Monday, 23 April 2012

T is for Tea

"T" time in the A-Z Challenge. My theme is "26 Things that Made Me a Writer".

I find it very difficult to function in the morning without my trusty cuppa and when it comes to writing this is particularly so. I decided to do a little research to find out how exactly my favourite beverage gets the old synapses firing.

According to our old friend Wikipedia, "its consumption is strongly associated with a calm but alert and focused, relatively productive... mental state in humans". Yeah, I'll have a bit of that. This is down to the presence of L-theanine, an amino acid and glutamic acid compound with psychoactive properties. Basically, this stuff gets into your blood, travels up to the brain and gives it a boot up the jacksie.

The main thing for me is that everything feels so much better with a mug of steaming tea next to me. I can think clearly (well, more or less) and getting through that next scene appears more or less doable. Maybe I'm a caffeine junkie, but I need it with the amount of sleep I've been getting, especially during the Challenge!

What's your drink of choice when you sit down to your writing?

34 comments:

Tobi Summers said...

Vanilla Coke. Or really any soda. It's kind of terrible actually. I never drank soda when I was a kid, but I started when I was in college because I just didn't like coffee or tea. And now I'm completely addicted. I've cut back a lot since then, but it's still my preferred drink when I'm doing things that require creativity or concentration.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

For me, it's water throughout the day but also coffee - either hot or iced. And sometimes green or peppermint tea.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Can't do the coffee - never liked the taste. I prefer an energy drink first thing in the morning. The rest of the day I function on plain old water.

Kyra Lennon said...

Tea for me, too! Sometimes I will have water, but I do rely on tea first thing in the morning to wake up!

Sally said...

Tea, tea and more tea - I'm talking proper tea leaves, none of this teabag stuff. I make a large pot of tea (mixed Earl Grey and Keemun) and then a smaller pot of Keemum for the hubby. If I want an extra boost of flavour then I will make a pot of Oolong tea which I drink black. I purchase my tea from the Kent and Sussex Tea Company (http://www.kenttea.co.uk/sussex_tea.htm)
who also do mail order. I may drink a cup of coffee at the weekend.

Elise Fallson said...

I enjoy tea or coffee, it depends on my mood. But I don't have to have either one to start my day. It all depends on if I have time to make some or not. Though, I must admit, I have a penchant for Schweppes. (:

L.G.Smith said...

For me, it's coffee after lunch followed by cup after cup of tea. Yes, I do run to the bathroom a lot. I also seemed to have come home from England with an odd habit of adding cream to my tea...and if there's a scone nearby, I'll take on of those too. :)

MimiTabby said...

I start most mornings with Genmaicha, a green tea with a bit of toasted rice in it. wonderfully delicious.

Mimi Torchia Boothby Watercolors

The Beans said...

My drink choices vary; I often resort to Cuban coffee (with milk), but I also have a penchant for teas and hot chocolates. I also find that snacks help stimulate the old synapses as well, ha ha.

-Barb the French Bean

Mina Burrows said...

The energy drink explains so much with Captain Alex, huh?

I prefer tea too. :)

Morgan said...

Love it. I don't drink tea or coffee, but while writing I love to be chewing... so, I'm always munching on something. (Things with few calories preferably!) :D

Andy David said...

Hello Nick.
Most of the time, I drink water. On workdays, which usually begin around 4:30am, I always have my fruit & yoghurt smoothies...have to get my antioxidants in & they give me a boost in the morning. On days off, I do like a cup or two of tea or coffee, just depends on what mood I'm in.
Thanks for sharing.

Thanks also for the visit & comments over at my blog & at my girl Denise's. I appreciate the follow & am following you too in Linky. Good luck with the rest of the challenge!

Tearful Maiden

Cynthia said...

I'm a big tea person, so that would be my beverage of choice. Sometimes water with ice cubes works just as well for me too.

Peggy Eddleman said...

Mine is Diet Coke. Somehow, I work better when it's sitting next to me. ;)

Mel said...

While I do enjoy a nice cup of tea, I'm an avid coffee drinking. The stronger the better!

McKenzie McCann said...

Tea! I love tea.

I've always assumed the whole 'balancing effects' of tea come from that it's associated with all four of the elements. It's a hot (fire) water (water) made from steeped leaves (earth) that releases steam (air).

Hektor Karl said...

Coffee if it's early, booze if it's late.

Nick Wilford said...

Tobi - I drink a fair bit of Coke too, but I wouldn't say I rely on it.

Madeline - Yes, water's important - I probably don't drink enough!

Alex - Not a coffee fan either. Presumably the energy drinks help with the ninja powers!

Kyra - I need to eat cereal as soon as I wake up, but then the kettle's straight on!

Sally - Sounds like you've got your rituals all sorted out. Have to confess I've never used tea leaves!

Elise - I MAKE time for tea! I'm a creature of habit.

L.G. - Oh yes, I never pass up a scone if there's one going!

Mimi - I don't know that one. Have to say I'm not into green tea though!

Linda Jackson said...

Coffee. I used to be a tea drinker. I had to have it first thing in the morning. But once I switched to coffee, I never looked back. Plus I can program my coffee maker so that my coffee is ready when my alarm goes off in the mornings. :)

Nick Wilford said...

Barb - I do try and keep the snacks to a minimum as it's a sedentary lifestyle! But I'm partial to digestive biscuits, perfect for dunking...

Mina - Ha, yes!

Morgan - Suppose you could just chew gum?

Andy - 4.30am is early to begin work! I don't drink smoothies, maybe I should!

Cynthia - I like ice cubes, we have an American style freezer that dispenses them. :)

Peggy - We all need our props!

Mel - I have drunk coffee sometimes, but I tend to cringe at the taste.

McKenzie - I like that. Never heard it before!

Hektor - Booze is saved for special occasions in my house!

Nick Wilford said...

Linda - Pretty neat idea with the programming!

momto8 said...

coffee. lots.

Susan Oloier said...

I'm mainly a water drinker, but I do enjoy an occasional iced tea. I've never been much into coffee or hot tea. Though I appreciate tea far more than coffee.

Chuck said...

All I know is tomorrow I am going to starting saying "gives it a boot up the jacksie" when describing my coffee effects...my co-workers will think I've lost my mind. Thanks Nick!

Chuck said...

Oh yeah...what the hell does that mean???

Teresa Cypher said...

A cup of hot tea--in the winter. A lemonade or an iced tea in the summer. Love oranges and cardamom in my tea. Great post :-)

Lynda R Young said...

I drink water... boring, I know. In winter I'll have herbal tea or a hot chocolate. Yum!

Nick Wilford said...

Momto8 - Dare I say it's needed with eight kids?? :o)

Susan - I have tried iced tea, but I'm still a bit mystified by the concept... it's meant to be hot!

Chuck - Basic translation is "a kick up the ass!" :D

Teresa - Thanks! Hot tea does me all year round, as it's so hydrating.

Lynda - I'm partial to a hot chocolate in the cold months too!

DEZMOND said...

I love me tea too, but unlike you from the Island:) I drink my black tea (usually Lipton Yellow label) with honey and some lemon. It really does wonders for the immune system and morning waking up.

J.L. Campbell said...

Not so fond of tea. Give me coffee every time.

Nick Wilford said...

Dezmond - The honey and lemon sounds nice!

J.L. - Too bitter for me.

C.B. Wentworth said...

I simply cannot function without a hot cafe mocha. :-)

Nick Wilford said...

C.B. - I've had a mocha on occasion. Actually, I quite liked it!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Simon .. coffee to start the day, water during, tea at teatime if I'm here, then wine and wine time!

Cheers Hilary