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Giving up Caffeine: Rooibos, rooibos, and more rooibos

About 10 days ago I made the earth-shattering decision to give up caffeine for a while. That means no coffee and no tea. Actually, I broke down and had a cup of tea on Saturday AM while watching my English football. But other than that, I've been zero caffeine since last Monday. What have I learned?
  • In my case, this really hasn't been that difficult. For the past six-eight months I've been a coffee fiend. I'm talking about three or four double espressos a day. However, surprisingly I've given up the bean without much temptation to relapse. The lesson? It may not be as hard as you think to get rid of caffeine. Then may not posses the same inner fire and ninja discipline that I have. You'll have to try and see. 
  • I feel more in tune with my body, less anxious, and I sleep better. When you're not whacked out on coffee, you can listen to your body a lot better and also the residuals don't hang around at night while you're trying to get some shut-eye. Also, the anxiety factor is reduced. 
  • Given that I love my AM hot beverages, whether it's coffee, tea, yerba mate, whatever...I had to find a substitute. Which brings us to the subject of today's blog: Rooibos tea
Most of you have probably heard of rooibos (say: ROY-bus) a but basically it's a type of plant grown in South Africa that's used to make a red colored tea-like beverage that has zero (0) caffeine and a taste and smell similar to hay or straw. Anyone who has ever worked on a farm will know what I'm talking about. Others, just try it.

I use rooibos that comes in tea-bags but there's loose-leaf rooibos out there as well. I would recommend getting some real South African or Australian brand like Freshpak or Nerada. This will be a.) easier than looseleaf, b.) more authentic and just plain better than Twinnings or whatever U.S. brand is readily available, because most Twinnings teas are pretty sub-par in my opinion, and c.) it will be cheaper, even with shipping. 

Rooibos takes a while to appreciate. The subtle flavor might not be appealing to you right away, but if you drink enough of it, it will. It's funny like that. Unlike something with a very strong flavor that can put you off right away, rooibos starts off a little unremarkable but grows on you. And furthermore, if you're looking for something hot and caffeine free to drink in the mornings you've got to try it. Herbal teas always strike me as an "evening" thing. I personally hate chai. Decaf teas and coffees...are like diet sodas: don't even come near me with that mess.

So...I'm left with rooibos. And I'm happy about it. 


Grace McQueeny said…
I think a lot of people don't realize the profound effect caffeine has on the body and brain. I'm glad to learn that it reduced anxiety, especially in the early morning.

I have to disagree on the decaf tea hate haha. I love caffeine free tea! Do you mean tea that isn't "naturally" caffeine free? Constant Comment is one of my favorites.

Also... I've been saying "Roo-bee-os" pretty much my whole life. Whoops.

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