For as long as I can remember, I have looked forward to my first cup of coffee each day with great anticipation. I love the smell of coffee brewing. I love putting my hands around a warm cup of coffee before I take the first sip. And, of course, I love the taste and kick of that first cup every morning.
I realize this is probably not the first time you’ve read passionate odes to this beloved drink made from incredibly dense beans, roasted and ground perfectly by a particularly wonderful brewer. But it’s the first time I’ve confessed my java love (at least in print).
Two months ago, my daughter and daughter-in-law encouraged me to give up coffee in exchange for green tea. Since I love and respect both of these brilliant women, I decided to trade my beloved brew for a strong, caffeinated tea and proceeded to drink two cups every morning. For 68 days. (Yes, I counted every day).
I tried brewing my tea for a long time and for a short time. I drank it with steamed milk and with nothing at all. I tried adding the naturally sweet nectar of organic honey. I also experimented with all types of green tea; some that were decaffeinated and others that had even more caffeine than coffee.
On the 69th day of my Great Tea Experiment, I made a small carafe of coffee and literally swooned. The aroma of the coffee alone awakened my creative brain and compelled me to find a notepad so I could write down three brand new ideas for this blog.
After finishing my first cup, I poured myself a second and, while watching the morning news, realized my brain had once again kicked fully into high gear. So, clearly the stimulation I receive from drinking coffee is more than just chemical.
It’s important to note that I am not a gourmet coffee fanatic. I live just two short blocks from a Starbucks and Peet’s in San Francisco. Both are famous for their special brews and their commitment to making fresh coffee every 30 minutes. Yet, I rarely visit.
It’s not the cost of coffee at these special places that turns me off (although four bucks for a medium sized drink seems a bit much). It’s really the fact that I have to leave my house to get my coffee fix.
If I get hooked on Peet’s cafe latte, I’ll not only have to get dressed and go out, but be forced to interact with strangers who really shouldn’t be subjected to my personality before I’ve had my first cup of java.
I did a little research on the benefits of drinking coffee and tea recently and learned a number of interesting things. The first is that there’s a study about almost every food or drink you like or dislike. If not, wait a few months and a new paper will be published that decries anything you love to eat and advises you of all the dangers to your health. If you’re lucky, another study will tell you that every questionable food you’ve ever eaten now provides much needed nutrients or other benefits.
The second thing I discovered was a list of 13 wonderful ways coffee is beneficial to your health from our fact-loving friends at Authority Nutrition.
Being an equal-opportunity blogger (who doesn’t want to tick off her daughters), I found another list of 10 ways tea also benefits you from the journalists of Today.
Put it all together and here’s what I’ve really learned: Whatever hot beverage you choose as your energy accelerator, make sure you absolutely love it.
Isn’t that all that really counts?
PS: What’s your favorite local coffee shop? Why?