After 7 years away from coffee, I must now admit it to myself that I again drink coffee. I do not drink much, and not everyday, but as opposed to not drinking coffee, it’s a big change.
The reason I stopped drinking coffee was because I really like it; so much that I was drinking coffee all day long, stopping maybe in late afternoon. Eventually I started getting the shakes, and it got to the point where I would start shaking after just 1 cup. It was probably caused by the caffeine mixed with the stressful events of my life at the time, but I just decided one day to stop. No problem.
During those “non coffee” years, I became an avid tea drinker. I still really like tea, and especially a good cup of Earl Grey, but if I need a caffeine drink now (coffee or tea), I find myself going towards coffee – as long as it’s espresso-based, not brewed. Probably you will see me having a cappuccino. In Italy they say you should not have cappuccino after the time of day you would have tomatoes (so basically no cappuccino after lunch), but I’m not in Italy 😉
Why the change back to coffee? It’s hard to explain the first of two reasons. The first is that my decision to stop drinking coffee was an aescetic decision – a way to deny myself something as an exercise in self control. By not having coffee I was in effect reminding myself of the power of the mind -a “you can do whatever you put your mind to” kind of thing. But I don’t want/need that exercise anymore, and I don’t see a reason in denying myself something that I see as an affordable luxury; a gift to myself that doesn’t cost more than the tea I would otherwise have purchased.
Second is that I have a little guy who I am responsible for being 100% alert around all day long. The little guy also makes it so I do not get much sleep. So, in order to keep me awake on some afternoons, coffee just gives me more of what I need than tea does. The re-introduction of coffee started when the little guy was 7 months old and we went to Vietnam and I had the iced Vietnamese coffee. Now that is a good drink.
Socially, it is much easier to be a coffee drinker than not, especially when I am in Sweden. Being a tea drinker in Sweden is pretty rare, so people are always a little unsure how to handle you. “Oh, you don’t drink coffee? Do you want tea then? What kind do you want? Let me get the water boiler out.” You just feel bad, when all you really want to say is, “sorry, I know it’s a pain, I can just drink your coffee if it’s easier.” If they know you drink coffee, people say, “do you want coffee?” And you say yes or no. Simple and easy.
I was joking today that in 100 years people will say, “can you believe they used to walk around drinking coffee? They even had coffee houses!” Kind of how we now laugh about how not that many years ago, cocaine was freely prescribed and was even the principal ingredient in Coca Cola. As a stimulant, caffeine that we get from drinking coffee is so addictive that there seems to be a fine line between caffeine and any other stimulant that is considered a drug. Just try to talk to someone who needs coffee in the morning to get going – talk to them before they have their coffee. 😉
So as long as I don’t turn into “that guy” (and that’s why I only have coffee in the late morning or early afternoons), then I will be fine with being back on the “coffee train.”