So I’m sitting here with a cup of tea, mad at my computer because it’s having a personality crisis and can’t remember that it’s supposed to do things like connect to the internet, pull my file from the cloud, and print my work when I tell it to. Instead of stressing about all of that (you have no idea how easy that would be for me), I’m sipping my tea wondering how many authors drink tea and how many authors drink coffee, and what, if anything, separates the tea drinkers from the coffee drinkers. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to pull up any research on the matter because my computer is still having issues.
Then I thought about trying to identify health benefits, but really, with the exception of water, I don’t drink anything for the health benefits. I doubt most authors consider their health either when choosing what to drink. Well, perhaps those who live in California do, but I think the rest of us fall under one of these categories:
(a) addicted to the habit of our favorite drink, in other words, we drink coffee because we’ve been drinking coffee for ten years.
(b) using tea or coffee to keep us focused and energized and, therefore, choosing whichever one has the highest caffeine content.
(c) we’ve chosen the local Starbucks as our writing haunt and must continue to purchase copious amounts of coffee lest the manager grabs our iPad and tosses us out.
(d) just grabbing whatever is easiest to fix.
(e) using the task of making fresh coffee or tea as an excuse to interrupt our writing.
(f) I have heard of some strange authors who swear coffee fuels their imagination, but other than a slight caffeine buzz, I’m not sure we can scientifically prove coffee beans are coated with creativity dust.
I fall under (d). I grab the easiest thing to make. I fill a hot water boiler with water, grab a cup and set a tea bag or strainer inside it. In three minutes, I’m done. Plus, I get to choose from dozens of fun flavors that drive a proper tea aficionado crazy. This morning, I’m drinking Pear Chocolate. Mmm-mmm!
We tried a cappuccino machine, back when I quit smoking. I had this great idea to substitute one bad habit with another. Unfortunately, I could taste the chemicals in the capsules, so we went back to a traditional coffee machine, which I barely use. I think because it’s too big of an interruption for me. If I’m working, I don’t want to get up, measure the coffee, set up the machine, wait for the coffee, and clean out everything later. Tea is much easier for me because my desire to keep writing in any session is directly tied to the length of my interruptions. The shorter the interruption, the more I write. The longer the interruption, the more likely I am to wander off and hear Dragon Age: Inquisition calling my name.
I don’t have any particular rituals about drinking tea, though. I mean, it’s not really a whimsical kind of drink, is it? Other than the wonderful new flavors, there’s not much you can do to make tea drinking stand out from the crowd. But now that I think about it, perhaps I should find some ways to personalize my tea drinking. Fill a robot tea strainer full of honey and dip it in the tea. Or drink a toast to the imaginary characters I’ll be writing about that day.
Yeah. That might be another post.
What about you — coffee or tea? And do you have any rituals?