Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Morning Cup

I can't remember the first time I tried coffee.  I remember always drinking the coffee creamers out of their little cups when we'd go to restaurants.  My earliest memories of coffee are all my dad's coffee cups.  I remember my dad having tons and tons of coffee cups, on the weekends I can remember him at the kitchen table in his robe with a coffee cup and the newspaper.  I also remember mom having her coffee too but it was normally taken standing in the kitchen.  I started drinking coffee sporadically when I was about 8 or 10 and then consistently when I was in high school.  Mmmmm Starbucks.  Then sometime during my last year in college I stopped drinking coffee and switched to tea.

8 or 10 years old? Okay I might have been a bit young but again it was really infrequent.  When I was around those ages I remember going out with Deirdre to Mama's Cafe and sitting at the bar counter drinking coffee and eating cheesecake.  We'd sit there for hours it seemed talking and drinking coffee.  Now lord knows what as an 8 or 10 year old we had to talk about but I do remember the tradition continuing through my middle school years so hopefully I contributed more to the conversation those times.  

In high school I was a musical theatre major at the North East School of the Arts and a student at the International School of the Americas.  Both of these schools were into coffee.  After school we'd go to Starbucks, before school we'd go to Starbucks, and when we skipped school we'd go to Starbucks.  Don't worry when we skipped school we'd usually run into the Principal of ISA and she'd remind us to bring our dance teacher a Starbucks when we went back.  Needless to say the rules for the Magnet School Kids were a little relaxed. Back when I was in high school anything Starbucks I loved- I loved the White Chocolate Mocha or the Java Chip Frappachino and non-coffee items like the very sadly retired Tazoberry and Cream, truly the most delicious whipped fruit cream thing ever! also the Chai Latte which Angela always said "it tastes like Christmas" and it really does.  We had tons of those reusable cups and were always going to Starbucks.

In college the nearest Starbucks was in San Marcos! 45 minutes away, or back in San Antonio 30-35 minutes away.  So my affair with Starbucks was on hold for a while.  They served Starbucks brand coffee in Lucky's but it was never the same.  My first year I had an illegal coffee pot and my roommate loved it when I made coffee cause she just liked the smell.  Over Christmas break I guess I forgot to take out the filter and we came by to the grossest unplanned science experiment ever and threw out the entire machine.  After that I decided I'd either buy my coffee on campus, use instant or switch to tea.

When I moved into the on campus apartments I had switched almost entirely to tea.  I was obsessed with making my own Chai, I loved cold chai with vanilla creamer and tons of ice!  It was delicious and since our campus was super warm 8 months of the year the perfect drink to take everywhere.  Sometime during my last year a Starbucks opened in New Braunfels, slightly closer but I no longer needed their sweet temptations.

So where does that leave me today.  In my apartment now I've never had a coffee maker, I just didn't need one, I'm cool with instant if I need it and tea is so much easier.  After all I have my awesome yellow Le Cruset tea pot that I love to use.

So 6 or so months ago Posadas and I were in North Star and went into Teavana.  A glorious tea shop with beautiful tea sets and the yummiest custom mixed teas to chose from.  Neither of us purchased anything that day but we both knew that one day we would.  In my quest to become ever healthier I've been looking for something to drink in the morning non-coffee and for when I don't want to go to the trouble of pulling out the blender for a Green Smoothie.  I make Chai Tea a lot but since I'm also moving to a no-milk lifestyle as well I learned that Chai Tea and Almond Milk are not my favorite combination and I don't like drinking Chai straight cause it makes me jittery.

I read yesterday about Yerba Mate a good coffee substitute tea that doesn't need much else to make it yummy.  So I went to Teavana last night hoping to get a cool tea gadget and a tea blend to call my own.  They gave me a White Chai Yerba Mate blend that was delicious without milk or sugar.  Can you say score? I got 1/2 a pound and a cool tea gadget that is a steeper/strainer all in one.  You add the tea leaves to the cup type think add hot water and let steep.  When you're ready to drink you take your mug and put the steeper/strainer on top of it and the deliciousness flows into your cup.  This morning I tried it myself and was pleasantly surprised it didn't suck and also that it woke me up.  I found it relaxing and comforting, all the things I need from my morning tea.

I still love Starbucks and go a couple times a month but it's no longer a religious habit.  My first year working at SAC after college I went every morning for about a year till I did the math and realized I spent approximately $260 a month on Starbucks.  So now if I can just spent like $20-30 a month on tea I think that is much better.

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