Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just My Cup of Tea

Now, don't get me wrong. I admire Danielle Bean tremendously. And I think the new "Faith and Family Live!" website is a terrific idea.

But when I read this post, which features a link to an article titled 50 Ways to Boost Your Energy Without Caffeine, all I could think was--sure, you could do that. But why would you want to?

Of course, intellectually I know why. The reason this blog is "And Sometimes Tea" (well, aside from the literary reference to my favorite poet) instead of "And Sometimes Coffee" is that there's just no "sometimes" about coffee. It's always, or never, at least for me. I've now reached the point where it is possible for me to have a rare treat cuppa joe and then not need one the next day, but it took a long time for me to wean myself off the stuff to get to that point--so I'm careful about it.

But that's coffee. Tea is my friend.

Tea seems to have moods and circadian rhythms all its own. There's morning tea, rich and black, a cup full of wakefulness; there's afternoon tea, perhaps a green tea or a flavored variety with a little less caffeine and a little more meditativeness; there's herbal tea for cold winter nights, all the delicious warmth and none of the instant wake-up chemical that my brain likes so very much but definitely doesn't need in the minutes before midnight.

A slow morning, a drowsy afternoon, and I'm much more likely to think of a cup of tea than a nap (ha!) or desk-variety yoga. A few minutes with a cheap electric kettle and a pottery mug, and I can be on the road to alertness in no time.

I'm not saying that there aren't some times and places where one of the things on the list of fifty caffeine-alternatives might come in handy, and I know not everybody tolerates caffeine even in small quantities. But for the most part, if my eyes are drooping and my head nodding at 4 p.m., I'm not going to "examine my emotions" (number 3 on the list) or "look at my accomplishments" (number 50)--at least, not until after I've had a cup of tea.


Patrick Archbold said...


Anonymous said...

Oh my! I am with you on this one.
Except I like sweetened ice tea!! Don't do the flavored ones; and strong black coffee for the morning!

Anonymous said...

(Red, I am playing around with my own blog, let me know what you think)

John Thayer Jensen said...

My wife and I moved to New Zealand (from Hawaii) in early 1973. As an American graduate student I had drunk the obligatory 20 cups of coffee-machine coffee each day for years. I considered tea a drink for little old ladies (ok, Red, not necessarily THAT old :-)), drank the occasional iced tea but mainly for the honey I could put into it.

New Zealanders in 1973 drank very little coffee. This has greatly changed in the 35 years we have lived here but at the time tea was almost the only hot drink people drank, with the odd cup of Milo (like Ovaltine) for a change.

My first day at work - I was lecturing in linguistics at Auckland University - everyone downs tools at 10:30 for "morning tea." Out to the tea room in the back garden of the house we worked in - it used to be a separate laundry as hot water was from the 'copper' being boiled and you didn't want the fire risk in the house - and I was dismayed to find that THERE WAS NO COFFEE!

Oh, ok, I'll have a cup of tea.



I had NEVER heard of anyone having milk in tea. The thought was disgusting. No, black, please. I drank it. Didn't like it (Kiwis drink their tea a bit stronger, on average, than Americans, anyway).

That afternoon someone told me I should try it with milk.

I did, and found out why I had never liked tea.

Sue and I occasionally make proper brewed coffee now, but we are mostly tea drinkers. I drink green tea sometimes at work, without milk, of course, but ordinary 'black' (the Chinese call it 'red') tea I drink with milk - seldom with sugar - and love it.

And I manage on far less than I used to coffee - a couple of cups in the morning, one or two in the evening. Lovely at our Wednesday evening prayer meeting after the Rosary.

You can't beat a nice hot cuppa! :-)