David and Diana opened Tealeavz, a family-owned and operated business, in 2018 after being inspired by the dramatic change in Diana’s well-being since switching from drinking coffee to loose leaf tea. As we discover new artisan teas to enjoy, our goal is to share those teas and the amazing benefits with you. Here is her story....
Whether you refer to it as a craving, a daily tradition or a “need”, it is such a common ritual that it has become almost involuntary. You get up each morning, pet the dog, grab the news, maybe even get in your morning run, but then you reach for it. That habitual cup of coffee. It smells gooooood. It tastes gooooood. But what happens if you miss that cup for a day maybe two. You feel it...headaches, fatigue, decreased alertness, irritability. You wonder why you feel like this. Then you realize it. You missed your fix.
The bottom line? You’re addicted. Believe me, because I was there.
I loved everything coffee. Drip, espresso, cappuccino, iced. Then when I got tired of spending insane amounts at the local coffee spot, I bought my own espresso machine. Even better! Now I could have it whenever I wanted! I could dial in the intensity (double bonus!) Then my strong little espresso cup became a full size mug. Heck, why not two?
Then I noticed it. Whenever I couldn’t have my cup for a day or two, for whatever reason, I would get these unbelievable migraine headaches. Nothing touched it. Aspirin, water, sleep, protein (all the culprits I was blaming for the headaches) would not make the headache dissipate. Then I retraced my steps. Aha! I had not had my coffee fix. So I would brew a small cup of just drip. One cup. BAM! Headache gone. 10-15 minutes tops. A headache so intense that lasted day after day. Gone with one cup. Hmmmm. That’s odd….Or is it?
Ok. So I had to cut back. I get it. So I did. I cut back to just one cup of my super octane in the morning. And just made sure I did not miss a day. Ever. Easy breezy!
But then symptom two hit me and this stopped me in my tracks. Literally.
I am a very active person. Love everything sports. Running, cycling, tennis, golf, skiing. But this one morning I wasn’t doing anything extreme. I was simply going out for a walk.
I walk 3-4 mornings a week typically going 3-4 miles. This one morning though, I walked down my street to pick up the path that I like to take. It felt like a ton of bricks hit me. My heart felt like it was going to jump out of my chest. I was walking a normal pace, certainly not enough to even get the heart rate up, yet I looked at my fitbit and my heart was indeed racing! I was half a block from home. It was so sudden that I sat down on a bench. Wow, is this what old age is going to feel like? I see elderly people occasionally sitting for a “rest”, but ME? Really??
Ok get over it. Get up. Get moving. It will pass. So off I went. Got a couple hundred yards further and there it was again! Sat down, and thought “geez, do I really have to turn back?” Na, must be stress or something. A walk will be the best thing for me to get over this. I got up again and walked. I felt it moderately on and off the rest of the walk, but I kept monitoring it on my fitbit and all was good.
But this wasn’t the last time it would happen. This occurred morning after morning after morning. Simple walking. No extreme hills. But yet stopped in my tracks. How was it that I could climb three flights of stairs without a problem. Golf and walk hills? No problem. Elliptical machine? No problem.
So I decided to do some testing. Maybe it was the tomato juice followed by coffee combo I had before the walk. Ok. Cut out the tomato juice. (Of course not letting go of the coffee!) Nope. Happened again. And again. Only in the morning. Only when I walked.
Ok I’ll try it…. I’ll cut out the coffee and swap for tea. I had some loose leaf tea that I had enjoyed so I decided I’d try that the next morning. It was very tasty! Took my walk and felt normal again! No pain. No need to stop. The strange feeling I had experienced in my chest must have been caused by the coffee.
I am “coffee-free” now for 1 year. I haven’t had any chest pains since. ZERO. No migraine headaches. No churning stomach. I feel good! Plus I love the fact that there are so many tea flavors to choose from! Each day I choose the tea that I am in the mood for - White Ayurvedic Chai? Rooibos tea? Or maybe a green tea such as Apricot Verde? All delicious teas and a great way to start each day.
Plus it starts my day with the added bonus of antioxidants and other beneficial compounds I get from a cup of tea. Loose leaf teas have amazing health benefits whether it is improving oral health with White Tea, boosting heart health with Black Tea, reducing stress with an Herbal Tea, improving bone health with Oolong, lowering blood pressure with Rooibos or increasing fat burn with Green Tea to aid in weight loss or Matcha for a super boost of antioxidants. All contributing in an incredibly positive manner to improving my overall health and wellness.
So let’s look at the differences between coffee and tea.
Within a few hours of stopping drinking coffee, the withdrawal effects can begin to kick in. In some cases, these symptoms can even resemble flu-like symptoms. Adenosine begins to flood through our body, leading to fatigue. Many will also experience a dull headache. Caffeine narrows blood vessels in the brain, so when we stop drinking it, there is an increase in blood flow, which triggers a headache. "On the rare occasions I have drunk coffee for a few days, when I stop I start to feel under the weather and think I am coming down with a cold," says Professor Rogers, professor of biological psychology at Bristol University and a leading expert on caffeine. "But then I remember - this is what caffeine withdrawal feels like."
Coffee and tea contain caffeine, but the doses and how it affects the body are quite different.
Coffee contains almost double the amount of caffeine per regular cup, compared with tea. But the difference doesn’t stop there. The caffeine content in coffee is a central nervous system stimulant and has immediate effects. It excites us, accelerates our heart rate and raises blood pressure. Coffee is also associated with a ‘coffee high’ followed by a low, and arouses a feeling of anxiety, popularly known as “coffee jitters”. Or the dreaded “crash”.
Caffeine in tea is known as theine. When tea steeps with water it forms different bonds to those of caffeine in coffee, resulting in a different effect on our bodies. The stimulating effect of caffeine in tea usually takes longer to enter the bloodstream than coffee, slowly releasing theine in the blood over a 6 to 8 hour period. The effects of theine in tea on the central nervous system and cardiovascular system are mellower on the system as a whole. The caffeine content in tea helps to increase concentration levels and a relaxed sense of alertness.
Instead of a quick fix with coffee, tea is a healthier and longer-lasting fix.
Research shows tea sharpens the mind, increases concentration, and enhances relaxation without the over-stimulating effects akin to drinking a cup of coffee. Coffee is bitter and extremely acidic. Many coffee aficionados describe that high acidity in coffee as brightness or liveliness. But it comes at a cost. Coupled with chlorogenic, mallic, citric, caffetic, and quinic acids, the high acid content of coffee is a big contributor to acid reflux, GERD, heartburn and indigestion. Coffee can increase blood pressure and cortisol levels (stress hormone) thus can increase levels of anxiety and insomnia. Withdrawal produces headaches, fatigue, decreased alertness and irritability.
On the other hand, the caffeine derivative ‘Theine’, present in Tea, is much less acidic and gentler on the digestive system.
Tea and coffee are the most popular drinks on earth besides water.
Consumed on a daily basis by billions of people worldwide, I doubt I am only 1 in a billion that has experienced this feeling from coffee. I hope that if you have read this and are shaking your head yes, that you will give loose leaf tea a try. And feel good again.
This story is my true coffee story. The details of the studied caffeine effects were excerpts from an article I found interesting.