For many Americans, coffee is a part of one’s daily morning routine. Whether one opts for more fine control over the process by using the pourover method, finds comfort in the automated convenience of a pod system, or prefers to place an order on-the-go at a favorite establishment, drinking coffee has become a lifestyle. But like any lifestyle, some people begin to discover that it no longer suits them.
As we age, some of us might begin to notice a greater sensitivity to caffeine intake, especially from coffee, causing sleeplessness, nervousness, and even heart palpitations. What was an evening dessert becomes an afternoon treat before eventually becoming an exclusively morning beverage or, worse, intolerable altogether, and frustration can build as the decaffeinated options fail to taste the same. As personalities and interests change, some might simply lose the desire for coffee, just as many of us no longer desires the treats that captivated us during childhood. And some might simply lust for something new and different.
So when coffee is no longer an option, how do we make the switch? The answer somewhat depends on the reason why you’re making this transition.
If you have developed a sensitivity to caffeine, then you’ll want to begin exploring tea options that are low in caffeine content. To be clear, the caffeine content of any of our tea offerings will be less than anything you find in a cup of coffee, and so this means you may want to be open to experimenting. You can begin with something stronger, like a black tea or a puerh, but if you find that it bothers you, then consider a green tea or a white tea. Be sure to look at our recommendations below!
If caffeine is not your primary concern and you don’t have much experience with tea, then a good approach can be to opt for a darker tea that somewhat approximates your coffee preference. You will want to adjust your expectations, however, since tea will not taste like coffee; instead, what you want to find is a familiar experience. If, for instance, you enjoy adding milk or cream to your coffee, then it can be helpful to find a tea that goes well with milk or cream. Alternatively, if you typically enjoy your coffee black, then you’ll want to prepare your tea similarly.
Perhaps the biggest change involved in making the switch from coffee to tea is the preparation. Tea will involve more participation on your part, but this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Part of it is recognizing that while coffee invites us to go-go-go, tea by contrast invites us to slow down, to think about the day and soak in the experience.
This isn’t to say that tea makes one drowsy though. Because tea contains an amino acid known as l-theanine that promotes a state of relaxation as well as caffeine, tea drinkers often find themselves in a state of calm mental alertness, like a mindfulness. It’s similar to the alertness of caffeine without the nervous energy.
So what are our recommendations for making the switch?
For a Black Coffee Experience:
- (Ideal Choice) Keemun Imperial Gongfu Black Tea
- (Elevated Choice) 2006 Lao Liu Bao Dark Tea
- (Bold Choice) 2003 Gong Ting Puerh
For a Coffee with Milk / Cream Experience:
- (Ideal Choice) Yunnan Dian Hong Black Tea
- (Elevated Choice) Yunnan Dian Hong Gold Tips Black Tea
- (Bold Choice) Xinhui Mandarin Black Tea
For a Coffee Experience – Milk / Cream / Sugar Optional:
- (Ideal Choice) Keemun Fragrant Snail Black Tea
- (Elevated Choice) 2012 Da Hong Pao Oolong Tea
- (Bold Choice) Lapsang Souchong Black Tea
For a Caffeine Light Experience:
- (Ideal Choice) Organic Fuding White Peony White Tea
- (Elevated Choice) West Lake Dragonwell Green Tea
- (Bold Choice) Jasmine Flower Green Tea
Hopefully with the above recommendations, you can find your transition from coffee to tea to be quite pleasant and easy!