grounds (in a French press, a pour-over, etc.)
Postum, which is made of wheat bran, is kind of the OG coffee alternative—their tagline is “the hot beverage with warm memories.” It’s got a dark, sugar-y flavor, and has been a hit with kids—so if you’re hesitant to let them join in on your morning coffee routine, it’s a good option.
BUY IT: Postum, $16.99 on Amazon
Ayurvedic Roast’s coffee is made of barley, rye, chicory and ashwagandha—which is one of those obscure ingredients that has become an inexplicably huge Instagram trend for smoothie bowl–makers. The website isn’t afraid to claim that it’s the “world’s best coffee substitute,” and their tagline is “closest taste to coffee.”