Skip the caffeine: 5 coffee alternatives for your holiday season

Matt Gibson/Staff

Related Posts

With midterm season wrapped up, giving us the chance to breathe, the need to drink coffee every morning subsides. Even the Clog, however, can’t deny that a warm drink in the morning gives the motivation to leave your cozy bed and brave the cold wrath of the Bay’s breeze and classes, be it coffee or something a little more festive. Best of all, we’re in the perfect time of year for creatively flavored beverages, from the Thanksgiving pumpkin-themed and spiced drinks to the peppermint and dark chocolate orange infusions in most holiday drinks. Read on for the Clog’s guide to festive drinks (that aren’t coffee!) for your morning pick-me-up.

Orange dark hot chocolate

While hot chocolate is generally the best drink on Earth, there’s something about adding subtle yet strong and complimenting flavors like citrus that just makes it even better than before. With the comforting warmth you normally expect from the drink, the addition of orange just adds that extra oomph that makes you blink a couple of times and get yourself going in the morning. Bonus: The refreshing smell of orange is what hits you first, helping you get up even faster.

Peppermint tea

For something a little less rich and indulgent for the first thing you have in the morning, peppermint tea can be just the thing. Caffeine-free, it’s the refreshing minty flavor and depth of herb that helps your whole body feel warm. Like a blanket in a mug, you won’t have to worry about staying in bed until you’re running late if you pick this option.

Pumpkin spice latte (without the espresso)

While this sounds like coffee, it really isn’t. We’re using the traditional definition of latte here, using milk. Typically, it’s a coffee-based pumpkin drink that you expect, mixing the caffeine hit you want in the morning with a festive pumpkin flavor. Let’s be honest, though. When we get a pumpkin spice latte, we’re not really getting it because we want coffee, but because we want to be in sync with fall and be one with the omnipresent pumpkin theme. Thus, a pumpkin spice latte, without the espresso, is the perfect fall drink for the noncoffee lover.

Mulled cranberry juice

If you’re under 21 but want those mulled wine vibes, cranberry juice (or grape juice if you’re not really up for cranberry) can be just the thing. Warmly spiced, the infused drink has spices you associate with both fall and Christmas, being festively appropriate even if it is a little too early for Christmas. Best of all, the drink can be prepared in advance and simply microwaved for when you want a comforting drink.

Masala chai

While masala chai is simply a daily beverage for most South Asians, the combination of cinnamon, clove and cardamom makes it the perfect fall and winter drink for a morning pick-me-up. If you want a caffeinated alternative, the tea in the drink offers just the right amount of caffeine to pick you up in the morning without the overwhelming kick of coffee.

We hope that this list lets you knock off that caffeine addiction until finals come around. Happy sipping, Golden Bears!

Contact Chandini Dialani at [email protected].