HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >


Looking for tasty hot drink - no caffeine

  • l

Since I can no longer have caffeine, I have had to give up my daily black tea ritual. I've filled in with honeybush, rooibos, barley tea, rosehip, and the occasional decaf assam (but "decaf" teas still have too much caffeine for me). . . Wondering if there's something else really good that I'm missing. I don't like herbal tisanes like chamomile, hibiscus, etc. It needs to be full-bodied like tea.

I'm open to crazy ideas; I recently tried a recipe in a Persian cookbook for "jujube panacea tea" made from dried jujubes simmered with sugar.

Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This may not be what you are after, but I love a nice cup of hot milk. I also like hot apple cides and I have been known drink plain hot water.

    Good Luck!

    2 Replies
    1. re: WC

      there are lots of good tasting herbal teas-

      1. re: WC

        I'm not a big fan of milk, but when I go to a coffeehouse, for example, and everything is either caffeine or "orange spice herbal tea", then I like to order hot almond milk. It's very soothing and feels like I'm drinking hot chocolate. Hot cider is another good option. Thanks!

      2. LisaPizza:

        May I suggest that you try a "Ginger Drink" the best would be one that you prepared at home with a mixture of Fresh ginger, Lemon and Sugar that you prepare into a syrup and brew into a tea for your taste.

        The alternative is purchasing "Ginger Drinks" as Asian Markets the best are imported from Indonesia that have a strong Ginger Taste but there are many varieties.

        If you make the Syrup it's good as Iced Tea, Hot Tea and even your own Ginger Ale by just adding any carbonated water.

        This beverage apparently has all sorts of positive health benefits.

        Also there are Caffeine free "Chinese Green Teas" and "Barley Teas".

        Another excellent refreshing beverage very versatile is easily breded from "Dry Crab Apples" it's very popular in China and it's quite delicious.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Irwin Koval

          Ginger Tea is a great idea. Here's how I make it:
          In a small pot of boiling water, add about 10 slices of 1/8" thick fresh ginger (you don't even have to peel it), a couple cloves, a few green cardamom pods, and several whole black peppercorns. You can add a cinnamon stick (or portion thereof) if you like. Simmer together for about 15-20 minutes. Strain and pour into your mug. Add honey if desired. You can omit or add more of any of the above ingredients, keeping the ginger base. You can add more water to it several times and it still holds its potency. It's spicy and really warms your innards- and is especially good if you are not feeling well.

          1. re: h2obemo

            It's nice to know that you don't have to peel the ginger. It's such a pain in the butt.

            The black pepper sounds like a fascinating idea. Will have to try this.

        2. I like to sip broth during the day.

          I had a friend come back from china with a bunch of packets of coconut drink--basically hot cocoa but coconut--I'm sure you could devise something along those lines w/coconut milk and some sugar.

          I also tend to bung whole spices--usually cardomom or star anise--into tea. if you're getting bored with the teas you've got, I bet you could mix and match them with what you've got in the spice cupboard. Incidentally, I too am completely sick of the taste of rosehip that seems to be in every packet of herbal tea I buy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: drdawn

            That sounds pretty decadent - sipping hot coconut milk! I also like the idea of adding different flavorings to what I'm already drinking - the honeybush, especially, can be blended with almond, vanilla, chai spices, etc. and it has that same rich, full body that tea has.

          2. I like just hot water with a big strip of citrus zest steeped in it. A little honey can be added. It's sounds boring, but it's really good. I also use a microplane to zest lime and lemon to put in my little tea ball. That worked great.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Pat Hammond

              Sounds like those Korean citron honey teas, actually...rinds of citrus in honey, sold in glass jars. it looks kind of like marmalade, but put it in hot water and its really good. it's pretty versatile, you can add a teabag, use cold water, or stir it into seltzer, or whatever you fancy. Good stuff.

            2. Lemongrass (two three inch sticks per much), dried lemon and/or orange zest, lemon/orange juice, and ginger syrup/sliced fresh ginger. A caradmom pod is also nice.

              1 Reply
              1. re: EMDB

                Also-- hot apple cider, infused with chai spices-- crushed peppercorns, cardamom pods, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon chunks/stick. Pear nectar is good this way, too.

              2. Hot milk and dulce de leche. I just discovered this. It is like drinking a sugar baby. Unbelievably good!

                1. Republic of Tea has a pink grapefruit tea that is very good. It's a naturally flavored green tea, so I think I think it's caffeine free. It is full flavored, and has a lovely grapefruit aroma as well.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: LBQT
                    Caitlin McGrath

                    Green tea is much lower in caffeine than black tea, but it's not caffeine-free.

                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

                      Thanks for the info. I just looked at the Republic of Tea's site, and they offer a wide selection of caffeine free and decaf teas - herbal, greean, and black.

                      1. re: LBQT

                        Decaf tea isn't caffeine free either. It can have up to 20% the caffeine of normal black tea.

                  2. I buy a ground roasted soy product called Rocamojo at my market. You brew it in your coffemaker, just like coffee, and then add milk or half and half if you like. It has an intriguing nutty flavor that I enjoy (although my husband doesn't care for it at all). It's very high in protein.They do also make a blended version that is half soy and half caffeinated coffee.

                    Link: http://www.rocamojo.com

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: AshleyC

                      That sounds really interesting! I'll be on the lookout for it.

                      1. re: LisaPizza

                        If you can't find it in your market, they do sell it online on their website. I think Whole Foods carries it.

                        1. re: AshleyC

                          I picked some up yesterday at a local natural foods store. Haven't tried it yet, but I'm excited about it!

                          1. re: LisaPizza

                            I made the Rocamojo the same way I (used to) drink my coffee - lots of milk and sugar. I also added about a 1/4 tsp of vanilla to smooth it out a little. I'm enjoying it. It's similar to barley tea or barley coffee subsitutes, which I also can't tolerate well first thing in the morning because of the gluten.

                            Thanks for this suggestion!

                            1. re: LisaPizza

                              I'm glad you like it. It took me a couple of cups to acquire a taste, but now I enjoy it as a coffee alternative...and I like knowing that I'm getting some extra protein to boot. Of course I do put lots of half and half in mine, so I guess that negates any health benefits of the soy!

                    2. Your local Korean store will have a package of roasted corn which makes a very nice tea.

                      1. Two other choices
                        1. You can get a "water chestnut beverage" powder at most Chinese oriented Asian food stores. Also, at herbalist shops. Can be drunk warm.

                        2. Sahlep (aka Salep, sahleb, etc). I've seen it from Israel (telma brand), Turkey, and other Levantine countries. It's really a winter drink. It's traditional made from the tuber of an orchid, Orchis mascula, known in Arabic and Turkish as Sahlep. The ground tuber is mixed with sugar and hot water or milk. Stirred and it then forms a thick drink, almost pudding like. You can drink it, or let it sit and thicken and cool, and eat it with a spoon. A bit of ground cinnamon is an easy way to accompany it. Should be available at stores which stock a good variety of Turkish, Arabic, Israeli, or Armenian products. Not that well known in Persian circles.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Jerome

                          Thank you for your creative suggestions! Our Asian market has a lot of middle eastern products, and the sahlep sounds familiar. I'll look for this as well as the water chestnut beverage powder.