I have been a tea drinker for as long as I remember. My early memories are of my mom and I sharing a cuppa right after dinner as we chatted about our day. It was a time for bonding, relaxing and unwinding. I still enjoy my nightly tea and love when I am in my mother's company and we can still share this nighttime ritual.
That is not to marginalize my love for coffee, at all as I love a fresh aromatic brew as much as most. But if you've been thinking of diving into the world of tea, whether to try a new experience, lower your caffeine intake or embrace a culture that is often referred to as "counter coffee culture", I am bringing you a few personal tips on how to make the switch. I also consulted Master (tea) Blender, Elliot Raynsford of Good Earth Tea for a few pointers. He cautions that "coffee has such a distinct flavor that isn’t easily replicated in a tea. It’s important to start with a tea that caters to a coffee drinker’s taste profile."
1. Visit a Tea Shop: Get to know a little about tea. Sip until your heart's content. Smell, sip, and discover tips like how to brew different types of tea, the difference between tea bags and tea leaves as well as when to drink which tea and how to brew the perfect cup of tea. (and yes, it is a little bit more than boiling water.) For brewing my best cup at home, I have fallen in love with the Gourmia Electric Kettle. Not only does it have an impressive amount of heating power (faster than traditional kettle & safer than a microwave) but its digital control panel & programmable temperature take the guess work out of mastering the perfect cup of tea~perfect for the novice or connoisseur.
2. Ease the Transition: Take it slowly with a beverage that’s both coffee and tea, like Good Earth Tea's coffee chai. They made a coffee-flavored tea that combines the robust flavor of chai tea together with coffee beans! Just brew up some coffee and some chai tea, mix together to taste, and viola you've begun your tea-drinking journey.
3. Go Bold: Mr. Raynsford suggests that some coffee fans may find the taste of tea to be a bit weak. Blends with highly flavorful ingredients like turmeric, ginger or peppercorn can dial up the flavor to a level that can make the switch from coffee easier.
4. Opposites Attract: If replicating a coffee-like taste isn’t working for you, try something totally different like Good Earth Tea's Sweet & Spicy tea. The unique sweet orange and spicy cinnamon taste combination has been a fan favorite for decades. Totes different from coffee and the classic tea flavors you're used to.
5. Texture: Elliot Raynsford reminds us that something to consider when switching from coffee to tea is the texture (it’s what we in the industry call “mouth-feel”). Tea generally has a thinner consistency than coffee and doesn’t give you that all over mouth experience that coffee can. To up the texture experience, look for blends with significant amounts roasted roots – puerh teas, chicory, dandelion root and beet root all give some of that roasted flavor quality that coffee drinks prize. Like your coffee with milk, sugar or a little frothy? You can still add your favorite extras to most any blend of tea for a similar experience.
6. The Buzz: I know that jittery coffee buzz all too well. Too much coffee and you feel out of sorts, and your body is undergoing all signs of distress. Yes, many teas also have caffeine, the effects on the body are much different. You gain all the pluses of feeling more alert but in a gradual, more stable, more natural way. That's because tea also contains relaxing properties. The culture of coffee is one of movement; people drink coffee to get going. The culture of tea offers that as well – with an experience that is easier on the body, a gentler awakening that can be enjoyed alone and shared with others.
Sit back, relax, sip and enjoy the aromatic journey of tea-drinking.
This is not a sponsored post. Thank you to Elliot Raynsford for his top tips.