The Case For Switching From Coffee to Green Tea

Since the ripe age of sixteen, I’ve been on the coffee train. During my university days, I’d often have three lattes – 3/4 soy with a touch of honey to be exact – a day. To say I was a coffee addict would be putting it lightly. Now, much to my younger self’s surprise, I’m switching from coffee to green tea. I’ve fully adjusted now, and man, I have not looked back.

For three months I’ve kept to my decision and it’s done me wonders. I’m more productive, have more energy, am not unapproachable in the mornings until my caffeine fix, and have saved a load of money.

Now, coffee drinkers I know what you’re thinking, and don’t worry, this isn’t an article damning coffee to hell and painting it is a health killer. I’m fully aware that coffee does wonders for some people, and there are some benefits to the brew out there. But in doing some research and making the change, I can firmly attest that G-Tea is now the drink for me.

So, this is my case for ditching the bitter drip for some leafy greens.

Healthy tea, healthy me

I’m not going to pretend the first week was easy, because it really wasn’t. I got headaches from my caffeine cravings, was a real grump, and would want nothing more than a nap around 3pm when I would usually make myself a cuppa.

Not shortly after however, I started to see a real positive change.

At the beginning of my day, I was no longer dopey eyed and avoiding anyone in sight until I had my caffeine fix, but rather refreshed, feeling lighter, healthier, and ready for my day ahead.

After doing some research, I found this occurrence had some science-y backing. Green tea has proven health benefits, mostly from containing many nutrients and antioxidants, which do a range of good to our body, such as fight free radicals. And a healthy body means more constant energy and an overall better feeling throughout the day.

Goodbye 3pm energy dip and hello productivi-tea

The energy dips and spikes I used to experience as a coffee drinker began to fade out after a while of making the switch. This was most obvious around 3pm, when I would usually have an energy lull and have to leave the office to head to the nearest café. Now, however, I’ll work right through 3pm without feeling my eyes droop – and before I know it, it’s 5pm. This has had major effects on my productivity. I’m doing more work, and doing it better, without the energy spikes and slumps.

Now, however, I’ll work right through 3pm without feeling my eyes droop – and before I know it, it’s 5pm.

This experience I’ve found relates to the energy waves associated with consuming the large amount of caffeine found in coffee; increasing shortly after intake and dipping after that period wears out.

Plus, green tea has a proven ability to improve brain function and capability, which is from the much smaller amounts of caffeine found in green tea compared to coffee, synergising with the amino acid L-theanine (also found in green tea), and doing some great science-y stuff for your brain.

See you later anxious jitters

Making the switch from coffee to green tea also had positive effects on my anxiety levels throughout the day. Not just around tea/coffee time, but all throughout the day, I felt calmer, less agitated, and less hyper alert of my surroundings. It was as if I had constantly just walked out of a yoga class.

This isn’t a surprising outcome, seeing as green tea contains the natural chemical theanine, which provides a calming effect. Coffee, on the other hand, containing large amounts of caffeine, releases adrenaline and norepinephrine, the hormones involved in the body’s fight or flight response. While this can be beneficial when getting tasks done due to increased alertness, it can also cause heightened irritability, agitation, and anxiety.

In short, Bill (not actually Bill) from HR (not actually from HR) has become somewhat tolerable in the past few months.

Dollar dollar bills y’all

If you’re a coffee drinker and feel like getting real with your bank account, I dare you to calculate how much coffee is eating away at your income per week. If you’re a once-a-day barista-made-cup sort of boy/girl, that’s a whopping $960 per year – more for almond/soy/coconut milk, and a staggering amount if you drink it more than once a day.

Now, I’m buying a $5-$7 box of green tea per fortnight, cumulating to just $156 per year. (Less, if you buy the $3 boxes, but I go for the the sustainable, organic stuff!).

What’s that silence? Just the absence of constant contactless payments while your savings stay snug inside your bank account.

All in all, I’d recommended you try the switcheroo for yourself. Or, if you really just love the brew too much, why not cut back your intake and just swap every cup once in a while. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Marnie is a Melbourne based freelance writer, spending most of her time in coffee shops or tending to her plant friends. Find her on Instagram @marnie.vinall.