That rich, bold flavor

I aspire to be a tea drinker. Every once in a while, I’ll try some black, green, iced or lemon tea, but the truth is I just don’t like it. I like coffee with a splash of milk or a nice, dense latte. The way it smells so rich. The way the mug is warm in my hand. Mmm!

Coffee break in Montreal

I thought if I could add milk to tea, I might be able to convince myself I like it. I like chai tea lattes, but is it wrong to put milk in green tea? I don’t know.

Last weekend, Lisa ordered tea and added milk. I asked her my questions and declared her my “tea coach.” She said she drinks tea. Not fruity tea. Not flowery tea. It sounded like chai tea was acceptable to her, but she prefers tea with milk.

Monday at work, I started off with my usual coffee from the office machine with milk. Usually I have a second cup mid-morning, but I chose black tea and added milk. It wasn’t bad! I told my tea coach and asked a few more questions.

Blue Bottle looks and tastes amazing!
Blue Bottle looks and tastes amazing!

Little did I know that two days later, my doctor/radiologist/whatever would be telling me to stop with the heavy coffee consumption.

I started drinking coffee in high school. Occasionally, my sister and I would stop by the gas station for those sugary (eew!) “cappuccinos.” Kelly got an espresso machine, so we made lattes at home from time to time as well. Then I went off to college where lattes became an afternoon staple. My friends Liby & Nicole had an espresso machine four doors down, so while the other kids were sneaking liquor in, we’d steal milk from the cafeteria and make coffee drinks. OK we took tequila shots, too.

The real addiction kicked in when I joined the newspaper staff. Every Monday and Thursday, we pulled all-nighters putting the paper out. I’d usually get two hours of sleep before I had to get up for class. I’d power through then go home and nap. It was a sleep cycle disaster, but a win for the campus Starbucks.

Coffee was just a morning thing until I moved to New York, and started adding one to the afternoons. How else would I get through boot camp/soccer practice/Spanish class?

Thursday was Day 1 of tapering down per medical advice. As I walked past 30 Rock, I considered going to Blue Bottle. If I have to cut down I should at least have the good stuff, I reasoned.

No, bad! Coffee is not to be a delicious, bold, rich treat! I’m supposed to cut back!

I had my regular one cup when I got to the office. When I craved coffee later, I made myself a decaf with milk. And had none in the afternoon. You know what? It wasn’t so bad! I didn’t have a headache. I didn’t fall asleep the second I got home from work. I went strong through soccer practice. In fact my teammates were saying that we should have just done an hour-long drill instead of two because they were exhausted. I wanted to keep running and playing – just not those drills with that coach.

Today I did the same; one regular, one mid-morning decaf, but I met a quandary because I had a coffee date after work with a hot Greek guy, (just wanted to throw that in there). I decided to order tea instead of decaf because that made me less lame.

Also, did you know Pumpkin Spice Lattes are available now, if you know the not-so-secret code? I know it’s just sugary pumpkin-flavored goop, but man that sugary pumpkin-flavored goop tastes so good!

I’m allowed one a day. And you know, having two a day every once in a while wouldn’t be so bad …

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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