Why It Was So Hard to Switch from Coffee to Tea, and How I Did It
Confessions of a recovered coffee addict.
Coffee is glamorized.
Let’s be honest about the public image of coffee versus tea.
Coffee is a broody, addictive, exciting drink that will keep you up at night.
Tea is a dowdy break in the day.
It is a liquid nap.
A drink to be shared alongside a sleeping cat.
It is the roar of the lion in the morning as the jungle catches the light of the sun.
Tea pairs nicely with knitting needles.
It sits next to crackling fire and a good book for a night in.
Coffee is a life giving elixir.
Even the vessels they live in are distinctly sexy and dowdy.
You can drink coffee from a shot glass. Tea from a tiny cup from your grandmother’s china cabinet.
An espresso cup is to a vespa as a tea cup is to a gilded carriage, a dainty antiquated kind of elegance.
Tea will not get you a speeding ticket down a winding road through Tuscany.
A coffee mug makes a bold statement. It carries words on around its edges, World’s Best Mom. Love poems. Quotes to get you motivated etched around the caffeine to get you going.
Coffee is a canvas.
Tea is going for a dip in a pool.
Coffee is a hot messy mud bath in the desert.
Conclusion. Coffee is cool.
There is no denying that coffee is the cooler option.
Did this have a part to play in not being able to quit?
I think it definitely did.
When my former company changed coffee suppliers, it was one of the most controversial and talked about happenings.
No one would have noticed if the box of tea went missing. There is a social aspect to coffee that tea just doesn’t deliver on.
Why mess with perfection?
My motive to quit coffee was to feel more energized naturally. It was the drive to not be reliant on caffeine start to my day.
There was also the addictive nature of the drink that didn’t feel so sexy after a few cups.
I found my desk filling with coffee mugs, half full from having gone cold as I worked. Still, I was drinking from them out of habit and convenience. I wasn’t enjoying every sip, and I would feel jittery, mislabeling this as fuel.
The smell of a hot fresh pot of coffee is still something that lights me up, however, these days I’m looking forward more to things that warm my heart.
Step One. Buy Fancy Tea and Dishware.
The first step to switching from coffee to tea was to buy very fancy tea appropriate dishware.
Presentation is important to me. I get very excited about a beautiful table setting or utensil, but because I travel so much it hasn’t been a priority to actually own any. I was lucky enough to have been gifted two incredibly beautiful and delicate bone china, single serving teapots for Christmas. This was a great start!
Having a beautiful vessel to drink from became an essential bonus help keep me motivated. I fully embraced the personification of each design, and tried to match my tea flavor to the mood the teapot evoked. For the teapot in the photo below, I’d pair a nice berry mix, perhaps with a black tea.
Diversify Your Portfolio of Tea.
Next, I made sure to have a variety of teas. This meant that each time I went in for a cuppa, it was a little adventure to pick what flavor journey I’d go on. I also adopted the use of common British words like “cuppa” and started to call cookies “biscuits” just to get into character as someone who drinks tea.
My coffee collection had always been pretty straight forward, whereas tea has a nearly endless array of flavors to choose from. My family in the UK likes to mix different tea bags into one pot, two hibiscus bags and one white tea, and throw in some ginger, it goes good with almost anything.
Shopping for tea became a thrilling flavor mystery, imagining what flavor combinations I could create.
Ceremony Sealed the Habit.
I also started a ritual around drinking tea. This is a great way to change a long standing habit. I had my first meal of the day followed by a cup of tea, then another after lunch, a break in the afternoon, and a nice infusion at the end of the day.
I reinforced this routine by celebrating how much water I was consuming daily. It was also something nice to look forward to on a work day because the aromatics were calming.
Share Your Journey of Coffee Rehab with Others.
In addition to writing this article about my switch from coffee to tea, I also talked about it a lot.
This helped keeps me accountable. Friends were supportive, asking how it’s going and pretty accepting when I talked about my latest tea combinations and flavor discoveries.
Was it worth it?
I do feel more energized since quitting daily cups of coffee. I still have some from time to time and feel like a badass, but my day to day is very much like a cup of tea, more relaxed and healthy.
That’s exactly what I set out to achieve when I decided to stop drinking coffee. It wasn’t that difficult after I had defined my “Why”, and took time to be creative in reframing the image of tea.
I’m moved by stories.
I’ve fallen in love over a cup of coffee, and been broken up with over one as well.
My ritual with tea is about learning to love myself more.
To exist inside the calming space of a new kind of story I wish to write for my life. Hand knit sweaters, cats, and crackling fires are welcome.