I lie to myself every time I think a cup of coffee will be the fuel I need to get through my to-do list. Instead what I’m left with is a bout of anxious jitters.
In my last post, Strip The Distractions, I talked about how I began writing down my problems, and then two or more possible solutions to counter it. My issue with coffee is that I’d drink so much of it, that I would become overly anxious and sometimes even sick to my stomach. Instead of checking boxes on my to-do list, I’m nursing myself with Pepto Bismol.
I first became hooked on coffee in 2014 when I landed a job as a barista. It was so easy to get a drink for little or no cost, so I consumed coffee like crazy. After realizing its effects on my mental health, I knew a change was needed. But did I have to give up enjoying a nice caffeinated beverage entirely?
I looked up a few drinks to make at home—that won’t give me the jitters— so I decided to share.
ICED GOLDEN MILK TURMERIC LATTE
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
1 1/2 cups unsweetened plain almond milk
3 tbsp. maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of ground black pepper
Pinch of ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
I used to make golden milk a couple of years ago and now I’m back on it. Loaded with antioxidants, golden milk may improve digestion, memory function, and although it does not contain caffeine, studies have shown that turmeric can lower levels of fatigue. I followed the instructions for the most part, except I heated up the coconut milk before stirring in the ingredients so that it can easily mix. Once it cooled down, I poured it over iced almond milk - hence the ombré look. I didn’t use maple syrup - only a bit of honey did the trick.
EARL GREY TEA LATTE (AKA LONDON FOG)
Earl Grey tea bag
Milk of choice (I tend to use oat milk or half & half)
I learned how to make this latte while I was a barista and it has become my favorite hot drink. Black tea has many benefits, and one cup contains less caffeine than coffee so it doesn’t make me feel jittery. It’s pretty easy to make: while the tea is steeping, heat up the milk. Use a milk frother if you want your latte to have a creamy foam. Once the tea is ready, add 1 tsp of vanilla syrup (I have a sweet tooth so I add more), pour in the milk, and done.
ICED CHAI LATTE
Chai syrup (I use Oregon Chai Tea Latte Concentrate- spiced)
Milk of choice
Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)
What I love about iced chais is that it’s literally the easiest drink to make. It’s so easy to the point where my sister and I don’t want to buy chai lattes from coffee shops anymore. On the carton, it states that it’s about 7 mg of caffeine per serving so if I need a little extra boost, I’ll add more. On plenty of occasions, I’ve made this drink while in a rush: all you have to do is mix 1/2 cup of chai syrup with 1/2 cup of milk, then add ice.
ICED MATCHA LATTE
3 tbsp Trader Joe’s Matcha Green Latte Mix
1 cup of milk (I used coconut milk)
Vanilla syrup or sweetener (optional)
According to gotmatcha.com, the caffeine content in matcha tea is higher than green tea bags. Out of all of the milks I’ve tried, in my opinion, this tastes more refreshing with coconut milk. Heat up the milk, then add 3 tablespoons of matcha powder. Once it’s completely stirred, pour it over ice. You can drink it as is, or if you’re like me, you add sweetener to everything.
MOCHA MACA MATCHA
1 tbsp cacao powder, raw
1/2 tsp matcha powder
1 sprinkle cinnamon and cayenne
1/2 tsp maca powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup water or almond milk or a combination of the two
With matcha and maca powder both being good sources of energy, this drink is a great pick-me-up. It’s best to follow the directions and heat up the milk over the stove and add in each ingredient as you stir- believe me. The first time I made it, I tried to save time by microwaving the milk but that was a failure because the powders did not mix well.
Making my own drinks at home made me realize how simple it really is. Since I’ve been making my own drinks at home, I’ve been less tempted to buy one while I’m out, so my wallet is benefiting from this as well - I will still run to Wawa (the Beyoncé of gas stations) in a heartbeat for an iced caramel macchiato.
What are some drinks that you enjoy that don’t contain espresso or coffee? Feel free to share them!