MAKING THE TRANSITION TO TEA
There's a wide variety of reasons why you may be interested in reducing your coffee consumption and/or making tea your daily beverage of choice. It may be because you need a low to non-caffeinated beverage, or because tea is less acidic, may make you less jittery because of the theanine content, because of pregnancy, or a health condition. Whatever the reason, it can feel like a hurdle, but you can do it.
Here are some tips!
1. KNOW HOW MUCH CAFFEINE YOU'RE AIMING FOR.
Less caffeine? No caffeine? Black teas will typically contain the most caffeine for tea, and is usually around a 1/2 cup of coffee's worth. This is a great option especially when you are first weaning yourself off morning coffee.
Green and oolong teas are generally a little bit lighter in caffeine content than black tea, equivalent to around a 1/3 cup of coffee.
If you are looking to go strictly caffeine-free, or want an afternoon pick-me-up without the buzz, then herbal teas are where you want to look.
2. DON'T TRY TO REPLACE COFFEE WITH A COFFEE-LIKE SUBSTITUTE.
Nothing will ever taste just like coffee, especially if you're craving it. Instead, go for a distinct tea that has some flavors that appeal personally to you. Like fruity, or floral, or spice? Find a tea with a strong personality. Good quality tea should taste great on its own, but you can punch it up in a variety of ways with local raw honey, lemon, steamed milk (or milk alternative), lavender simple syrup, etc.
Some things that people gravitate to:
- Earl Grey - a black tea flavored with the unique, almost intoxicating citrusy flavor of bergamot
- Spiced Chai - an Indian spiced black tea often taken sweet and with milk. Simmer it on the stove instead of steeping it for more intense flavor.
- Jasmine Green Tea - another distinct flavor gained by scenting green tea with jasmine blossoms. This kind of tea that is usually served in Chinese restaurants, so if you liked it there, get a high
- Red Rooibos - rooibos is its own unique thing. It steeps up a deep red color, and like chai, you can even boil it on the stove to get a richer flavor. It's naturally caffeine-free but offers healthy antioxidants like green and black tea.
- Herbal Teas - there are too many kinds of flavor profiles that herbal teas offer to name them all, but here are some ideas: mint, hibiscus, chamomile-lavender, or ginger tea.
- Iced Teas - the entire world of tea is also available as a cold beverage! You can try out the classics but if you are adventurous, you can also experiment with more exotic things like iced oolong or iced earl grey lattes. The great thing about iced tea is you can brew up a batch and keep a pitcher in the fridge so that you always have something tasty on hand to drink.
3. CHOOSE HIGH QUALITY, LOOSE LEAF TEA
Lastly, if you are in the throes of a craft coffee addiction--you grind your own beans, buy freshly roasted from a local shop, you care about flavor profiles, acidity, etc.--then please consider avoiding bagged tea. Most of it is not high quality. Some of it may be, but the few seconds of convenience you are trading away by having it prebagged is wasted by allowing the tea to become stale more quickly. Instead, seek out artisanal quality, gourmet teas that will open up a world of flavors.
As always, be aware that this is not health advice and should not be taken as such. Plants are potent and can have medicinal effects and impacts not stated herein. Please consult with your doctor before making any changes, especially if you have a health condition, are pregnant, or are taking medication.