How I switched from coffee to tea and 10 things I learned

I loved many thing about coffee.  The smell, taste, texture. I loved brewing it in my Aeropress, a process that slowly warmed my body and mind for the day. The only thing I didn’t like about coffee was how it made me feel. I liked the caffeine kick at the beginning of the day but the over-caffeinated jitters were no good as was the malaise.  So I switched to tea.

If you lived here, were my wife, and observed me give up coffee a half-dozen times only to pick it back up you might laugh. She did.  But this time I felt like I had science and psychology on my side.  I realized that coffee had become an automatic response to waking and part of my morning routine.  This routine consists of waking, taking the dogs outside, brewing a coffee, and opening up the computer.  I hadn’t realized this until I was reading The Power of Habit and thinking about the feedback loop.  My cue was waking up, my routine was making coffee, and my reward was getting work done before other people in my house woke.  

This is where, in some ways, the switch to tea was easy. I had to replace my coffee with tea and that lone substitution in my morning routine would be enough. I was a like a baby who had a toy which was quickly taken away and a new toy dropped in its place. I would be none the wiser. And through two weeks I’m not. I do miss the occasional caffeine kick but not enough to go back.  Here’s 10 things I learned along the way.

  1. Remove all coffee from your house and have tea at the ready. I’ve failed at least two times because of this alone.
  2. Find a kind and brand of tea you enjoy. Earl Grey has a nice mild flavor, Green Tea less so.  Chai tea has a blend of spices that I prefer but it will be nothing like the creamy spiced teas many coffee houses serve.
  3. Recognize that when you’re drinking coffee, there is probably something else that warrants your attention. Very rarely are you just sitting and savoring. Coffee is an accessory that you can replace.
  4. Tea has some caffeine content. A 16oz McDonald’s brew has 100mg, black tea has 50mg, green tea has 35mg.
  5. When you wake up in the morning you may just be thirsty.  It’s been six to eight hours without a drink. I’m more hydrated with tea.
  6. I feel better when I drink the tea though scientific results to support why this is are difficult to find.
  7. My tea habit is slightly cheaper than my coffee habit.
  8. The mornings seem more peaceful with tea.  It feels like a calmer way to rise.
  9. Tea has more blends and tastes available.
  10. No matter how much tea I’ve consumed, I’ve never gotten the jitters.
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