The last month I’ve been without coffee, which is the one mainstay in my life – here I’m sharing my thoughts and how I feel about being sans café.
Firstly, apologies for the brief blogging hiatus – once a week every three months or so is crazy busy at work so for the last week I’ve been chained to my desk reading and grading papers. The kids also had an awful bout of conjunctivitis which I also eventually got so a lot of my outfits have featured sweats and greasy hair.
Now as for my month without coffee.
My Coffee routine before
Every day I would have a large flat white without fail. Some days I’d have two coffees depending on the amount of sleep I had the night before, and the second coffee would usually be a mocha. However, I would try to avoid having two coffees a day because typically after the second coffee I found I was jittery, and when I’d come home from work I’d fold like a deck of cards.
I’d also have 1-2 cups of tea with milk a day in addition to the coffee/s.
Why did I decide to quit coffee?
I’d read a lot about matcha tea and its health benefits. In particular, I was intrigued with the concept of the caffeine in matcha giving you more of a “calm alertness” compared to coffee. I found when I had coffee, especially on those days that I hadn’t had much sleep the night before, I found myself crashing at around 2.30-3pm which then necessitated another cup of coffee or a snack. I wanted to see if having green tea would make any difference.
My Coffee Replacement
I decided to invest in some matcha powder from T2 – and indeed, at $28 for 30g it’s not cheap. (The sales assistant mentioned that this amount would last me at least 2 months.) I also bought a matcha flask which has a whisk attachment so that you could either shake the matcha powder with water inside the flask, or in a bowl.
If you’re interested in buying matcha powder yourself, apparently the Japanese variety has more health benefits. Also, look carefully at the ingredients – some powdered matcha has added sugar in it.
How I did it
Other than in my cereal, coffee was the only other milk/dairy I would have most days so I wanted to continue drinking milk by having a matcha latte. I would prepare the matcha latte in the morning before work and carry it in the flask so I had it handy on the bus. The flask was amazing at retaining the drink’s temperature – I found the latte was still hot 30 minutes after preparing it. On the days I was at home, I would whisk the matcha and water in a ramekin (not strictly Japanese, I know), pour the frothy matcha into a mug then add hot milk.
One month later
- In terms of cost, I probably just recouped what I spent at T2 – but I’m hoping from here on that I’ll be saving money by not buying a coffee every day. (Also think of the coffee cups saved by not buying a takeaway cup every day!)
- Having said that, there were days when I forgot my matcha flask but still needed a hit of caffeine. I found a few local places that sold matcha latte, but these won’t be an everyday purchase. The matcha powder was often not dissolved properly so I was drinking chunks of green tea powder; or there was added sugar. However, they’ll be my go-to drink when Mr 2 and I hang out together after our weekly playgroup.
- There is certainly something to be said for the calm alertness of matcha – I’m finding that I don’t have that crash in the afternoon, even if I had terrible sleep the night before. I still have my 1-2 cups of tea in addition to the matcha latte, but there are less peaks and troughs than before.
- I’ve also found my quality of sleep is much better. Before, I would take at least 20 minutes to fall asleep, sometimes a lot more. If I woke up abruptly in the middle of the night, it would be hard for me to go back to sleep. However, since coming off the coffee I’ve been going to sleep a lot more quickly. Also, I’m finding I have less abrupt wake ups (or I’m going back to sleep a lot quicker too). The only thing that keeps me awake at night now is Mr 2 😉
Will I be going back to coffee after this? While I miss the camaraderie I had with my usual baristas who knew my poison of choice as soon as they saw me, I think I miss the routine more than the coffee itself. Matcha is probably not everyone’s cup of tea (literally) but it’s certainly worth trying, and given my better sleep I’ll be continuing with my new caffeine routine.
Are you a green tea convert? Let me know – I’d love to hear how you take yours!