I have been wanting to write this post a while now so I’m glad it’s finally here – along with some random pics of latte art I’ve made in the last few months. I’ve been seeing a lot of talk on social media about people wanting to go caffeine free. The reason, for the most part, is that the people doing this are sensitive to caffeine, caffeine screws with their hormones by raising their cortisone levels for example, perhaps they’re trying to break a dependency or the other common one is because they’ve built up a GI intolerance due to the sometimes high acidity of coffee.
Personally, I have coffee (okay sometimes matcha) every day that is not decaffeinated and it’s not because I’m tired, it’s because I like the taste and the ritual. I do very occasionally drink decaf if it’s tea or an americano. Basically if I’m thirsty and don’t feel like drinking plain tasteless water I’ll have a decaf tea or decaf americano because both of those are 98% water with no added…anything really.
I get 7.5 – 9 hours of sleep every night because I can’t function without it. If for some reason I get less than that I have no problem having a second serving of coffee or tea with caffeine. The world of nutrition is all about getting benefits from what we intake and since coffee is simply bean water and tea is simply leaf water and it’s natural and it comes without any of the things I avoid (like cane sugar, and dairy) then I say why fight it? Why give it up? But I would never judge someone who takes their drinks decaf because they know what’s right for their bodies!
I agree that you should give up coffee and tea if you’re adding sugars, syrups, whip cream, and food dye and whatever the heck else you can get in it all but that’s because you shouldn’t be doing that in the first place. My point is this: we eat well to feel well and I think it’s perfectly okay to drink coffee or tea to feel well too. That’s no excuse to start sleeping less and replacing every hour of sleep with a shot of espresso. That’s weak. You can do better than that. You have one body and that’s just irresponsible if you’re doing that AND THEN adding sugar to the mix.
We know by now how to tone down the caffeine at home – buy decaf from the store and make it. Simple. But how do we manage all of this when we’re out at coffee shops or when we’re trying to have a nice brunch and we’re ordering off the menu? I’m providing a menu for you all to try when you’re not in the mood to be fully caffeinated. As a barista, I see all the time people simply intimidated to try new things or that they’ll come across as ignorant and I want to change that.
Menu for the no to low caffeine and sugar days:
- For a decaf tea, you can count of rooibos tea, AKA red tea.It’s naturally caffeine free and it tastes great iced as well.
- Decaf americano – an americano is water with 2 espresso shots on top. (I say usually because this is the traditional size. A small might have one shot and a large might have 3 or 4). This can also be iced and is a great replacement for a cold brew.
- Decaf cafe au lait – this is a cup of coffee, with no espresso and a bit of steamed milk on top.
- An americano with steamed milk and a cafe au lait are PERFECT latte replacements because there’s not nearly as much milk as a latte so there’s way less sugar. Even if it’s not lactose, most nut milks have added sweeteners provided by their manufacturers.
- Another great option is a decaf cortado, AKA a gibraltar depending on the shop. If you order this you can expect a smaller drink with a more abundant espresso taste. It’s most similar to a traditional cappuccino but it has slightly less milk which again equals less sugar. If you’re a person who is really feeling a drink that’s mostly milk but don’t want to have such a heavy a thick drink like a latte then honestly this drink is like hitting the jackpot.
Did you know you can personalize your espresso in your drinks? Ask your barista how many shots come in their regular sized latte or cappuccino or whatever you’re drinking that day. You can ask them to make half of the shots decaf and half of them regular that way there’s a little something there and you’re not totally out of caffeine but it’s not as much as usual. Another thing you can try is to simply have a “half caf” but instead of doing half caffeinated and half decaf- you can just have half of the caffeinated shots. If you want a latte and it normally has 2 shots, then just ask for one! I promise your barista shouldn’t mind and if they do that’s kind of weird because it’s less work for them.
Disclaimer; decaf coffee still has caffeine it it. I’m sorry to burst that bubble for you if this is news to you but I have to be real with everyone before I take any next steps.
See coffee is usually decaffeinated 3 ways: one is through a chemical solvent that is not toxic to us even though that can sound scary. The other is a water soak with carbon dioxide which is one of the newest ways. The third is when you basically steam the coffee beans and then put them through an activated charcoal filter. Not one gets every bit of the natural caffeine of the bean comes from but they do it so well it shouldn’t affect our bodies at all. So yes decaf has some caf but so much caf is taken out we call it decaf because we feel no caf. Ya with me?(: