A Guide to the Best Coffees, Alt Lattes, Matchas, and Teas
The ritual of a cup of coffee or tea is one of the most universal comforting pleasures: Preparing and cradling a
warm beverage helps start the day (or end it) peacefully. Whether you’re a caffeine fiend or an herbal tea person,
we’ve rounded up the coffees, teas, lattes, honeys, and tools that have been breathing life into our morning
For the Coffee Lover
If you’re looking to replace coffee with something that still approximates coffee, see our guide to noncoffee coffees. We’ve tried all of them for you, sipping (and occasionally
spitting) every oddity in the New Wave beverage and alternative coffee aisles. We found that dandelion roots
and mushrooms make pretty good hot morning drinks, as do various unconventional teas and even dates and
Intelligentsia’s coffee is directly traded with its network of farmers around the globe, spanning fourteen
countries. Each of the coffees is paired with a recommended brewing guide, and you can buy beans in an
array of grind types: whole bean, espresso, cold brew, French press, percolator, and so on.
The espresso machine that made its way from Kickstarter to kitchens around the country: Anza reimagined the
conventional coffee maker into a functional mainstay that looks more like an objet d’art. And it makes great coffee: Not many at-home espresso machines pull perfect shots and yield silky microfoam—you’ll be
whipping up latte art in no time.
For the Frothed-Milk Lover
Level up your latte game: Just pour in your favorite milk and wait for it to be heated and frothed. Choose
from six programs to prepare hot and cold drinks alike—with or without foam—or whip up instant
powdered drinks, like hot chocolate and lattes. And when you’re all done reveling in the fact that, yes,
you’ve created the perfect latte at home, you can detach the stainless-steel container and put it right into
the dishwasher for easy cleanup.
Golden milk (known in Hindi as haldi doodh, meaning turmeric milk) is an Indian beverage that contains—you
guessed it—turmeric, which lends the drink its bright-yellow color, as well as a mix of other warming
spices. We love whisking Golde’s blend of turmeric, coconut, ginger, and black pepper into plant-based milk.
We have been known to stash tiny electric frothers in our desks for a latte at a moment’s notice. While it
doesn’t heat your milk as the Smeg can, you can use this to incorporate a powder into hot water or froth
your milk, latte-style, in a pinch. If you’re heating milk on your own, keep it between 140°F and 150°F to
avoid scalding. Hot tip: Preheat your mug to keep your drink warmer longer.
The Saffron Latte
If you’re avoiding dairy and caffeine (or just love the taste of a coconut latte), The Fullest’s blend of
uplifting saffron and cardamom will be a welcome addition to your mug. It’s a creamy sweet yet savory ritual
that’s also gluten-free and sugar-free, thanks to both coconut milk and coconut water powder. We’ve found it
tastes best whisked into plant-based steamed milk and sipped anytime you need a little pick-me-up.
For the Tea Lover
Kettle to the Metal
Staub’s dusty-grey enameled cast-iron teapot holds a quart of water and comes with a mesh tea infuser—perfect
for a big pot of loose-leaf to share or to last you through a busy day.
Bon Temps green tea is harvested in the early spring, when its mellow, earthy flavor is at its best. (Plus,
the company pools proceeds to support a grant program for women.)
This botanical blend of rhodiola, holy basil, ginger, eleuthero, and sweet basil provides adaptogenic
support to smooth out your day and gets its flavor from the warming combination of ginger, cardamom, and
orange peel. Steep it in boiling water for five to seven minutes and enjoy it hot or serve it over ice for a
refreshing cold drink on a hot day.
Herbal teas are often a blend of various leaves, roots, flowers, and barks from edible plants such as
chamomile, ginger, peppermint, or hibiscus. The combinations create layered flavors and scents. Ginger tea
is a great choice for aiding digestion after a meal, calming an upset stomach, or simply winding down
before bed. Bon Temps’ ginger blend has hints of lemongrass and goji and is packaged in a biodegradable sachet.
Manuka honey is produced by New Zealand bees, which pollinate the flowers of the manuka bush. Besides
tasting delicious, manuka honey is revered for containing antibacterial compounds, in particular when applied topically, which can be measured by levels of methylglyoxal (MGO)—the higher the MGO rating, the higher the antibacterial activity. This trio of
authentic raw New Zealand manuka honeys by Activist has three different certified MGO ratings: 850+, 300+, and 100+. We like to reach for the 850+ MGO honey to mix into teas to soothe irritated throats, and
we dollop the other two liberally onto everything else.
For the Matcha Lover
The key to a great matcha is whisking the powder into hot water in a shallow bowl or mug. Use W-shaped
motions to break up all the clumps and create a thick, concentrated paste. Then add your favorite steamed milk
on top or pour the matcha over ice. This bamboo whisk by Chalait Tea has a hundred prongs to make the perfect
Matcha Made in Heaven
Matcha is a special form of finely ground green tea powder that comes from the Camellia sinesis plant, just
like green tea, but contains more caffeine as well as L-theanine, which is believed to help mellow out the
effects of caffeine. Pique Tea’s sachets are great for stashing in your bag for a quick caffeine pick-me-up
whenever you need it. Whisk it into warm water (Pique recommends water between 140°F and 150°F), or if you’re
pressed for time, shaking it up in a water bottle works well, too.
Pot of Gold
Golde’s matcha blend takes the work out of creating a luxurious latte. The coconut milk powder lends a
consistency while the added turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, and black pepper give it a warm, spicy
We hope you enjoy the products recommended here. Our goal is to suggest only things we love
and think you might, as well. We also like transparency, so, full disclosure: We may collect a share of sales or
other compensation if you purchase through the external links on this page.