How many cups of coffee have you had today? One…Two…Five? Gah! There’s no doubt that a cup of the brown stuff gives a much-needed boost but how easy is it to quit completely for tea? And would you feel better for doing so? Pink Parcel’s Ali took the #PPchallenge and for a fortnight switched coffee for Whittard English Rose Tea. Here’s how she got on…

Day 1

“There’s no denying that I’m a total coffee addict. I need a hot, strong glug of the stuff first thing in the morning to shake off my sleepiness and provide a kick-start to the day. In fact, don’t even talk to me until my cup has been drained. Add to this a mid-morning latte and an afternoon flat white to beat the 4pm slump and a three cup-a-day habit can quickly set in. I started to be more aware of the cons of caffeine – insomnia, anxiety and high blood pressure to name a few – and decided it was time to curb my reliance on the rocket fuel and see if I could switch it for a hot drink that’s a little less high-octane.

“Granted, Whittard’s English Rose Tea isn’t totally caffeine-free because the aromatic rose petals are blended with black tea, but with lower caffeine levels compared to coffee (from as little as 25mg – 110g per cup, depending on the brew strength and cup size; you’re looking at roughly 220mg for an Americano), it seemed a good go-to for reducing my caffeine intake.

“On day one of the challenge, I woke as usual and padded to the kitchen – this time though I was boiling the kettle instead of firing up my coffee machine. Even this feels weird, I’m usually on autopilot to get my fix before even I’ve fully opened my eyes, so it will involve a slight change of routine for sure.

“You can drink the English Rose tea either black or white – I added a splash of milk in my morning cup and it actually needs no extra sweetening so I held off on the honey that I usually drizzle into my coffee.

“I had another two cups of the tea later on in the day and mostly didn’t notice that coffee had left my life. A positive start.”

Day 3

“So today was a bad day. I felt irritable from the moment I woke up, I could barely concentrate at work and had a banging headache all afternoon. Urgh. Was this the coffee withdrawals that I really hadn’t been anticipating? On the plus side though, the taste of the tea has totally won me over and drinking it feels like a treat, not a boobie prize. It’s delicately sweet, (yet not overly so), and smells of Turkish delight and delicious cream teas. Lush.”

Day 6

“My black-cloud grumpy moody has lifted and I’m amazed that removing coffee could have made me so miserable. Was I really that addicted? It’s clearly powerful stuff. Now that I’m out of the habit of dashing out for my afternoon take-out coffee, or grabbing a cup on-the-go, I can see that coffee is a crutch that I’d often reach for regardless whether I was enjoying the taste or if I even really wanted one.”

Day 9

“Oops. I’m holding my hands up, I’ve had a wobble. A really late night, a couple of deadlines and a short fuse, saw me stomping into the coffee shop and ordering a large cappuccino to go. Are you judging right now? I’m not going to lie, the initial jolt of caffeine felt sooo good, but then came the crash and I was left with the jangles and a racing heart. Despite drinking it at 4pm, I also swear it took me longer to get to sleep. It’s back to the tea for me.”

Day 14

“And my two weeks is up! Apart from the one coffee blip, which in hindsight actually made me feel pretty lousy, quitting coffee and reducing my caffeine intake has been a truly positive experience. I’ve loved discovering a new daily drink of rose tea – which I’ve really savoured and enjoyed the taste of, instead of just necking to chase the caffeine high – and I’ve pledged to continue my coffee abstinence unless there’s an extreme lack-of-sleep emergency situ. Then, of course, it’s allowed – I’m only human after all.”