Coffee, Tea…

My special stash of British teas.

My special stash of British teas.

I start every day with a hot morning beverage, like most people around the world.  There’s a lot of talk and studies over which is the healthiest and the most beneficial.  Lately coffee’s become a hero.  Green tea has been for a long time.  Black tea quietly treads along.  I like to listen to my body to determine what’s best for me.

I’m a steadfast and true tea drinker.  Black tea is my stand-by:  Barry’s Irish Breakfast, or Tazo’s  Awake!  I keep a variety on hand for medicinal purposes:  Yogi Bedtime, Throat Comfort, Triple Green Echinacea, and Tulsi Ginger and Lemon.  And then there’s the special stash that Jo brings me when she visits from Britain:  TeaPigs Peppermint Leaf and Harrods Earl Grey .  I love tea.  I love the taste, I love having a cup with friends.  Each morning begins with a steaming mug or two.  I don’t really know of any controversy over the goodness of tea.  And it’s simple to prepare.  Boil water, throw a bag or some leaves in a cup, steep a few minutes, and voila.  Wonderful hot beverage.  Feels good.  Tastes delightful.

And then there’s coffee.   I keep coffee in the house for guests.  The beans are in an airtight canister in my cupboard.  I have a nice grinder, a good coffee maker, a stove-top espresso pot, a french press, and a good little cappuccino machine.  Don’t waste my time with weak watery stuff.  I like it really strong. I can steam milk like a bandit.   I love the aroma of brewing coffee.  I love the ritual of preparing it.  I love the taste.  But that’s where it ends.  I stopped drinking coffee over a decade ago.  Since then I’ve had little desire to touch it.  I know the effect it has on me.  One cup, okay.  No big deal.  Two cups, eh, not a problem.  But if I do that again tomorrow, and (horrors) the following day too…  Watch out.  Dragon Woman descends.  I get mean, irritable, and a teeny bit homicidal.  Okay, that last descriptor is a bit of a stretch.  Let’s just say I gain a very intimate understanding of the term “road rage”.   And if someone asks me how I am, I can’t help but wonder why they can’t mind their own darn business.  I get edgy and defensive, my skin crawls with annoyance, my nerves get jagged and fiery-feeling.  You get the idea.  Nasty.  “Mom,” my daughters will say, “have you been drinking coffee?”.  And when I turn in their direction with a sharp response on the tip of my tongue they know the answer before I say a word.  I suppose they knew the answer before they asked.  It’s not pretty.  And it feels awful.  My muscles get sore and achy from the acids, and I’m wakeful in the night.  I used to drink copious amounts of the stuff, morning ’til night.  And I actually believed it had no effect on me.  Until I took an experimental break from it.  I became a much more passive driver.  I became alarmingly tolerant.  Meditation came much easier to me.  I was nicer.

Lately I’ve been craving coffee.  So I indulge.  I dive into the ritual.  I revel in the aroma.  I love it.  I have a cup.  Sometimes after the first sip my body just says “No!” so I dump the rest down the drain.  And sometimes I just enjoy it.  But I know better than to do it again tomorrow too.

Tea for me, thanks.  Listening to our bodies is part of taking good care of ourselves.

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