Can anyone recommend a herbal tea?

Or any healthy drink for that matter.

Several months ago I went "cold turkey" on coffee drinking. I was an addict, if I missed my regular coffee, or even if it was a bit late, I got a headache. Not good.

I do like a nice hot drink early in the morning, and I have been drinking black tea, green tea and chamomile, and briefly experimented with hot chocolate. None of them have really appealed to me. The hot chocolate is nice, but when I read the ingredients list on the container, I'm not so sure that I want to be drinking it every day.

Then it occurred to me, some of you Puppy guys are very discriminating when it comes to diet, and you might have a hot drink that you reckon is really great, and healthy. Any suggestions welcome, only thing is, I don't want any diary product in the drink.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 16:43


Posted on 5 May 2011, 17:12 by harryb
shivambu shastra
"Drink waters from thy own cistern, flowing water from thy own well."

Posted on 5 May 2011, 17:37 by BarryK
Re urine
Interesting, but I'll give that one a miss.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 18:19 by Sage
Tea is........
...without doubt, your best option with all those chain-terminating flavinoids. For historical reasons, most of the best tea estates, apart from Chinese, 'clear' their products through the UK and this is a big problem for RoW in terms of cost, availability and quality. Throughout RoW you can buy purchase branded varietal teas. These are far too expensive in every case and may not 'work' depending on local water profile. Brits tend to drink mainly blended (black) teas which are produced by the major buyers from the finest leaves. These are blended differently for different regions of the UK depending on taste preferences but mainly water type. Leading brands are marketed as eg. Tetley, PGTips & Typhoo with other regional players like Glengettie in Wales. Notwithstanding, there has been much consolidation in the arena this last couple of centuries and brand names tend to be owned by familiar multi-nations.
Famously, Brits drink their (black) teas with milk and sugar (sweetners equally acceptable) - the Chinese think we are crazy (they might be correct, but we know what we like).
Before dismissing 'tea' as your beverage of choice, suggested that you obtain one of the generics from a Brit who lives in a region with similar water constituents to Perenjori, where permanent and temporary hardness seem to be the main blending criteria. Avoid the over-priced varietals from the big retailers in Perth. If you find a UK brand that suits your water and palate you can order in bulk - contrary to some pundits, it does keep in perfect condition for years in dark, air-tight containers in the freezer and slightly less perfect for ~year at r.t. (it is, of course, a fully oxidised product).

Posted on 5 May 2011, 18:20 by Sage
Tea is PtII
Then there is the whole question of preparation. Safely ignore any advice from anyone else on this one. A friend of mine, Prof M Spiro, a Kiwi ex-pat., sustained grants from the Tea Council (London) on the chemistry of tea making and published his amazing work in the Trans. Farad. Soc. some couple of decades ago. It is definitive - his word is final. Warm the pot, pour on still-boiling water, use tea cosy insulation, infuse (no other word or procedure is correct) for 3 - 5 mins., particularly - never stir or mash, it is not an extractive process, pour from an height of ~6-8inches (look it up!) from the teapot directly into the cup which already contains milk and sugar (adding milk afterwards, is an affectation and is wrong!). Tea bags are OK, the shape is irrelevant, but the technology is mature.
Couple of warnings: Never buy tea that has transited through Boston, Mass! Never cool or ice it - drink it hot or hotter.
And an anecdote: that the quality of tea that is re-exported is inferior can be confirmed in my disparate travels. Indeed, the Swedes have a saying that the Brits use it first before sending to them. Not to diminish the necessity of treating 'China' (green) teas completely differently; they should be drunk neat (no milk or sugar) and their highly prized varietals are best taken after 3 or 4 previous infusions. Although that advice may be superfluous as their very finest grades are out of the price range of ordinary mortals.
Hope this helps.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 18:41 by D2R
Rosella Tea
Know the feeling - I'm a coffee addict also. Have gone cold turkey a couple of times also for the same reasons.

Not really a substitute but I drink Rosella Tea on occasions. Suppose to be good at reducing high blood pressure. I drink it 'black' no sugar.

Thanks for all your good work - keep going.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 18:57 by wonbat01
Have you tried Chai Latte?

It's quite pleasant

Posted on 5 May 2011, 19:12 by ozsouth
A South African 'tea', available in Oz supermarkets.
No caffeine; Low Tannin; High Antioxidants; Tasty.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 20:04 by muggins2
How about a cup of miso?

Posted on 5 May 2011, 21:48 by FrogLeader
Try this one Barry...
I have been there myself. There is nothing quite like coffee once you quit. I was on the wagon for a long time and remembered a beverage developed years ago by health pioneers. It is a roasted cereal based "coffee" that is actually good for you. It has none of the tannins in it that coffee does. And, will not raise your blood pressure. They can be found often by the ground coffee in the store or in the health food isle. They are:

By brand name...

Roma (import of Switzerland)
Postum (comes with coffee "flavor")

There is more too, but my favorite is "Roma." Each one has its own distinct flavor.

Here is a recipe I developed myself:

1 16oz cup of hot Roma,
1 packet of "Stiva" sweetener. (adds a bit of bitterness.
1 small squeeze of honey. (for health)
Sub Stiva and honey for sugar. (for when you don't care about health) :)
Cream of your choice (if you like.)

Hope this works for you, good luck.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 21:51 by Tony
Hi Barry, licorice tea is naturally quite sweet, rosehip or peppermint are nice but I like a fruit juice concentrate like apple and raspberry with a little lemon juice, a pinch of mixed spices and hot water.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 23:33 by purple023
Mind enchancer
If the part of the coffee miss is the quicker mind and alertness without the jitters you might try Ginseng, the pill.

Some say American Ginseng is stronger.

Posted on 5 May 2011, 24:06 by DaveS
Hi Barry. I have had to go thru the same thing myself. My heart is failing and I am banned from caffeine etc. In the end I have settled on decaff. I use a Phillips Senseo coffee pod machine. It took a month to get clear of the addiction, but all is good now. BTW, TWHO considers caffeine a 'beneficial' addiction :)
If you DONT have a caffeine addiction (tolerance), it is a successful way to combat jet lag (well documented).

Posted on 6 May 2011, 3:16 by aarf
More at

Posted on 6 May 2011, 3:51 by Dougal
Barry, why drink instant chocolate?
I use pure cocoa powder (like you use in baking) and vary the ingredients.
My favourite is made of:
1/3 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp cocoa powder
small twig of fresh mint

all that mixed with about a half-half mixture of soya milk and water (for a cold cocoa drink, I just mix the above ingredients with a little boiling water, leave to stew for a few minutes then add the cold milk).

I'd also second the rooibos (a.k.a "red tea") mentioned above.
And there's also the wog classic of (black) tea with fresh mint...

Posted on 6 May 2011, 7:56 by Raffy
Green tea
Good quality green tea has a good taste and is excellent for health. There is a powder form, but I guess it is available only in specialty stores.

Even ordinary tea prepared properly is good - leave the sachet only briefly in the hot water (which is well below boiling temp). Remove before the odd substances pollute the brew.

Posted on 6 May 2011, 8:19 by cthisbear
Decaf - Schibello

How about Decaffeinated coffee?

Schibello make a fabulous product that most people
could never imagine is not the real deal.

Schibello coffee

This is my favourite...Schibello Dolce Bar
I get a Big Kev moment when I drink this.
Glorious...all competitors pale against this.


Schibello Decaffeinated


Gladeville NSW


And of course I would be very happy to send you a packet.

But be warned...after drinking this,
anything else will be a disappointment.


Posted on 6 May 2011, 12:24 by carltonh
I switched from coffee to a super bitter mix of teas that no one can stand till they drink it for a few days. Mix wormwood with black or green tea, but not too much as it is also a liver cleanser that should be used in moderation...same as coffee.

Other coffee substitutes are chicory root or roasted dandelion root. Also consider teas that include Tulsi (aka Holy Basil).

Posted on 6 May 2011, 21:47 by f00-
other hots
Agreed with Sage (rolling boil, prepped pot and so on) for usual tea prep - regional water or bottled is a matter of taste (trace minerals, ph usw), you could also try distilled for a 'virgin'. Strainers, etc - difficult to keep pristinely clean (avoid them if a fresh taste is desired). Serving ware - I like heavy glass or any pottery with a 'perfect' smooth glaze.

In addition to the jump-up, caffeinated drink is also a thirst-inducer (yet another reason to make it seldom). Sun-brewed teas are another option (often better imo for bulk brew of peppermint, wintergreen &etc).

Of course processed sugar is the Devil incarnate :)

Posted on 6 May 2011, 23:18 by raymundo dionicio
Cymbopogon Citratus
Lemon Tea (alias name in Mexico)

Helicobacter Pylori
dislikes it a lot.

Specially his oil,
so if you can get the fresh plant
or have an square meter of this grass,
the better.

I have dispensed of almost
all packed, canned, processed food
and now my gut flora and fauna is
in much better shape now,
so I have come back
to decaffeinated coffee beans,
thanks God.

Posted on 7 May 2011, 2:45 by Dougal
It's also a poison, so need to not consume too much unless you want to get high... I also use it in cookies.

Posted on 7 May 2011, 8:24 by BarryK
tea suggestions
I knew it! You guys are very discriminating about what you drink -- but then that is to be expected, considering that you use Puppy.

I am going to try some of these. Perenjori (my local town) has one general store, and they stock only one herbal tea, chamomile -- which is why I have been drinking chamomile. Next trip to Perth though, I will go shopping for some of these very interesting alternatives.

Thanks for the responses! Lobster even started a thread in the Puppy Forum on the same topic.

Ah, I guess you tea drinkers would think it totally lacking in finesse to throw a tea bag into a kettle, bring it to the boil, then re-boil whenever a cup is wanted?

Posted on 7 May 2011, 14:08 by Sage
Yes indeed
"Ah, I guess you tea drinkers would think it totally lacking in finesse to throw a tea bag into a kettle, bring it to the boil, then re-boil whenever a cup is wanted?"

Those practices are associated with 'foreigners' - Aussies are not so considered. Apart from which, the science has shown that there is actually a correct method.

Posted on 7 May 2011, 17:15 by muggins2
I wonder whether your desire to have a hot drink is also a result of being caffeine addicted? Surely the best drink is di-hydrogen oxide? Or, if a hot drink is essential, in sydney I've known quite a few people, of chinese origin, whose preferred beverage is hot water, sometimes with a dash of lemon juice. By the way mate also has caffeine.

On second thoughts, considering your whereabouts, why not make some caffeine free wattle seed coffee? You'd need to do a bit of study to ascertain which local acacias have edible seeds, and which would make the best substitute.

Posted on 8 May 2011, 10:45 by DavidVanSalee
Coffee substitutes
There is an excellent Chinese tea called "White Tea" (bai cha) that is very low in irritants and has been wonderful for my wife. We purchase it at our Chinese market (our city has a half million people, in the midst of a desert)... our Chinese brand name is "Sea Dyke Brand", but I'm sure you can find some others. (Lipton uses it as the base tea for their premium White Tea blends.) (About "Boston" tea... it's reputed to be bad because it used to be dumped into the harbour to evade taxes.)

Another favourite of mine is boiled "Sally Supari" - it's called "breath freshner" in Indian stores. The Indians take a pinch of the stuff and put it between the cheek and the gum (like American "chawing tobacco")... but I prefer to boil a pinch of it, let it steep a few minutes, stir, skim the top, and enjoy.

Both of these beverages are good as iced teas, too.

Ah, liquid refreshments!

And, thank you for developing Puppy.

Posted on 9 May 2011, 14:33 by Sage
Hot is best?
Is it thirst quenching you desire?
Water, hot nor cold fills the bill; beer also fails but the explanation is complex.
Yes, it is the caffeine in hot tea, properly infused, that is refreshing. [You are wasting your time with lukewarm, mashed, extracted, brews.]
The best solution is carbonated water - you can make it yourself to any recipe using commercial products or buy a big brand. The full-sugar varieties will, of course, give you a double boost, but put a few quid in the piggy bank for severe dentistry in a decade hence. It's the CO2 - it causes the heart to beat faster, but not dangerously so if you're fit and healthy. Obviously, it main effect isto cool the body but also flushes out the brain.
You might also wish to try filé powder, as used by the Hoppe 'Indians' and the Cajun dish gumbo filé made famous by Elvis. Wiki wants to say that filé is made from the leaves and bark of the sassafras bush/tree (which should grow easily in Perenjori, incidentally), but mine is made from the roots - truly a versatile plant like nasturtium beloved of the Romans. Filé is a class of pharmaceuticals known as suderifics - they make you sweat in hot humid climates ie against the partial pressure of atmospheric water vapour, thus cooling the body. Some warn against side effects of filé - I have experienced none, so it must be person specific just like everything else around us.

Posted on 9 May 2011, 16:33 by Dewbie
Green tea (decaf)
My mother uses Celestial Seasonings green tea with mint (decaffeinated).
She says it's very easy on the stomach, as she cannot drink milk.
I've tried it a few times, and must say it's quite good.
(And yes, it's available in OZ.)

Posted on 10 May 2011, 9:55 by Amy
Unprocessed cacao

What about unprocessed raw cacao? Cacao is high in natural nutrients (before it is processed to make cacoa).

We no longer drink Cadburys hot chocolate and just use Loving Earth organic cacao with a teaspoon of agave nectar. Then we add some water and almond milk.

I will make it for you when you're here.


Posted on 10 May 2011, 16:25 by Raffy
Wikipedia has a good explanation how steeping green tea is done, also about brewing black tea.

Green tea that used the (young) shoots of the plant must be the rare kind - I had students from Burma last year who used it regularly as beverage.

Posted on 10 May 2011, 17:55 by ted dog
sun tea
I lost 26 lbs switching from sodapop. Lipton for icetea comes out the best. Aged for a day in the frig. for best taste.

Posted on 12 May 2011, 16:36 by Flaun
Lemon or Jasmine
I quite like Jasmine tea and my brother is rather keen on a few drops of lemon juice in hot water.

Posted on 18 Jun 2011, 10:19 by ttuuxxx
Around 4 months back I also stopped drinking caffeinated coffee, I was drinking a min 2L per day and started to have heart murmurs, I switched to decaffeinated and everything is ok now, decaffeinated coffee is just like regular coffee but as a health alternative.
Also there are usually other extremely healthy coffee alternatives that are made out of roasted grains and roots. They are usually found in the coffee section of Coles/Woolworths. The contain mostly roasted barley, rye and chicory sometimes beets or in Aussie linguist "bootroot" still never get that beetroot thing, why don't Aussies use names like carrotroot, potatoroot peanutroot, etc, I find it silly that its called beetroot here and everywhere else its just beets.
Popular ones that I've tried are Inka and Barleycup both are way healthier than coffee and are a very close match to coffee, lets face it most coffee drinkers are tea haters, Barley/hickory drinks do work well and are usually a bit cheaper than coffee.


Posted on 18 Jun 2011, 18:25 by BarryK
Re coffee substitite
I know an old guy who was a coffee addict, but then he started to get diarrhea from drinking coffee, so he had to stop drinking it totally.

I have made a bit of a start with trying some alternatives...

I bought "Bambu", either at Coles or Woolworths, which is:

Coffee substitute prepared from organically grown Chicory, Figs, Cerials and Acorns.

...I don't like it though.

Posted on 30 Jun 2011, 22:01 by Tech1337
Re Health Drinks
I'm a massive fan of purdey's. It's a very meild herbal juice drink available in the UK. It has a very, interesting flavour, but is genuinely good for stimulation and doesn't give cramps if you drink like 2L of the stuff! :D