A Use for Coffee, A Use for Tea

What I need more than anything right now is coffee, and not for its effects, but for it alone. The smell, the warmth, the presence of the mug. It does something to my mind when I have that mug full of hot liquid by my side, next to the keyboard (dangerously so), available both mentally and physically. I use coffee as a tool to help with thinking, writing, and doing what needs to be done during the day.

It is the same with tea, as far as it having a purpose is concerned. I prepare tea for the evening. Tea is what concludes my day. I approach it differently than coffee. Tea is more of a transaction in my mind, as opposed to a tool for my mind. I am drinking tea for the positive effects it will give my body as I sleep, and for the relaxing state it provides before I get there. I use the same kettle to boil the water and even the same mug that I used in the morning for holding my coffee, but it is vastly different from its morning counterpart.

I fill the kettle with fresh water and set it to boil on the stove. Then, I place the tea bag into the mug and fill it with the water after it has boiled. Next, it steeps for ten minutes. I change into something more comfortable. I brush my teeth. Lay things out for the next morning. Let the dog out. And then the timer goes off and I squeeze the tea bag before throwing it in the trash. Add honey onto a spoon and stir it into the hot tea, gently clinking the sides of the ceramic mug.

Next, something I look forward to all day: reading.

This time of year we have our family room decorated for the Christmas season (which I believe can safely start on the first of November), so our Christmas tree is up and decorated, and we have small things here and there throughout the room to add warmth to an otherwise cooler time of year. After the house has been put back in order from the activity of the day, when our dog is softly snoring, when there is no request from anyone to do anything, when the loudest noise in the house is the hum of the refrigerator in our kitchen (which is something I need to look into), I will settle into the corner of the couch with my tea and a book to read.

My early morning walks are filled with non-fiction audio books, mostly books to help me become a better person. My evenings are entirely different. The day is done and there is nothing left to improve except for the approaching time of rest, and so I read a story. Fiction. Anything from an Agatha Christie to something in the Science Fiction genre or a spy thriller. All it needs to do is take my mind away from the here, now, before, and after, and just put me somewhere else. In another world, another time, with different people, places, and things. I look forward to this escape!

When I finish the last drop of tea I will read to the end of the current chapter and then simply go to bed.

Coffee for starting and thinking, tea for ending and relaxing.

Aaron Aiken @aa