I Switched To Tea

I recently stopped drinking coffee, and started drinking tea.  Like, last week I went 100% no-coffee.

I’m not sure exactly what was the tipping point for me.  I like coffee.  I like the way it smells, the way it tastes, and that undeniable jump start I get from all that caffeine.  On the other hand, it’s been hard on my stomach since I started drinking it in the 1990’s, and we’re all familiar with the coffee dragon-breath.  Still, I’ve put up with the downsides for for twenty years.

Now, I’m not one of those coffee-all-day addicts, who always have a cup in their hand, and seem like they’re jittering off the face of the planet.  Neither am I a patron of the omnipresent coffee shop (you know the one) for $3 long-hyphenated-fancy-schmancy-named coffee drinks.  I had a large cup in the morning, on my way to work, and that was pretty much it.  I didn’t drink any during the day unless my face was repeatedly hitting my desk.  I don’t drink it after dinner.  I had morning coffee, and it was a ritual.  During the workday, I have been drinking hot tea for several months.

So, I don’t know what pushed me to the edge.  Last Monday, I simply didn’t pour myself a cup of coffee.  I got to work and brewed myself some tea.  And God damn, was I ever sleepy all day.  And the next day.  My stomach felt slightly better, and I didn’t spend the morning in the bathroom, as I typically do after a cup of coffee.  But I wanted a nap…all day.  One of the days last week, I broke down and had my usual morning coffee, and it was amazing just how bad I instantly felt, and I felt that way all morning.

I’ve been drinking tea for a week or so now.  I’m not having caffeine withdrawal anymore, and I’m pretty sure I was up until this weekend.  My stomach doesn’t hurt.  I’m not having daily diarrhea. (I know, thanks for sharing!)  I don’t have wretched breath after a cup.  I’ve found I’m in bed a bit sooner than I was — midnight instead of 1 a.m., say.  And that, actually, isn’t a bad thing, because I’ve been skimping on sleep for a while…since I started grad school in 2009, really, and probably before that, even.

It’s not like I’m depriving myself.  I like tea — I always have.  I like the flavor, and I like how I feel afterward.  I like how it’s still tasty after it gets cold — not like the thick, creamy mess that cold coffee is.  Tea feels somehow lighter, than the heavy, cream-and-sugar mixture I drink as coffee.  I like that I can try all the teas of the world with just different tea bags, and a cup of hot water.  No need to buy bags of expensive coffee, or to be beholden to whatever cheap swill the office bought for the coffee maker.  I can control my flavor.

Still, I miss my ritual coffee in the morning.  We’ll see how this goes.

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