Tea and Coffee. Simplicity or Intricacy?

As Paul McCartney sang: 

‘Three o’clock in the morning,

I’m getting ready for bed……..’

Sleep patterns. Tea or coffee at night? Or nothing? Strangely coffee doesn’t sleep affect myself. But the herbal sleep varieties tea sometimes do. Hot chocolate, Horlicks, Barley cup, Ovaltine? Sometimes. Mind you. I now have that Ovaltine earworm song in my brain which will stay there for a few hours. 

Tea or coffee? Simplicity in tea bags or instant coffee? Intricacy in leaves or beans? 

Coffee?  

Angie gets many different ones to try out and also brings home regular favourites. This new/familiar/known choice balances the taste senses. Experimentation on newly found coffee/tea choices can turn into massive ‘faves for the future’. However. Too much confusion can overwhelm the enjoyment factors of beverage ceremony. 

New coffees are in the photograph. Three all in all. Mind you! Why would you call coffee ‘Slumber Jack’ though? The beans in the jar are a Colombian medium roast. 

Methods for making coffees here at home are either the Gaggia, Cafetière/French press, Pour Over using unbleached papers and sometimes/rarely an instant coffee. YouTube is a fine source of information. For example getting a decent espresso with crème out of the Gaggia.

The right basket for creating a decent creme on an espresso shot. So. Then went on eBay and bought a pin hole espresso coffee basket for the old machine. Cheap too. Lovely. But still not perfect.

My fault. I am no Barista expert. Although, my brother bought me the book here but haven’t tried out any beginners techniques. Let alone the intricacies involved. Also.

Don’t drink dairy milk and choose Oatly mainly. Oatly have a barista edition. But in general Cappuccino, Mocha or Latte are not preferred choice. 

The Gaggia? Searched on YouTube and found ways of tweaking the heat up system with the steam control used in preparation set up to produce hotter coffee for espresso making. How do people find these methods for improving efficiencies?

Can’t seem to hand grind espresso quality consistently well from my preferred wife’s shop’s plethora of aromatic coffee choices in coffee beans.

The very beautiful antique Spong grinder being pressure plate altered for different brewing choices in how the ground coffee is coarser/looser or finer/denser alters the espresso perfect grind found. To get the same espresso perfect pressure plate result again is hit and miss. It’s easier to get a bag of ‘ground espresso’ from the supermarket. But love fresh beans. 

Similarly, Angie does have an exacting coffee grinder at work. But, again, I love the freshness of beans ground and used straight away. Hand grinding for espresso, as stated, is an exact balance. Too fine or too coarse? Ruined. So. Bought a second hand Ascaso coffee grinder from one of the hospital Doctors. Very finely tuned grinding abilities.

Basically I’m becoming a very sad coffee snob monster. But reading some of the intense coffee enthusiasts’ blogs on the internet? Nah!  No where near the intensity that is involved in their back and forth discussions into finding the perfect cup.

Tea? 

Most of the teas here are needfully ‘Sleep’ based. Says a lot when you realise that no longer is it work related stress that keeps you awake at night. Or that massive nightly interrupted sleep patterns haven’t changed one iota for very, very many years now. And I stay awake all day long too. No siestas. 

So, tea bags apart, found myself re-looking at the ‘sleep’ literature studies. I did focus on this when I was a Nurse because people in our care seemed to have little sleep for very elongated periods. Also, how disrupted sleep affected fibromyalgia symptoms. The Circadian rhythms and need for continuity for biological well being? Really difficult concepts. 

I’m not in the least worried. No longer daytime tired. Just interested. And with these herbal tea bags? Sometimes I have the most vivid of dreams which suggest some of their ingredients are crossing the blood/brain barrier.

Looked into phytomelatonin presence in herbs and plants a while back when studying Fibromyalgia. Levels in plants/herbs can be very high and exist in many aromatic plant/herbs’ leaves. High melatonin in the body’s system can cause heightened vivid dreams.

Some of my own dream patterns overnight can have 5 or 6 dream sequences of unbelievable and unsettling nature. These interruptions overnight in wake/sleep chaos bring about enormously different themes/stories of profound imagery.

Subsequently impacting on the day. Rather akin to restless, unhappy thoughts and feelings that the affects from Gin can have on some people. Not sure of the standard of research though into that one! 

I now have a box of non-sleeping tea bags as samples. It would be interesting to try one a day, at the same time each day. Melatonin in general herb tea bags? Then not have a herbal night tea bag and seek and record what the tea, in general, does to the dream filled senses. I know that elongated use of green tea a few years back gave profoundly severe heartburn. So much so that it felt like a heart attack. 

Final thought:

tazza di tè o 

tazza di caffè avec 

biscotti allo zenzero? 

peut-être les deux ! 

Above? A language mixture of something that is not quite write! 

Drinking both? Over a planned day? Balance and harmony required. As there are so many choices in each day it can be difficult.  

However. Today will be: 

Musetti Paradiso Espresso, Earl Grey, Lapsang Souchong, Co-op 99 and The Mecca Tiramisu flavoured beans. Tonight the herbal tea known as ‘Snore and Peace’. Water in between all this too.

Those are such valid and recognisable choices for today and should marry well. Following for evening? No alcohol imbibed at all in 2022…..yet. Despite the old last year’s photograph showing Red Wine. So if the synergy of tea bagged herbs work tonight and no vivid dreams ensue………

Perfect day. Perfect end to the day. As long as the Ovaltine song stops ear worming. All in all……….. ‘A poetry of beverages that dance on the tongue’.

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