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.