Tea — a Replacement for Coffee?

A recent Tea Forum showed how those of us in North America are becoming more conscious of tea. That is, we’re not just willy-nilly grabbing that cheap teabag, dunking it in tepid water, and slurping down the resulting sorry excuse for tea. As great as all that is, I’d like to go a step further and see tea as a replacement for coffee. No way, you say? Yes way, I say.

As seen on Facebook — time to pay attention to your tea! (Photo source: screen capture from site)
As seen on Facebook — time to pay attention to your tea! (Photo source: screen capture from site)

It’s great to enjoy those fine teas and to do so in a very conscious manner. But I see the goal as replacing that automatic cup of coffee they reach for in the morning and during the day with a cup or even a potful of tea. The proverbial donuts and coffee can become the donuts and oolong or maybe a nice Keemun or Yunnan black tea. Not at all impossible.

The Tea Machine Approach

If you have one of those new-fangled tea steeping machines or one of those coffee steeping machines that uses the little cups, your are all set to transition from coffee with all that excessive caffeine that will just make you all squirrely all day to tea which has much less caffeine and is supposed to have a veritable slew of health benefits, such as antioxidants. Not only are there already teas that come packaged in the little K-cups, but there are now cups for these machines that you can fill up yourself with whatever tea you want. (Caution: some teas are better suited to this style of steeping than others. You might want to do some experimenting.)

The Tea Station Approach

One reason people go for coffee instead of tea is that they think it’s easier and more convenient to make. But even the best teas can be as easy and convenient as coffee or even more so. A tea station is the key. A kettle for heating the water, a teapot for steeping, a stock of your favorite tea, and some cups. Anything you usually add to the tea should be handy, too. I use milk, so my tea station is within easy reach of the refrigerator. Others use lemons and other flavorings that they add after the tea is steeped. Keep some in stock and nearby.

Retrain Your Brain

We tend to be creatures of habit. We “get into a groove” so to speak and need to make a conscious effort to get out of it. This is a true of which beverage we go for as with other things. Make a conscious effort to have tea instead of coffee, and soon you will have acquired the tea habit.

Grow That Habit

Getting back to that forum, you can grow your newly acquired tea habit by being more conscious not only of drinking tea versus coffee but by expanding your tea knowledge and thus your tea experiences. That includes paying closer attention to the tea as you drink. Letting the tea slightly cool will help here, since you will be able to let that liquid flow over your tongue more leisurely and thus take in the wonderful flavors. Tea is a wonderfully varied beverage that’s easier to make front and center in your life than you’d think. It’s a perfect replacement for coffee.

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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