Coffee is the steaming cup of energy that gets me going in the morning, as I’m sure many of you can relate. I have been a coffee drinker for what can feel like ages, but as much as I enjoy my large cup of coffee, I also enjoy a great cup of tea. For me, a cup of tea is the soothing aroma that allows rest and relaxation. As both a coffee and tea drinker I can connect to both sides of the never-ending saga, tea vs. coffee.
I thought it was interesting to hear from contributing editor, Bruce Richardson, in the July/August issue of TeaTime Magazine, on the topic of coffee drinkers moving to tea. Here is a bit of information that he had to offer:
“I speak weekly with coffee drinkers who want to move to tea. Some are looking to the health benefits of tea; many are trying to wean themselves from caffeine; and others are drawn to the tea culture. It’s not surprising that numerous coffee drinkers see tea as a possible antidote to their busy lifestyles. They often use coffee as a stimulant throughout the day, and now they are looking for a beverage that will help them ease into a more calm and reflective—yet alert—state of being.
I usually ask my aspiring tea drinkers these questions: What time of day do you drink coffee? Do you add milk to your coffee? Do you drink coffee sitting down or on the go? Have you tried a tea that you like?
Armed with that information, my tea recommendations for coffee drinkers generally are these:
Breakfast tea with milk. Use a CTC (cut-tear-curl) grade of Assam tea. These tiny tea nuggets yield a dark, malty, full-flavor liquor that steeps quickly and takes milk very well. If you are a single-origin coffee drinker, try a single-estate TGFOP (tippy-golden-flowery-orange-pekoe) Assam or a Yunnan.
Morning tea on the go. Drop a tablespoon of English Breakfast or a Ceylon FOP (flowery-orange-pekoe) into a French press travel mug that will steep and stay hot for hours as you travel to the office.
Tea at the office. Keep a generous supply of tea bags handy to share with your co-workers, or, better yet, make your tea with a large mug that has an infuser basket. This way of steeping will give you a strong cup of tea that matches the coffee your taste buds once knew. Easy-to-drink Sencha or Lung Ching are two popular green teas that will help you move into a healthy tea habit—just be sure to keep them away from boiling water.
Late-afternoon or evening teas. Caffeine stays in your body six to eight hours. As the day winds down, look to herbals that will satisfy your craving for a hot beverage without keeping you awake at bedtime.
Coffee and tea cultures are two different mind-sets. I’ve often said that the only two things they have in common are a cup and hot water. But we tea folks are always happy to welcome coffee converts into our happy family!”
Are you a coffee drinker, tea drinker, or a bit of both?