tea—matt (Flickr.com)

For me, getting into drinking tea has been one of the hardest things to possibly imagine doing. Why? Well, for me, I have always been the biggest coffee fiend and I loved drinking it all the time. Unfortunately, having worked in a coffee shop, this only helped fuel my love for coffee. I kept this passion going until a few years ago when I finally had a severe enough panic attack that came close to triggering a heart attack. As I lay in the hospital staring at the ceiling trying to calm down, I remember uttering the words “I need coffee”. One of the questions they had asked me on intake was how many cups of caffeine I consume a day, and when I asked, how many cups of coffee are in a few gallons, I knew I was in trouble from their response. The nurse looked at me with the most concerned look and said words I could never etch out of my head, and actually triggered my heart rate to go higher “oh, hunny, you shouldn’t be drinking that much coffee if you have panic attacks, we can’t give you any”. Cue my mouth dropping and heart exploding from my chest with tears filling my eyes.

Needless to say, after the doctors and everyone gave me their orders, I knew I had to make some major life changes. I hated always feeling jittery and like my heart was going to explode. It led to me constantly being chaotic in thought and always stressed out. Now, some people can function very well on several cups of coffee a day, but for me, I clearly couldn’t, and needed to cut back. Boy howdy, this was not simple. I looked everywhere for substitutes, and since I was quitting smoking at the same time this was all a lot to take in. What I did find however was a lovely lady at Teavana who I bumped into and found out was a health aficionado. We began to talk, and as I explained everything I was going through she guided me.

 I had enjoyed tea as a casual drink, and over ice and southern sweet, many times before, however, what she introduced me to changed my life. She helped me pick out some teas that had the similar effect as coffee, but with a much lower dose. I was shocked to find that I really enjoyed the flavor of some of the teas more than I did coffee. I never imagined that I would slowly start to enjoy drinking tea as I did. However, I still hadn’t given up 100% of my smoking and coffee, which was still a problem. Sure, I was learning things, but I wasn’t letting it stick and really getting where I needed to be. I did notice however, that eventually, my cravings began to change. Who knew, that a coffee addict would start to crave more tea than coffee? What happened next, continued to surprise me.