7 Tips for Starting a Tea Drinking Habit
Considering switching out your morning quad venti caramel macchiato for a soothing cup of tea but you just aren't sure where to start? Our morning beverage habits to jump start our day can define the days outcome, and affect our health in the long run. So just how do you switch out one detrimental habit for a positive one? Let's look at some ways to make the switch to tea effective and lasting.
Make Tea Drinking convenient.
The first thing to consider when building any new habit is how easily you've set yourself up for success. If the act of drinking tea is difficult, you are likely to actively avoid it. With tea in particular, there are plenty of ways to make your new beverage choice easily accessible.
Always keep tea available where you spend your time.
Home, work, school, a best friend's house; wherever you spend a lot of time, make sure you have both tea and tea ware available to you. If you have to make the choice between tea and another (less healthy) beverage, having tea available is the first step towards making the choice you want.
Invest in a suitable travelling tea vessel.
By purchasing a portable tea brewing vessel, you don't have to worry about having teapots, strainers, and other equipment where you are, you can easily bring it with you! You can store dry tea inside using a plastic bag as well.
Turn to tea bags.
Not my favorite recommendation, as I much prefer loose leaf tea to traditional tea bags That said, not all tea bags are created equal. Find a brand of tea bag that uses high quality loose leaf tea, and try to avoid ground up, mass produced varieties. A tea bag is still tea!
Make it hard to make a bad decision.
In stark contrast to making it convenient, by making it difficult to make a bad choice, you can further improve your odds of establishing a lasting tea-drinking habit. Remove the coffee, soda, or energy drinks from your house so that you don't have the temptation available to you. If you usually drive by your favorite cafe in the morning, take a different route to work so you aren't tempted to make a stop.
Make tea drinking fun.
Drinking tea doesn't have to be a boring replacement for your current beverage of choice. Get your friends involved and host a wicked tea party, complete with cucumber sandwiches and the latest gossip. If Starbucks is your scene, familiarize yourself with their tea options, and take advantage of their environment. Purchasing tea from a store or location like Starbucks also has the nice advantage of making things convenient. Just be careful not to slip up if your current vice is a quad grande mocha....
If you can get by not purchasing tea from a local cafe or Starbucks, make a game of seeing how much money you save brewing tea at home instead of purchasing coffee and energy drinks.
Make it delicious.
Enjoying your newly built habit will be key to ensuring it lasts for a lifetime. If you aren't really enjoying the tea you are drinking, you are likely to fall into old habits, consuming calorie and sugar laden alternatives. Make a point of regularly trying new teas until you find one or several that you really enjoy. Remember that tea is akin to wine, and there is an enormous span of flavors and strengths due to growing location, time of harvest, and processing methods. Even after finding a few teas you enjoy, remember to keep sampling from time to time, you never know what you will find!
Make yourself accountable to your new Tea Drinking Habit.
Tell all of your friends and family that tea is the new love of your life and that coffee/soda has done you wrong. You are turning over a new leaf, one where you want to benefit from what you consume everyday. There is nothing quite like a subtle jab from a trusted friend to guilt you into staying the course. Tell your enemies too, so when they say that you can't do it, you are emboldened and motivated to prove them wrong. Tea is your life now. There can be no other.
Make time for rewards.
Some of us do well with complete exclusion, while others can tolerate moderation. If you don't want to completely cut your current beverages out of your drink rotation, set some guidelines to when and how you consume them. If a weekly Coffee or Energy drink will stop you from completely falling off the wagon, make the conscious decision that every Friday morning you will treat yourself to your favorite beverage (or whatever time makes sense for you). If you are switching to tea for health reasons, reduce your treat from a Venti to a Grande to avoid spiking your sugar intake and crashing a few hours later.
Make it educational.
Tea has been around for thousands of years, and has evolved as an incredibly diverse beverage and cultural staple. There are books, blogs, YouTube channels, podcasts, and more - all focused on tea and it's history. Investing time into learning about something can deepen your appreciation for the subject in question and increase your personal enjoyment. Tea drinking is a fantastic hobby, and a great way to connect with people of all backgrounds and cultures. As the number one consumed beverage worldwide (not counting water), it's common ground for so many people. You don't have to become a tea-expert, but learning a few facts can go a long way.
Whatever your reasons for trying to develop a new tea-drinking habit, I hope you've found at least one of these strategies helpful in accomplishing your goals.