Throughout the years of teaching, I have learned a great many things from my students, and the fun and learning I have myself when teaching is one of the main reasons I continue to teach so much.

One of the less obvious things that I’m guessing people would expect me to have learned from my students, is how to drink. Yes indeed, virtually all my drinking habits and loves have come from people I have met and who have taught me stuff during my hypnotherapy classes.

Let me explain:

1. Green tea:

A lovely man who I still have much contact with attended one of my seminars a few years ago. Zhang Li told me off for drinking green tea from a tea bag, however much I protested and extolled the virtues of the choice blend and company of my tea bags. He explained to me how to find the best loose leaf green tea, what the varieties are and how to brew it. You brew loose leaf green tea in water no hotter than 85 degrees (you cool the water from the kettle by swapping it around cups a couple of times) and I even bought a purple clay tea pot which is supposed to be ideal and a traditional way to brew green tea.

2. Strong coffee:

My good friend Steve Baxter introduced me to very strong, high quality coffee, and he bought me a stove top Bialetti from which to brew my own coffee. I have a tempestuous relationship with coffee, I have to drink it in small doses and limit the days I drink it as I get anxious and do not sleep too well when I have had even a single cup. I still use my Bialetti and love it when the new tin of coffee is opened and smelling fresh! I also drink this strong coffee before a run with a knob of butter in it, go and google ‘bulletproof coffee’ if you have not heard of it before, it is simply wonderful. Here’s mine:

3. Yerba Mate:

So because of my issues with coffee, one of my class delegates this year introduced me to Yerba Mate, thank you Oliver 🙂

It is incredibly popular in South America and is a tea-like, but resembles vegetables and herbs in taste, and is bitter in an agreeable way. Yerba Mate is typically drunk from a gourde and again, water is allowed to drop intemperate to 70-80 degrees. In Uruguay and some parts of Argentina, there are water stations on the streets for people to fill up their Yerba Mate as a gourde full can be used and re-used plenty of times. I love it, it gives a perk-up’ similar to coffee but without the less enjoyable side-effects that I sometimes get from coffee. Here is my own gourde:

4. Orval Beer:

My good friend Marc Lallemand introduced me to Belgian beer following his attendance on one of my courses many years ago. Then he also introduced me to Orval, currently my favourite beer in the world. It is brewed by Trappist monks at one of only 12 such breweries in the world today. I just love it and cannot get enough of it. Here is a crate my friend hand delivered to me!!!

5: Dirty Martini:

I had a chap from the US attend one of courses a few years ago, named Darren Fletcher (like the footballer) and it was just before my wife and I were going to have a trip to New York. He advised me of a great bar to go to and that while there I should order a dirty martini. I did so and after two of these drinks, I struggled to compose myself for the rest of the night. Especially as the restaurant actually rotated giving a panoramic view of the city.

3 parts vodka, one part good quality vermouth, shaken with ice, with a green olive and a tea spoon of the olive water and boom! You have a wonderful dirty martini, one of my favourite drinks.

And I learned it all from my students, and all of whom I happily call my friends today! ….. My penchant for Rioja, Barolo and Chateaux neuf du Pap red wines are purely my own…

So there you go, a rather random blog entry today that I thought I’d share as I sipped from my gourd.  Interesting, eh?