Friday, March 8, 2013

Coffee or Tea?

One of the nice things about morning rituals is that you don't really have to pay attention to what you're doing; it's mostly automatic. Your alarm goes off, you sleepwalk to the shower, go through the motions, drink your coffee, apply your makeup (or shave, if you're a guy), eat your breakfast, comb your hair... you get the picture. Sometimes it's a bit of a relief to be able to do something without thinking too hard about it.

For me though, the smell of my coffee (set to automatically brew) in the morning is what wakes me up. I don't use an alarm. My daily routine ~ meal times, work time, bed time ~ are pretty much the same every day, which helps regulate my internal clock.

This weekend is the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, and it's going to take a little while for my internal clock to adjust to this change. I'm going to miss the early-morning light, but I'm happy to trade it for the late afternoon sun. And every day is still getting a little bit longer. It won't be long before the snow is gone and I can start planning my backyard garden and taking regular walks and hikes with Charlie.

But back to routines... I enjoy both coffee and tea. My morning coffee is more of an automatic thing, a part of the morning routine... I know it's going to be there and the aroma is what gets me out of bed. But when I make a cup of tea, that's my time to take a moment and relax. Making tea is more of a "break in the day" for me; a time to take a step back and just take care of me. There are steps involved with a good cup of tea ~ boiling the water to the perfect temperature, choosing which tea leaves you want for this particular cup (black for some caffeine, chamomile to calm, peppermint for digestion), letting it steep for the right amount of time and then sipping slowly. Tea time is a ritual of awareness and presence.

If you want to learn more about making a great cup of tea and the variety of tea leaves available for your sipping pleasure, check out Rishi Tea from Milwaukee, WI. I had the pleasure of learning the tea-making process and sampling their tea when they participated in the Woodson Art Museum's gallery opening for Maggie Taylor's Almost Alice exhibit a couple of years ago. It's really good tea!

Me with Tweedle Dee & Tweedle Dum at the Woodson Art Museum

If tea isn't your thing and coffee is the only way to go, I recommend Steep & Brew from Madison, WI. After moving to Wausau from Madison, I was relieved when the grocery stores here started offering Steep & Brew beans in the coffee aisle.

Take a moment for your coffee or tea break this weekend and let your internal clock slowly adjust to the Spring changes that are on the way.

Breathe, sip, relax.