How Amsterdam’s Mint and Ginger Tea Helped Me Go Caffeine-Free πŸͺ΄πŸ΅

Amsterdam is a city known for its rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque canals. However, one of the most delightful discoveries I made during my visit in June 2022 was the simple yet profound joy of mint and ginger tea. 🫖

This seemingly small revelation has had a lasting impact on my daily life and health, especially since committing to a caffeine-free lifestyle in January 2024. ☕️❌

A Refreshing Discovery: Mint and Ginger Tea in Amsterdam

Before my trip to Amsterdam, the idea of putting fresh mint leaves or ginger slices into hot water to create a soothing and refreshing beverage had never crossed my mind. 🤯

In the United States, these options aren’t as commonly found on café menus, at least I haven’t seen them much in my personal experience. However, in Amsterdam, mint and ginger tea were readily available at almost every café Andy and I visited. 🍵

The first time I tried fresh mint tea was a revelation. I was used to the bitterness of green tea, but the fresh mint infusion was a completely different experience—light, refreshing, and incredibly soothing. The same went for ginger tea, which provided a warm, slightly spicy kick perfect for relaxing after a long day of exploring the city. 🫚

The Popularity of Mint and Ginger Tea in The Netherlands

The Netherlands has a rich history of embracing diverse culinary influences, partly due to its history as a major trading nation. This openness to different cuisines and flavors has contributed to the widespread availability of mint and ginger tea in Amsterdam. 🇳🇱

Health Consciousness

In recent years, there has been a growing trend towards health and wellness in The Netherlands. Fresh mint and ginger teas are seen as healthy alternatives to caffeinated and sugary drinks. 🥤❌

Mint tea, with its soothing digestive properties, and ginger tea, known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, align well with this health-conscious trend.

>> See also: Why I Gave Up Drinking Soda 11 Years Ago <<

Cultural Trends

The Dutch are known for their practicality and preference for natural, simple solutions. Fresh mint and ginger teas fit perfectly into this cultural mindset. They are easy to prepare, require minimal processing, and provide a refreshing, natural beverage option.

This simplicity and focus on natural ingredients resonate well with the Dutch approach to food and drink.

The Health Benefits of Mint Tea

Mint tea is known for its soothing properties, making it an excellent choice for digestion and calming the stomach. It can help alleviate symptoms of indigestion, nausea, and bloating. Additionally, mint tea is rich in antioxidants, which support overall health and boost the immune system.

The menthol in mint can also have a calming effect, reducing stress and promoting relaxation. These health benefits made my transition to a caffeine-free lifestyle even more rewarding.

The Journey to Caffeine-Free Living

Fast forward to January 2024, when I committed to eliminate caffeine from my diet. This decision was motivated by a desire to reduce anxiety and improve my overall health and well-being. 😌

Little did I know that my experience in Amsterdam would be so instrumental in making this transition smooth and enjoyable.

Since giving up caffeine, I have leaned heavily on fresh spearmint and peppermint infusions to replace my daily habit of drinking green tea. These caffeine-free options have become my go-to morning drinks, providing a refreshing start to my day without the jitters or crashes associated with caffeine.

Growing My Own Mint Plants

Inspired by the fresh mint tea I enjoyed in Amsterdam, I decided to start growing my own mint plants in April 2024. Watching these plants grow and thrive over the past few months has been incredibly rewarding. 🪴

Here are more photos showcasing their progress from the initial planting to becoming root-bound and needing to be repotted into larger planters:

I’m so proud of how well these plants have grown. Each morning, I pick fresh leaves from my spearmint and peppermint plants to make my daily tea. It’s a small but significant ritual that brings a sense of connection to nature and a reminder of the wonderful natural drink I first experienced in Amsterdam.

Mint grows so fast that the sections I remove each day are barely even noticed.

A crucial tip for anyone interested in growing mint: always use pots instead of planting mint directly into the ground. Mint is known for being invasive and can spread rapidly, taking over your garden. Keeping it in a pot helps control its growth, making it one of the easiest herbs to manage and grow. ⚠️

The Trifecta of Caffeine-Free Teas

A big part of my success in committing to a caffeine-free lifestyle has been the trifecta of spearmint, peppermint, and roasted dandelion tea. Roasted dandelion tea, in particular, closely matches the flavor profile of green tea, which I had grown so accustomed to.

Carrying these teas with me wherever I go ensures I never feel “stuck” when tea is the only beverage option available, and preparation has been key to my success.

Whether I’m traveling, visiting friends, or simply out and about, having my own supply of these teas means I can always enjoy a soothing cup without compromising my caffeine-free commitment.

Gratitude to Amsterdam

Reflecting on my time in Amsterdam, I am filled with gratitude for the experiences and discoveries I made there. Who would have thought that a simple cup of mint or ginger tea could have such a profound impact on my life? This delightful city opened my eyes to the benefits and joy of fresh infusions, and for that, I am incredibly thankful.

Here’s a photo of me waiting for mint tea (suffering) in Schiphol airport before flying home because I caught a cold on the last day of the trip and had a sore throat. (Negative test for COVID…)

Waiting in a teacup seat at Schiphol Airport

Now that I’ve learned how important it is to be prepared, I make a point to always bring my own caffeine-free options everywhere I go- especially for long-haul flights! ✈️

This was me drinking peppermint tea on my flight to Spain last month!

Sometimes, the smallest discoveries can have the most significant impact. My trip to Amsterdam not only enriched my life with beautiful memories and experiences but also introduced me to the simple pleasure of mint and ginger tea. This discovery has played a crucial role in my journey to a 100% caffeine-free lifestyle in 2024, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.

If you haven’t tried fresh mint or ginger tea, I encourage you to give it a try. It might just become one of your new favorite drinks, as it has for me. Thank you, Amsterdam, for this wonderful gift.

Stay tuned for more stories and reflections from my travels and my journey to a healthier lifestyle.

4 Comments

  1. I’m not the hugest fan of ginger tea (although I do like ginger as an ingredient elsewhere), but I’m a huge fan of peppermint tea. I especially love Moroccan mint tea, and I drank a ton of it when I visited Morocco– similar to you, I discovered my love for mint tea during my travels! I just made some iced mint tea yesterday, as it was quite warm here at home. It’s true that it’s the small things you acquire on a trip that really sticks with you years later! Thanks for sharing, Rocky πŸ™‚

    1. I’m with you there, Rebecca. The ginger was nice because I had never had it β€œfresh” before, and perhaps it was also soothing since I think I may have been in the early stages of catching a cold which ultimately hit me the last day of the trip. In general, the mint was much preferred and it’s the one I continue to have regularly, 2 years later! πŸ™‚ I’ve never been to Morocco before but I’ll keep an eye for that kind when I’m there some day. Thanks, Rebecca!!

  2. I love mint tea… as a matter of fact I just set out a suntea jar with regular and mint teabags in it, It is so refreshing! I will have to try ginger tea. I am also a fan of cinnamon tea. … now I am thirsty! Ha, ha!

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