Thursday, April 23, 2015

The Great Coffee-to-Tea Experiment

A few weeks ago, I got a wild hair up my ass and decided to perform an experiment. (I seem to do that a lot in my life, can you tell?)

I switched my morning coffee for tea. Me? Mrs.Kids-Cats-Coffee-Tatts in my blog's slogan? Yeah, I know.

I completely understand that this has been done before. You can google it and 719,000 results come up, many of the posts are bloggers just like me. But, Inklingers, I haven't done it before, which means you all haven't been able to read my take on what happens.

It all started with an episode of the Good Witch TV show on the Hallmark Channel (hell of a reason to make a huge change in your life, right?). Cassie Nightingale was pushing her herbal "coffee" on everyone one episode, and when her next door neighbor (and eventual love interest- we all know it's coming) commented on how it actually did taste like coffee, she revealed that it was really roasted dandelion root, chicory root, and beet root.

I googled. The shit exists.

I decided to make a trip to my local herb store to see if they had the ingredients, and they actually had a blend already made, minus the beet root. They had it labeled as "Herbal Coffee," but then had a very peculiar thing written next to it- Caffeine Free.

What is this tomfoolery? Caffeine Free? I'm willing to perform the experiment of switching coffee to
tea, but there are some things I can't handle, and caffeine-free is one of them. I tried cutting coffee completely from my diet once, and it led to migraines for me- not good. My body needs caffeine, and save the preaching about how caffeine is a drug, and I need to let my body detox from it. I'm perfectly fine being addicted to caffeine. I don't smoke, don't drink regularly, don't do drugs, don't hook on the street corner- leave me my caffeine, please.

I purchased the herbal coffee anyway, just in case, and decided switching from coffee to English tea would be my best transition right now. There's still caffeine in black tea (anywhere from 14-70 mg as opposed to the 95-200 mg found in coffee), and because I lived in England for 3 years, I grew quite fond of English black tea- with milk and sugar, of course.

I won't lie to y'all- the first day I drank tea as my morning pick-me-up, it was awesome. Instead of a heightened burst of energy and then an interesting crash a little while later (second cup, anyone?), I received a steady stream of energy with pretty much no crash. My body felt cleaner, my stomach didn't kill me like it normally did after a cup of coffee, and no headache. I thought I was sold- converted from coffee to tea, right then and there.

What I didn't take into account was how that first day, I stayed around the house and lightly worked all day. That ended up being a pretty important variable in this experiment.

Day 2 started, I excitedly poured my cup of tea and got ready for the day. The kids and I had errands to run and our home school park day to attend. Normally on this day, I'm good. I drink a big cup of coffee in the morning, and I don't hit a major crash until after we get home from the park. That particular day, however, did not go as it normally did. I hit a wall, energetically speaking, about halfway through our time at the park. I couldn't form words into sentences, my brain quit processing what people around me were saying. I wondered at one point if people thought I had had a stroke. I had majorly caught a case of The Dumbs, and then I quickly turned into a toddler who desperately needed a nap.

Ohhhhhh, gotcha. This would be the reason why most coffee drinkers don't make a successful switch to tea.

We hit up a Starbucks on the way home that day, for me to get a hit of my drug, and the rest of my day was fine.

The rest of the week I stuck to drinking tea in the morning, in the name of experimentation, and by the end of the week, I was seriously craving the taste of coffee. I missed the dark, earthy roast of coffee and the sweetness of my fru-fru flavored coffee creamers. I decided to give this Herbal Coffee a try, and was pleasantly surprised by how much it actually does taste like coffee. Even Hubby agreed that it was pretty comparable. The aftertaste is a little rooty, and if you let it steep for too long, it's a bit bitter, but it tasted enough like coffee to satisfy my cravings... for that moment.

Pic Courtesy and Herbal Coffee Recipes
Fast forward a couple of weeks to today, and while I did drink English tea when I woke up this morning, I'll confess now- that's the first cup of morning tea I've had in a while. If I'm staying around the house, and don't need that major burst of energy that coffee gives me, I'll drink tea. Most days I'm either running errands or swamped with work, so I need my coffee for my sanity, or there's a chance I'll shut down midday. I still do my Herbal Coffee at night when I want a night cap, and try to fit in some herbal teas throughout the day, more to feed my hippie tree hugging side than anything else.

So, I'm not a complete convert. I do love my coffee, so while I understand all of the nerdy health benefits that come with completely switching from coffee to tea, I just don't see it in my future. I will take a little time off here and then to let my body chill out from coffee intake, and I am thankful to the people who make the Good Witch series for throwing in that little factoid about dandelion and chicory root being an "herbal coffee." It worked for me.

And of course, as I'm finishing up this post, Hubby handed me a fresh cup of coffee and said, "I see you didn't make coffee this morning. Here, you'll need this." 

Thanks for feeding my addiction, babe. Love you!

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1 comment:

  1. This is an inspiring post. I developed a serious coffee addiction after my son was born. I tried to go cold turkey recently with scray results!