I haven't been sleeping much. I'd like to blame the dramatic move 3,000 miles from my comfort zones and routines, or the sudden onset of piles of homework and a class schedule, or even the stresses related to working 20 hours per week as a massage therapist (which are, in fact, extensive). And some nights these are the perpetrators, along with whatever other demons choose to drop by for a chat at 3:00am.
Sunday, August 3
But last night, the culprit was my friend Anna, whose enchanting company is quite nearly eclipsed by her stunning Sapphire-and-tonics-with-limeade. Tasty, thirst-quenching, and inspiring a pleasant euphoria, I lost count after round three.
So this morning, when my alarm jostled me out of bed after a brief and fitful nap, my first thought was: coffee. However, the cafe closest to my bus stop serves slightly stale muddy water in lieu of that finer roasted stimulant: pass. I considered tea, but that didn't seem quite gutsy enough for the task at hand. Then I noticed the sign for Guayaki Mate Chai and my decision was made.
Mate (mah-tay) is a stimulating South American beverage long imbibed to promote health, vitality, and longevity. With 24 naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals, 15 amino acids, and a host of antioxidants, it's definitely got a leg up on a cup o' joe. There seems to be some debate as to the compound that gets the job done -- is it caffeine? Theobromine? Mateine? Whatever it is, claims to increased mental clarity and sustainable energy don't seem far from the mark. At any rate, it got me through five-and-a-half consecutive hours of deep tissue bodywork.
Mate chai is a liquid spiced tea concentrate made from mate leaves instead of black tea. Mix 1:1 with the milk or milk-like substance of your choice. I chose steamed soy milk with no regrets. The flavor is grassy, roasted, and slightly metallic, in the most compelling and ambrosial way possible.
As a bonus, it's organic, vegan, and kosher. It's even said to fight bad breath. Put down the coffee cup.