December 31   Adventures in Caffeine

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In a very odd turn of events, I gave up instant coffee in December. It wasn’t really planned in advance. I think I might have thought about it fleetingly when I ran out of instant coffee the jar before and replaced it but this time round, I didn’t mention to C when the jar was close to empty (he does the grocery shopping) and I just put it in the bin when it was.

I made the decision to only drink fresh espressos because I’d noticed on days where I made espresso coffee at home, I enjoyed the cup more and I drank less coffee in the day overall. And I slept better at night.

Not an overly earth shattering discovery. One year after World Fantasy Convention (was it Ohio?), I gave up coffee for a year – Crohn’s flare up while away meant I drank none in the US so I came home detoxxed – and it was probably one of the most energising years in recent history for me. I felt great, I slept great and I woke up refreshed. I felt like a freaking Special K ad.
So, I know that caffeine doesn’t give you energy. It’s like any drug. You need to come back to it to make you feel half as good as you do without it but twice as bad as you would detoxxed from it.

But I *like* coffee. I love it. And I enjoy really good cups of coffee. In the last year, I’ve found that I’d rather come home and drink one of my own cups made from good beans and in the way I know I like it, than pay $4 for a dreadful one in a not great cafe somewhere. I’m coffee snubbing it up by buying better and better beans, upgraded my grinder, learning better techniques to draw the shot and heat the milk. And finding I can stand mediocre cups less and less. Life’s too short for bad coffee. Especially if I’m trying to stick to two cups a day.

Since I’m at home most days, I found myself mainlining instant coffee and not even noticing it. With a newborn, I was constantly making cups but not getting to finish them and I got used to just making new cups and having no idea how many I was drinking in a day. As I got to finish my hot cups more often, I just kept making cups, now in the habit, and when bored and so on. And I’d be wide awake til 2am and later every night. And feeling brain foggy for most of it.

Instant coffee is not a great thing to drink with Crohn’s disease. And it’s also not the best beverage in the world. I can’t say I even really notice it now it’s gone. I’m going to bed earlier at night and hopefully getting better sleep. And most importantly, I’m enjoying the cups of coffee that I am drinking in the day – only 2 (double shots) a day. And when I’m bored, I’m drinking the odd cup of tea. Which should help me to reduce my very large tea stash!


Today’s drink: Single Origin by Five Senses (pic above)

Today’s total word count: 580

Year Total running word tally from (Nov 24): 18 174

Progress on: Took half of the uni online course I have to finish by 31st, completed Day 2 of the 20 Days to Organise your House.

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  • By Ju on 31 December 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I am completely on board for the not drinking bad coffee! I also avoid mediocre coffee when I am out and often prefer my own coffee setup at home. As you say, really good beans, and how you like it. We have a pretty reasonable home machine and a pretty decent home grinder. I really love how easy and satisfying it is for us to have really nice coffee – it’s cut our inclination to go out for breakfast dramatically which has been a good money saver.

    I am lucky here in Melbourne that I don’t have to work hard to get good coffee, I have my go to places across the inner city that function whenever I’m in that area and want coffee and can rely on the quality of the cup. Most frustratingly there’s no good coffee at uni. I usually go via Melbourne Central or get off at North Melbourne, walk 5 minutes to coffee and then back and get on my other train which adds about 30 minutes to my journey but at least guarantees me a really good coffee. Most days I drink one double shot, sometimes I go for second coffee but it’s not often.

    I’m interested to see how things go when I start prac next week – I have no idea of my shifts yet but I wonder at my ability to get up early enough to a) make coffee before I leave the house and b) do so when I have to be at the hospital for my shift by 7am (inevitably there will be morning shifts). Also lunches and still not having any idea of centrelink income at the moment makes for a stressful consideration of sustenance for the next month where I will be working full time for free as part of my learning. (And I’ll love it, but this prac I will probably be a bit more bitter than usual about not being paid).

    Mostly I am not about the needing coffee, but as you describe it: I really really like it. I really really like a good cup of coffee and it gives me a lot of pleasure to drink, to make and to enjoy.

    Good luck with reducing the tea stash too! I’ve been very good about only getting tea that I really enjoy and finishing it and only replacing it if I really want it again so I’ve managed not to have an exploding tea situation again.

  • By Stephanie Gunn on 31 December 2014 at 1:00 pm

    There’s also another way of looking at this – recognising that you are worth more than crappy instant coffee :)

    And oh, that joy of being able to actually finish hot cups of coffee when your kid gets old enough to let you. I only generally drink one coffee a day, and use a pod machine for convenience, but one day I’ll actually learn to make coffee properly, dammit.

  • By AlisaK on 1 January 2015 at 5:47 pm

    Oh yes! Being worth more, I like that. Though I liked the instant when I was drinking it … as a drink that you drink without paying attention.

    Pod machine can be good!

  • By AlisaK on 1 January 2015 at 5:48 pm

    Thanks Ju – yes, I agree totally! I’m hoping to make a nice indent into the tea stash this year.

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