Weaning off of coffee
I want to be a more flexible person when I travel. Coffee is NOT travel friendly. Having developed quite the refined (snobbish) coffee pallet, I feel I suffer whem I can’t get my brew my way.
Since I have always enjoyed tea it seems a natural way to go. Steep ware is simple so I really need to carry is goid tea and maybe a strainer.
But breaking myself of the coffee habit is not so easy. The higher caffine content, especiallt in my Italian style moka brew, drags me back. I am a serious addict.
But I know its just a matter of getting over the hump and forming new habits.
So I am wondering what others have done to ditch the coffee habit? What tea did you like? Did you struggle?
Any tips would be helpful. Plain old encouragement would be great.
Most teas have quite high caffeine content. But like coffee beans, the caffeine content in tea depends on a number of factors, including processing and steeping parameters, etc. Green and white teas have a surprising amount of caffeine, it is a myth that they are low in caffeine. In my opinion, you would have the most luck with matcha, as you would be consuming the whole leaf.
However, if you are looking for the taste of coffee, you may be inclined to look for darker black teas, pu’erh, dark roasted oolongs. Some teas are even blended with coffee beans.
My last point, again my opinion, I do not think tea is any easier to steep on the go than coffee.
I definitely agree with you regarding tea not being any easier to steep on the go. I’ve actually quite given up on travelling with tea, because I’ve realized that it never compares with the tea I prepare for myself at home.
And yes to everything you said about caffeine content also.
I drank 2-3 large cups of coffee minimum a day and a ton of Diet Cokes after that for years, so I was basically mainlining caffeine all day. (When I was younger, I did it far into the night as well.) I’d probably still be doing coffee + Diet Cokes if I hadn’t decided to lose the Diet Cokes (or at least cut way down) and once I started getting back into tea, I found myself going for tea in the morning instead of coffee for the first time ever. Even when I was into tea before, I always started with coffee. But for the past few weeks, I’ve started with tea.
I drink about as much tea during the day as I did coffee + Diet Cokes or more, so I’m still mainlining caffeine. My first 3 or sometimes 4 are black teas, then I typically move to one or two green teas and then one or two whites and/or oolongs, and then somewhere between 2 and 4 p.m. or maybe a bit later on weekends I try to stop drinking caffeinated stuff and switch to herbal blends.
I have managed to avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches (which I definitely get if I don’t have enough) and as I said, I haven’t had coffee in a few weeks. It just takes some getting used to. BTW, I drink milk in my coffee and nothing in my tea unless it’s chai.
I’ve personally never been into coffee and generally try to stay away from caffeine in general due to problems with anxiety, but I have a friend who is trying to get away from coffee who has been pleased with a recent recommendation I made of Darjeeling tea. Seems like that has just enough caffeine to satiate the need.
I used to drink around 6 cups of coffee a day, for many months. Nowadays it just makes me sick to have a cup or so. I made the switch to tea without much issue actually. If you really need the strong flavor, there are certain tea blends that are supposed to taste like coffee, though I can argue it might just remind you more of weak coffee and make you crave good coffee.
I’ve tried a few teas that rival coffee for, well, coffee-ness. Stand outs included Mandala’s Special Dark which is like the most intense little square of black chocolate and a tiny cup of real espresso like you’d get in Italy, and in a more easy-going every-day sweeter way, Herbal Infusions’ Moose Tracks. Oh, and Capital Tea Ltd.‘s Borsapori Assam! And Butiki’s Khongea Tippy Golden Assam, and Butiki’s 2003 Reserve Four Season Oolong (more like a black than what one associates with oolong).
And some of the smooth but complex Breakfast teas/blends out there, while not tasting of coffee, offer comparable depth and satisfaction—I like Butiki’s The Black Lotus, Harney and Sons’ Queen Catherine and Scottish Morn and Irish Breakfast, Golden Moon’s Sinharaja and their Irish Breakfast, Andrews and Dunham’s Double Knit Blend.
Great question. Last summer I experimented with going off coffee for a full month by substituting it with tea. Some of the effects I noticed were:
-the caffeine “high” was delivered in a noticeably different way. Tea delivered a smooth, consistent high over a longer period compared to coffee which gives me a rush then a sharp drop off.
-this led to a more balanced feeling throughout the entire day. I was able to focus more consistently without the feeling of needing another coffee.
-tea didn’t upset my stomach which coffee can tend to do.
I still drink the occasional coffee, but now my daily habit is tea. Overall, I feel it adds more balance to my life, it tastes great, and the additional health benefits such as catechin content are a bonus.
If you’re interested in more info on catechin content, here’s a link to a blog post we wrote about some misconceptions about catechin content in tea.