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Lately...

 I am a coffee fanatic. Nothing pleases me more than a French press full of freshly ground fair trade, organic coffee from somewhere halfway across the globe. Sumatra has been my favorite for quite some time now: the humid, earthy aroma, with a hint of high mountain rainforest in each sip, a perfect campfire coffee, as I sit and watch he fog lift from the surface of some remote trout river. Or, if you prefer an espresso drink, a nice grande flat white with heavy whipping cream, served by a caffeine jacked hipster with a face full of metal at the local Starbucks. Coffee is always my fuel of choice, wherever I find myself, but lately, I have become obsessed with tea.

My favorite so far is the old standard Earl Grey, which is black tea flavored with the unique spicy citrus flavor of bergamot oil from the Mediterranean. The caffeine content from tea is milder than in coffee, but it provides a nice pick- me- up, and doesn't give me the jitters after a few cups like my other dark drug does. Tea gives me a boost, and relaxes me at the same time, which is weird, but it enables me to focus better than coffee does. Perhaps this is all in my mind, but I have read a few studies lately on the benefits of drinking tea. From improving blood pressure to building good cholesterol and increasing mental clarity, it seems that hot tea can be beneficial to our health, and it is a change in pace for someone who drinks enough caffeine a day to kill an ordinary person.

The strongest I have found is Irish Breakfast tea. This is normally what I start my day with. Half a packet of Splenda, and I'm good. I can't drink it full of milk or cream like the Irish do, but I love the malty red color and bold tea flavor. It makes a good substitute for coffee, with enough of a caffeine kick to start my day.

Understand me, I still love my coffee, but I'm drinking much less now that I have integrated tea into my daily routine. Actually, I believe I enjoy my coffee more, now that I drink smaller amounts. If you're open to it, give hot tea a try, it might change your life, or at the least, give you something else to get addicted to.

Leave me a comment and tell me your favorite type or brand of tea, and give me some suggestions of teas to try. Thanks.

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