I want to drink less coffee.
I understand that statement might be considered heresy to other writers. But, since I am finding my morning coffee ritual to be a little too time-consuming/expensive/addicting, maybe a few of you feel the same way.
Switching to tea required a little research on my part so I could (1) avoid the dreaded caffeine-withdrawal headache and (2) stay awake! It only seemed right to share my research with fellow writers.
I tried four teas that are generally recommended to replace coffee because of their roasty-toasty flavor. For each one, I’ll tell you my idea for which literary character would drink the tea, in which movie scene the tea could be served, and whether the tea is a worthy substitute for coffee.
This post is just for fun– no sponsorship/affiliate links.
Tea for Writers 1: Bancha Hojicha
Bancha Hojicha is a roasted green tea. It smells like fancy rice crackers plus that Rose brand tea my mom used to drink that came with the tiny porcelain figurines.
Bancha Hojicha tastes like neither black or green tea. It is exquisite: delicate and creamy. It makes me feel fancy and wise.
- Literary character who would drink this tea: the Giver from The Giver by Lois Lowry.
- Movie Scene to serve this tea: Midnight in Paris. Gil could drink this tea in the morning while contemplating his magical adventure with Hemingway and Fitzgerald.
Bottom line: Bancha Hojicha does not have quite enough caffeine for my morning kick. I recommend this tea for writers looking for an afternoon pick-me-up.
Tea for Writers 2: Genmaicha
Genmaicha is green tea with toasted brown rice. It smells exactly like a puffed rice cake.
Overall it has a “thin” feeling in my mouth with a toastiness high in the palate and a sweet aftertaste when you exhale.
It is something like popcorn but in a delicious way that makes me think of butter, not in the terrible popcorn-flavored-jelly-bean sense.
- Literary character who would drink this tea: Prim would make this tea in The Hunger Games to give to the families of her mother’s patients.
- Movie scene to serve this tea: Hugo. Hugo Cabret could drink this tea while hiding behind the big clock in the train station.
Bottom line: I didn’t feel much of a kick from this at all– I ended up having two cups in order to avoid a headache. Though it is delicious, I won’t recommend this one as a good tea for writers looking to drop coffee unless you are willing to use several tea bags per day.
Tea for Writers 3: Russian Caravan
Russian Caravan is a blend of Yunnan black tea with smoked Lapsang Souchong black tea. It smells like a campfire– very rustic and cozy!
The taste is gentler than the smell. It tastes like a good black tea but without the tannin bite. (Regular black tea makes my stomach queasy). The strong smokiness is something I didn’t know I wanted in a tea!
- Literary Character would drink this tea: Hagrid could serve this tea with his rock cakes in the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. It’s the perfect Hagrid tea.
- Movie scene to serve this scene: How to Train Your Dragon. Hiccup could drink this tea while at dragon training, when he studies the ancient book about dragons.
Bottom line: This is my morning go-to now. I don’t notice any difference in caffeine and find myself craving the smell of it when I wake up! I recommend this tea for writers who are already fans of peaty scotch and smokey foods like baba ganouj.
Tea for Writers 4: Yerba Mate
Yerba Mate (yer-bah mah-tay) is not actually tea– it is made from a type of South American holly tree that has naturally caffeinated leaves. It smells like a combination of eucalyptus and marzipan.
Yerba Mate tastes smooth and toasty. It has a medicinal feel in a good away and something about it feels adventurous.
- Literary character who would drink this tea: Frodo could share Yerba Mate with Sam, Pippin, and the other hobbits as they start out their adventure in The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Movie scene to serve this tea: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I think Walter Mitty could carry a thermos of this tea when he is hiking in the Himalayas, looking for the photojournalist Sean O’Connell.
Bottom line: This is another great option for my morning beverage and I recommend Yerba Mate as a great tea for writers. No caffeine-withdrawal headache here!
What’s your favorite tea for writers?
I know this is an unusual post for Better Novel Project, but I figured with the end of NaNoWriMo drawing near, you probably had it up to your ears in writing advice.
I hope you found this post useful and that you find a tea you like to help fuel your writing!