Elsie mug from Pottery Barn.

Text by Bruce Richardson • Photography by Marcy Black Simpson

I had the pleasure of establishing a backstage tea bar at a latest efficiency of one among my favourite a cappella teams Manhattan Transfer. As a school music scholar, I wore the grooves off the vinyl listening to their recordings that featured tight harmonies with jazzed-up rhythms. 

One of the quartet’s traditional hits from 1975 was “Java Jive,” which included this well-known refrain: 

I like espresso, I like tea
I like the java jive and it loves me
Coffee and tea and the java and me
A cup, a cup, a cup, a cup, a cup (boy!)

What I discovered from speaking with these veteran singers was that as they matured, their most well-liked beverage grew to become tea relatively than espresso. Before, throughout, and after a efficiency, they now look to tea to assuage their vocal chords, and so they love the truth that tea has much less caffeine than espresso. After all, skilled singers want their sleep after they’re on stage night time after night time.

I converse weekly with espresso drinkers who need to transfer to tea. Some need to the well being advantages of tea; many try to wean themselves from caffeine; and others are drawn to the tea culture. It’s not stunning that quite a few espresso drinkers see tea as a doable antidote to their busy life. They usually use espresso as a stimulant all through the day, and now they’re wanting for a beverage that may assist them ease right into a extra calm and reflective—but alert—state of being. 

I normally ask my aspiring tea drinkers these questions: What time of day do you drink espresso? Do you add milk to your espresso? Do you drink espresso sitting down or on the go? Have you tried a tea that you simply like?

Armed with that info, my tea suggestions for espresso drinkers usually are these:

Breakfast tea with milk. Use a CTC (lower-tear-curl) grade of Assam tea. These tiny tea nuggets yield a darkish, malty, full-taste liquor that steeps shortly and takes milk very properly. If you’re a single-origin espresso drinker, attempt a single-property TGFOP Assam or a Yunnan.

Morning tea on the go. Drop a tablespoon of English Breakfast or a Ceylon FOP right into a French press journey mug that may steep and keep sizzling for hours as you journey to the workplace.

 Tea on the workplace. Keep a beneficiant provide of tea baggage helpful to share along with your co-staff, or, higher but, make your tea with a big mug that has an infuser basket. This method of steeping provides you with a robust cup of tea that matches the espresso your taste buds as soon as knew. And simple-to-drink Sencha or Lung Ching are two in style inexperienced teas that may assist you to transfer right into a wholesome tea behavior—simply make sure you hold them away from boiling water.

Late-afternoon or night teas. Caffeine stays in your physique six to eight hours. As the day winds down, look to herbals that may fulfill your craving for a sizzling beverage with out maintaining you awake at bedtime.

Coffee and tea cultures are two totally different thoughts-units. I’ve usually mentioned that the one two issues they’ve in frequent are a cup and sizzling water. But we tea people are all the time completely happy to welcome espresso converts into our completely happy household! 

Contributing Editor Bruce Richardson is co-writer of A Social History of Tea. Find out extra about this and his different books at elmwoodinn.com.

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