I prefer tea to coffee when I write. Don’t get me wrong; coffee is amazing and sometimes all I need to write is a hit of caffeine, but this is not always the case. Sometimes I just need a catalyst, something to force me into the right mind frame and that, for me, is tea.
So why is tea so good to write with?
Long story short, it tastes amazing. I know many will disagree with me here for the very concept of drinking leaf-flavoured water is rather odd and unappealing to most, but, like coffee, it can be an acquired taste (or lack thereof, as some may see it). Persistence is the key, as it is with coffee, and you need to be adventurous—experiment some.
Tea offers a means of productive procrastination at the beginning of each session; it is also of a ritualistic nature in that we all have our own little quirks when it comes to tea drinking and the type we drink. I realise coffee is similar in this, but not all of us have a coffee machine (or the ability to buy coffee daily) so it’s not always guaranteed to taste amazing.
Further, there are so many teas out there that the selection process itself can become a way to procrastinate. The different types can become a way in which you set the scene for your writing; I love to match the teas I drink to different novels or different scenes. My current novel needs a form of chai tea, though certain scenes of introspection require a mint green tea.
There is also no danger of caffeine overdose or addiction (although tea addiction is a whole other matter!) with tea.
I feel like coffee should come with a warning label for those of us that have a tendency to drink a lot of it without thinking. The label should say something along the lines of: ‘Danger, addiction increasingly imminent with each additional cup. Withdrawal symptoms include headaches, fatigue and muscle pain or stiffness; detoxing can take up to two months,’.
Just as the way in which it offers a means to procrastinate at the beginning of writing in a productive way, drinking tea means you will, inevitably, need to go to the bathroom. This can be used to break up your writing sessions; writing for too long without stopping can be detrimental to your writing, you need a bit of time (and distance) for your brain and characters to breathe.
As many of you on Twitter may know, I go through a staggering amount of tea daily, especially when I’m writing or studying. I tend to average one cup an hour which allows me to punctuate the time I spend with small breaks; this allows me to remain (arguably) sane.
So there you have it; why tea is a good writing companion. There are a bunch of other points I could touch on about health benefits and so on but I’m not sure I believe in all that mumbo jumbo so I’m just going to leave it for now.
Which drink (that’s non-alcoholic, I’ll eventually write an alcoholic version of this post I think, for I can legally drink over here though I don’t really have the time to…) is your preferred writing companion and why?
Thanks for reading!
Today’s photo is by the the talented tea-drinking (I’m making some assumptions here) Vee O.