I’m a tea snob. I have an entire collection of loose leaf teas. I like simple green teas. Properly brewed they create a relaxing calmness. I’ll drink some tinctures that aren’t too busy. But I love black tea blends. Ninety percent of my shelf is black tea. I have vanilla black, Earl Grey, Variations on Lady Grey, Scottish Breakfast, a blend called Gardening. I have Whites, Oolongs, and Puerhs. I keep Chai concentrate in my fridge. I love tea.
Tea is also part of my routine. I wake up and have a cup of tea as part of my breakfast. I grab a quick cup of chai with my friend on the way to work. In the office I have an infuser and I brew fresh tea throughout my work day. Some days I’ll go for an afternoon walk and grab another cup of something from the coffee shop. And finally, I sometimes have a pot of tea before bed to just unwind. What I’m trying to say, is I love tea.
But I consume a lot of caffeine, and I’m not alone. According to the FDA, the average amount of caffeine consumed Americans every day is 300mg. (source) That is approximately three cup of coffee per day. But caffeine, like many other drugs, is addictive. And your body builds up an immunity to its effects over time. The longer you go, the more you need. Caffeine is hard on your body, especially in large quantities.
Every year as a discipline exercise, I spend a month on a caffeine. Caffeinated beverages are so ingrained into my day that I go cold turkey. I don’t consume anything that has caffeine, no chocolate, no caffeinated sodas, no coffee, and the hardest, no tea. This really limits what I can drink in the morning for my morning routine, and it makes it hard to stop off at the coffee shop with my friends. I limit myself to herbal and red teas, which are not my favorite. And I often get a steamed milk with a flavored syrup in it at coffee shops.
On the one hand, it’s only 30 days of discipline. But that’s important to routinely push yourself to make self-improvement. Even if that is only spending 30 days resetting your body to caffeine. And not being complacent in your habits. I think complacency is a major issue in society today. So often people follow their routine and stop thinking about the choices they are making. By cutting out caffeine, I make sure that I am conscious of the decision and choices I am making.
After spending 30 days focusing on self-discipline and dramatically changing my lifestyle. At the end I make a conscious decision to drink caffeine again. Making that decision consciously is important. Additionally, I typically find a few new flavors of tinctures or red teas that I enjoy. And I can incorporate those tinctures into my life. And maybe reduce my caffeine intake more long term.
Maybe you want to do this challenge with me, and gain control back over your caffeine addiction. Maybe you just want to resolve to cut back to one cup of coffee in the morning, or switch to a less caffeinated tea. Let me know in the comments below.