Spill the tea! Confessions of an herbal snob

Anyone who’s known me for a while is aware that I am a caffeine junkie of the worst kind. I was that kid in high school who showed up to first period British Literature with a practical jug of joe that would last but a mere 15 minutes. By my sophomore year of college, I was drinking at least one cup of coffee at every meal in addition to the the liter of chilled Starbucks caramel macchiato, which I would indulge in before my morning classes and any other time I happened to be sitting around my room.

It was wreaking havoc on my body: I had a near-constant need to pee, couldn’t stop bouncing my leg in class and had difficulty sleeping at night, most likely due to the “dessert coffee” I’d helped myself to just a few hours before attempting to go to bed. It was time to turn back to tea. Due to my tea snobbery, I was hesitant to brew tea without my infuser or loose-leaf collection, but rest assured, friends: the tea bags in Phelps are surprisingly tasty. Switching to tea is not easy, however well-intentioned you may be. I cannot begin to tell you how many times one of my coffee-drinking friends has informed me, “That’s not REAL caffeine!” My response usually consists of me either letting them know that, yes, actually, caffeinated tea does in fact contain caffeine, or alternatively, that they are correct – my tea does not contain caffeine because it is 11 o’clock at night. Thanks for the reminder, though.

Here’s my pitch for why you should make the switch: Tea comes in a number of varieties. You can choose to either indulge in a caffeinated black tea or opt for a mild chamomile. Furthermore, all of the flavors are distinctly different, a trait that coffee, without addins, cannot boast (except for an exceptional blueberry cobbler blend that I had in Indianapolis last weekend). It is an appropriate drink for any time of day or season of the year. You can drink it in the morning for an energy boost or before bed as a calming herbal blend. You can drink it in the winter on a bearskin rug or under the scorching summer sun in a tall, chilled glass. Finally, although all of your friends will probably make fun of you for not being “hardcore,” you can just smile to yourself, knowing that you’re getting a healthy dose of antioxidants and that you will not be the one lying awake at night with eye twitches and muscle spasms. That being said, I still keep a bottle of iced coffee in the fridge for when I need to treat myself after a particularly hard Monday. What can I say? Old habits die hard.



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