The Barista Diaries: Alternative caffeine options for those who don’t love coffee


Coffee is often an essential part of people’s morning routines. It gives you an exciting reason to wake up and gets you through those rough mornings. However, it is common to have coffee sensitivities due to its high caffeine content and the afternoon wave of exhaustion that can follow after sipping on it. If you want to explore caffeinated options outside of the coffee realm, here are some ideas to get you started.  

Matcha lattes 

Matcha has all the hype right now, especially in Starbucks’ signature iced beverage, to which many customers add vanilla syrup and sweet cream cold foam for added sweetness. This option is considered a healthier coffee alternative as it promotes brain function and is high in antioxidants. If you don’t want to spend too much money on a matcha latte from a coffee shop, Trader Joe’s offers matcha powder that has the most favorable reviews among matcha options.  

Iced tea 

By iced tea, I don’t mean plain, unsweetened green or black tea. There are many simple ways to spice up iced tea to make it taste amazing, and it gives you a sweet afternoon pick me up. Starbucks uses Tazo tea in its stores, which is also offered at local grocery stores. The brand even offers quarts of iced tea that are already brewed, so you can just pour it over ice without having to wait. The most popular option is the passion iced tea with a citrusy refreshing taste. You can add lemonade for an exact replica of the Starbucks shaken iced passion tea lemonade for a fraction of the price! If you are looking to splurge on a treat, I recommend heading over to Starbucks for an iced peach green tea lemonade.  

Chai lattes 

Chai is made from black tea, cinnamon spices and sugar for a cozy flavor that tastes like Christmas. It is perfect to order on winter mornings with oat milk for a comforting drink on your way to work or school, but it can also be ordered iced. Many people have customized chai lattes at Starbucks by adding different syrups, foams or drizzles for a personal touch. If you want a barista’s personal opinion, this drink tastes best with oat milk or almond milk. Tazo also markets brewed chai to pour over ice at home, so get creative with it! 

Even if you are a coffee lover, you may find some love in these beverages by trying something new on your next coffee run.  

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