I used to be a tea drinker, from age nineteen until sometime in my mids 20s, when I was seduced by the ease of just tossing some grounds and water into a machine and clicking brew to make some coffee, and just stopped drinking tea entirely for far too many years. I made the occasional attempt to grab a couple of tins and get back into it, but just always fell back to the ease of the coffee machine.
Eventually I got one of those fancy normal person 45-hour-a-week desk jobs, and had to wake up at normal person hours… and the extra ten minutes needed to steep tea instead of making enough coffee to give myself caffeine poisoning on a daily basis was just too much. So I just gave up entirely on trying to get back into tea for far too long. The thought of having to spend ten entire minutes heating up some water and steeping a pot of tea was just too much because mornings were absolute misery.
During the summer of 2018, I finally realized what I was doing to myself, and how many of my problems with irritability in the morning, constant exhaustion, being unable to get moving before the entire day was gone on the weekends, and taking hours to get ready when on the road and needing to go places to actually enjoy my brief mini-vacations had a common cause: drinking too much damn caffeine! I ordered a few packets of loose leaf tea, put the evil machine away, and forced myself to start drinking tea again.
The first months were rough: the amount of caffeine I had been consuming was pretty obscene, so I was even more exhausted and found focusing difficult. But eventually I made it through, and it’s been incredible. My resting heart rate is lower, I went from needing three or four 6oz cups of coffee just to not hate existence and be minimally awake to being able to grab a couple cups of tea and get moving (and nowadays, don’t even need caffeine in the morning at all, for the first time in over a decade), and when I’m on the road I can grab a half cup of coffee and be ready to go go go and enjoy life.
And less than three years later, here I am with fourteen tins of tea again, just like in 2004/2005, and I finally feel like me again. I won’t claim to be a connoisseur now though, I just drink boring black teas (nothing like a hearty cup of Assam) because I still don’t have the patience to properly make green tea aside from the occasional cup of gunpowder green tea (very forgiving), and Oolongs are generally too expensive for me now (I know you can steep them over and over, but I’m still a bit lazy and I don’t find them so much better than it justifies the prices nowadays). But it’s something.