Here's another brilliant post from one of my favorite friends:
Since I last wrote I've made a concerted effort to kick my coffee habit.
I understand (and also feel) the seriously negative effect it has on my body and mind, but also knew that I couldn't just quit cold turkey. It wasn't the caffeine per se that I couldn't quit, but rather the "pick me up" in the AM.
When trying to figure out what to consume instead of coffee, I began rummaging through my cupboards and rediscovered the serious tea stash I've accumulated. I used to be an avid tea drinker, but this fell by the wayside when I hoped back on the coffee train.
I found two great teas with which I've since rekindled my relationship: yogi anti-oxidant green tea and unsmoked Yerba Mate.
I began drinking green tea obsessively when I first made an active effort to stop drinking coffee nearly three years ago. This was at the same time I first became vegetarian.
For me, the green tea offers a gentle caffeine delivery and is also something I can drink consistently throughout the day to sustain my alertness. The yerba mate is also a stimulant, however has a different feel than green tea.
I first discovered yerba mate when I was in Buenos Aires. In South America, yerba mate is an extremely popular drink that has serious social implications: the consumption of yerba mate is a often a group activity, which involves passing around a shared gourd from which you sip the tea with a silver straw.
According to Rain-Tree.com:
In addition to its standing as a popular beverage, yerba mate is used as a tonic, diuretic, and as a stimulant to reduce fatigue, suppress appetite, and aid gastric function in herbal medicine systems throughout South America. It also has been used as a depurative (to promote cleansing and excretion of waste). In Brazil, mate is said to stimulate the nervous and muscular systems and is used for digestive problems, renal colic, nerve pain, depression, fatigue, and obesity.
Between the green tea and yerba mate, I'm doing just fine with my mornings (and afternoons for that matter). If I have serious coffee cravings, I sometimes cave. However, I make a point to get decaf. This way I can enjoy the flavor of a soy cappuccino, but refrain from slipping back to a place where coffee is part of my daily routine.
For the yerba mate, I prefer Eco Teas, which you can find at Whole Foods or online at Amazon:
For the green tea, I prefer Yogi anti oxidant green tea: