Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tea Time

I read somewhere yesterday that it was National Coffee Day, and it made me think back on my long love affair/addiction to the all mighty coffee. I started sneaking coffee from the family coffee pot when I was maybe twelve or so. I would drink it on my way to school, black, and I really loved the taste, and I liked the buzz of energy. I was told it would stunt my growth, but I was not concerned, I just wanted more coffee. Through the years my tastes changed, I have had it black, sweet and black, with cream no sugar, and with cream and sugar.
My affair with coffee really blossomed when I moved to Seattle, Wa. I always drank drip growing up, and had only had a cappuccino or latte a few times. The first year I lived there, I had so much fun with flavored lattes, and I learned that if a coffee shop was too fancy for drip, an Americano was the way to go. I shudder to think of how much coffee I've consumed over the years. Sometimes I would drink two plus pots a day. I also went through an unfortunate Red Bull phase, so I guess I'm lucky I didn't give myself a heart attack!
About five years ago, I decided to give up coffee. I didn't necessarily want to completely give up caffeine, but I knew that I wanted to cut down, and I felt like my coffee addiction was out of control. I guess looking back, it was the first baby step towards finding inner energy. I decided I would start drinking green tea, that way I would still be ingesting a small amount of caffeine, and avoid the horrible caffeine headache. I still remember the first day I was off coffee, I went to Trader Joe's, and man I felt like a zombie! I felt drugged, and shopping in a somewhat crowded Trader Joe's was maybe not the smartest choice in retrospect! Anyway, the point is that the first week or so was challenging, I was in a fog and had a very hard time getting my brain to work. But, after the fog cleared I really felt better. I've experimented with many teas, and I have to say that green tea, and yerba mate are my two favorites. I also like chai tea in the winter, but I try to limit my black tea consumption because it is a higher caffeine content.
There is a brand of yerba mate called Guayaki, and it is the first yerba mate I tried, and it is my fave. The best deal is to buy it loose, and buy a tea strainer, then you have yerba mate forever! Yerba Mate is a tree that is grown in South America, and the leaves are used to make the beverage or the mate. It has a host of nutrients and minerals, and is used has a health elixir in many countries.
I feel so much better since I switched to tea. I feel it's a calmer, gentler way to start my day. People laugh at me, but when I first made the switch I said coffee punches you in the face and says wake the eff up, but green tea and yerba mate hugs you and says good morning friend. People can laugh all they want, but I prefer a hug over a punch. If you've been wanting to curb your coffee addiction, you should try green tea and yerba mate! I promise when the fog clears, you will feel amazing! I still have the occasional cup of coffee, but it never really tastes delicious like I remember, and I don't like the crash afterwards.
There are so many teas out there both with caffeine and without. And some stores have bulk tea aisles, which is a really inexpensive way to experiment with different flavors and varieties. And bulk is by far the best way to save money always.

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