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.