Aah, coffee. How I love the smell of you. I know there are people who scatter satchels of potpourri around their houses. I would love satchels of coffee beans so I can be surrounded by coffee aroma at all times. One of my last waking thoughts at night is often of excitement over the next morning’s freshly brewed cup of coffee.
Seriously, I am jealous as all hell at those who could be happy with a cup of tea. I think of tea drinkers as refined, peaceful and earthy. Nothing at all like us hyped up, overly excited coffee drinkers. I aspire to be like those happy tea drinkers. Alas, I crave coffee and you don’t always get to choose who you love.
My desire goes way beyond the jittery buzz. I like the taste of coffee that is raw and unembellished. It is just the gritty black stuff for me. I used to favor flavored creamers and even further back in the day I would add packets of Equal. This was before realizing artificial sweetener was probably going to bite my health in the butt. These days, I will crave something like a caramel macchiato every once in a while. In the end though, sitting outside sipping a black ice coffee on a summer day tastes perfect to me.
My heart breaks at the next point I’m going to make. Unfortunately, there are health consequences from drinking too much coffee. Currently I need to vigilantly avoid the java as even decaf will aggravate my overly taxed adrenals. We live in a time when almost everyone is stressed, sleep deprived and exposed to too many toxins. Since caffeine further aggravates this adrenal stress, I must say sayonara to my beloved.
It is also a pretty well know fact that coffee is super dehydrating. You basically need to drink two cups of water to replace the water lost from drinking one cup of coffee! And who has time to drink all that water when you are busy sucking down coffee?
Some additional sad trivia about coffee. Coffee is very acidic, meaning it can throw off the acid/alkaline balance of your body. If you drink a bunch of coffee, and don’t compensate by, lets say, eating a bunch of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts), your body will become acidic. An acidic body leaches nutrients from its bones and organs so it can return to its natural alkaline stasis. There is much talk of how being acidic increases your odds for diseases like cancer. This is due to the imbalances created from being acidic. The ideal ph of the human body is slightly alkaline at about 7.2. Wondering if your body is acidic? There are tests you can buy where you can test your morning pee on litmus paper to see where you fall on the scale.
Another sad coffee fact. Coffee will aggravate the gut. Drink too much coffee and your gut could become permeable (a.k.a. leaky gut) which will lead to inflammation, weight gain and an increased chance of disease. Leaky gut could contribute to you developing a sensitivity to some of your favorite foods. Oh java, why do you have to be that way?
On the bright side, there are some ways to make better choices with coffee. First of all, purchase organic. Ack, another thing to buy organic! Yes, but here is why. Coffee beans come from different countries with various regulations about pesticides. There are many pesticides that are banned in the US as toxic but are liberally used elsewhere. Coffee beans are a crop that is heavily sprayed. Down cup after cup of this pesticide laden crop and it is going to be a toxin party in your stomach.
Feeling jittery? Well, there is always decaf. Unfortunately, even decaf can be problematic. Decaf gives you additional chemical exposure from the chemicals used to eliminate the caffeine. You’re trading caffeine for even more inflammation-causing toxins. Look for decaf coffee that is labeled decaffeinated via Swiss water process. This is much gentler to your system. There is a decaf coffee by Groundworks (based in Los Angeles, but can be purchased online-groundworkscoffee.com) called Angel City which I love. It is organic, Swiss water processed and 99.7% caffeine free. If you want decaf coffee, this is the way to go.
Ok, and finally, there is a product I tried recently that is a perfect compromise between coffee and tea. I’m not saying it will make you want to give up coffee altogether, but it could be a nice drink for the afternoon when you know you’ve really reached your caffeine limit. It is a coffee substitute called Teeccino (www.teeccino.com) and it is made of organic healthy grains and nuts like barley, chicory and almonds. It can be brewed in a teabag in just a few minutes and it has a smooth coffee-like flavor without the added caffeine, acid and toxins! Quite frankly I am in love with this stuff since I’m living in a no-coffee zone.
So coffee, please don’t be mad that I pointed out your flaws. I love you despite the fact that we’ve needed to “see other people”. I know that sometimes you are bad for me, but I was told I have a penchant for loving the heartbreakers.
If you are a tea drinker, then you probably don’t have much use for my ode to coffee. If you are a bean lover like me, then hopefully you relate. Coffee may but a lovable but unhealthy crutch. The good news is that there are ways to be a healthier coffee drinker. Coffee, you may be the “bad boy” of the beverage world (though certainly not as mischievous as your step-brother whisky), but I know you have a good heart. We may be star crossed lovers currently but we will be together (in moderation) soon.
Patricia Weber (@patweber) says
Over coffee I prefer herbal tea. I’ve tried a lot of different coffees and my favorite is the Costa Rica, any brand. Anything else has an after taste. But alas, I cannot drink much coffee – really just one cup a day if any, because it aggravates my arthritis. Another side affect.
I know. Coffee totally is horrible for arthritis as is dairy which is often put into coffee. Good that you prefer herbal teas. It must not be as difficult for you to stay away from caffeine that way. I think I actually like the coffee aftertaste sadly, but I like Costa Rican coffee too!
JACQUELINE GUM says
This is hilarious…but I am sure there is a ink between my hilarity and the fact that I am so like minded. I think you should start a new business comprised of coffee potpourri! The idea of it makes me heady:)Thanks for heads up on Teeccino! I’ve not heard of it. If I have already had 2 pots of coffee by lunch, I start with white tea in the afternoon…almost no caffeine, but not decaf either. Loved the post:)
Hi Jacqui! Wow, looks like you can handle your caffeine! Haha..love the idea about actually having a coffee potpourri company! I know I’ll at least buy the product. An added bonus would be the confused expression on my husband’s face when I tried to explain the venture. I think I already confuse the poor guy enough.
I feel your loss and your pain Erica. Moderation is no way to embrace a passion. Over the weekend I had a watered down cup of coffee and it was sad. I washed it down with ice water. Coffee needs to be strong and lift you to new heights. Great post and very funny. Thanks.
I know Tim! It is so sad to get a watered down cup of coffee! It is even sadder when you get watered down coffee after paying expensive coffee house prices. Sadly, I have been without coffee for so long, I would take a watered down cup at this point!
Donna Janke says
I love my coffee and would hate to give it up, but recognize its “flaws”. I don’t usually drink it past noon and will opt for tea or water. Teeccino sounds worth a try. It reminded me of my father telling me about his mother making “coffee” from various grains on their farm during the depression. Unfortunately, there is no retailer near me in Canada, but I will make a point to try it when I am in Arizona this winter.
That is so interesting Donna that your grandmother made coffee from grains during the depression! It makes sense since at that time I’m sure coffee was hard to come by. I would try the Teeccino when you can. It definitely isn’t coffee but it has a similar quality. I also love that you can brew it in a tea bag since brewing coffee is usually a more lengthy process.
Beth Niebuhr says
I’m one of those odd people who don’t like coffee. During the 5 years that I taught public school, I drank it during every break because it was there and it was wet. On weekends, because I didn’t care for it, I drank none. And got sleepy. And hated that. As soon as I moved on from teaching, I quit coffee. And moved on to tea which I drink by spurts. I guess I’m not very addiction prone.
Yes, I would say you are one of the lucky ones Beth. There is certainly no reason to make yourself drink coffee if it isn’t for you. I’ve read that those who drink caffeine aren’t any more “awake” during the day than non-coffee drinkers. Their addiction and subsequent morning caffeine withdrawal just makes them sleepy, so they need to drink coffee to feed their addiction and that makes them “wake-up”. Perhaps that explains why you used to get sleepy on the weekends when you were drinking coffee.
Michele LoBosco says
Such a good article…most coffee drinkers know all the benefits of drinking coffee, but typically are unaware of some of the downsides.I love my one cup of coffee in the morning, but try to avoid drinking any more throughout the day.
Hi Michele! I am just like you when I drink coffee. One cup in the morning is good!
Meredith Wouters says
NOOOOOO! I don’t want to know anything bad about my coffee! Why are you doing this to me? I’m sitting here with my coffee, feeling self-righteous because I’m drinking decaf and chasing it with a big glass of water, and you’re telling me that’s not enough. And to make it worse, I like mine with a liberal dose of french vanilla creamer, and not the healthy kind. Oh dear, I need more coffee to deal with this…
So sorry Meredith! At least your comment made me laugh! By the way, anything in moderation is fine and I’ve had the french vanilla creamer at times too.
I’ve tried to give up coffee a couple of times, but simply came to the conclusion I’m much happier with it. I do like flavored creamers and sugar in a strong cup of coffee, but figure it’s my daily treat since I only drink one cup in the mornings. The day is just never the same if I don’t get started with that cup.
Hi Jeri! At least you can drink it with moderation. I used to love the flavored creamers but somehow decided they weren’t for me anymore. It is interesting how things like coffee become part of our routine. It is the emotional need often as much as the physical.
Susan Cooper says
I do love my coffee… a bit to much… LOL. The day just wouldn’t be the same without it… BIGGER LOL. That said I would HATE to give it up, regardless of its flaws. I try not to drink coffee past a certain hour because it does interrupt my sleep when I do. Nevertheless, Teeccino does sound like it would be worth a try. I’lll need to look into that for sure.
Hi Susan! I know it is horrible when you realize you drank caffeine too late in the day and can’t sleep. I’ve even been kept up from drinking decaf (which still has caffeine, though less). That hasn’t happened very often, but it has happened. Usually it was from drinking Starbucks decaf which I’ve heard is still pretty caffeinated.
Ken Dowell says
Reading this, of course, makes me want a cup of coffee. I usually drink coffee all day but 11:30 at night, which is the time I’m reading your post, is a little late even for me. So, I’ll just go to bed because you know what I’ll do the minute I get up.
Haha Ken. I’m very jealous of your morning cup. Does drinking coffee all day keep you up? Given that you are reading blogs at 11:30pm, I’m gonna say you are a bit of a night owl anyway!
Lorraine Reguly says
I like tea, and prefer it to coffee. But my mom is a coffee addict; she drinks many cups per day. I’m always after her for drinking too much, too.
FYI, I”m here from BHB. Supporting fellow bloggers is something I like to do!
Hi Lorraine. Aaah, one of those calm tea drinkers that fills me with envy! Interesting you’re not into to coffee since it is so much of your mother’s routine.
Coffee is a must for me when being productive, though I have to make the “switch” to teach about midway through the day. That’s to save my brain and nerves, I suppose. Thanks for the great post!
Hi Carl. Thanks for reading! Yes, frying your brain and nerves is never recommended though that reference gave me a laugh!
William Butler says
Your romanticism with coffee is amusing. I can picture you embracing the cup, talking to it… I see how you look back at me with those deep dark eyes.
All the best!
That’s a good line Bill! Made me laugh. I haven’t resorted to my coffee quite yet, but you never know!
Christine | The Traveloguer says
Hi Erica, I loved your ode to coffee, and was nodding along with a smile on my face, dreaming of my next cup, but then the downsides to coffee came and I felt sad! I’m sorry you’re not able to drink it at the moment, I feel for you! I’ve heard of that coffee substitute before, and if a coffee fanatic like yourself approves of it, I must give it a go. 🙂
Hi Christine! Sorry to make you sad. If it helps, I hate thinking of the downsides too! Yes, Teeccino is worth a try. Ok, I’ll admit that is won’t 100% satisfy your desire but it offers a good compromise when you are trying to abstain or cut back.
Deidre M. Simpson says
The scent of coffee is so wonderful that I peruse the coffee aisle at grocery stores. I don’t even drink it, but I can relate to desire for a satchel of it under my pillow. Am I wrong, or do most coffee drinkers prefer the taste to the smell?
A former coworker was fond of chocolate-covered espresso beans. I never dreamed they could be chewed. Thanks for mentioning the compensators (broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts). You probably know that alternative health has other uses for coffee that don’t involve drinking it.
Hi Deidre. Hmmm, I guess it depends on the scenario as far as preference goes. Coffee breath pretty much always equals bad. Fresh ground coffee smell is usually good. For me, I love the smell, and really love the ritual of drinking it. Yes, chocolate covered coffee beans are pretty nifty. They also give you a super high between the caffeine of the coffee and chocolate as well as the sugar high. I haven’t had too many of those but I have fond memories of the ones I have tried.
Pamela Heady says
This made me chuckle as my husband is the coffee fanatic – not so much with brand or style of brew – just that he HAS to have it in the morning and cups of it. One simply won’t do. Four is a good number. Maybe five. I on the other hand, love a dark and rich cup of coffee and I can drink just one. Sometimes none at all. I like tea as well but I’m not cheating on one or the other. I like a good espresso and if I had my druthers (i.e. an espresso machine) I’d drink one or two of those every day! I’m interested in the substitute you found and like. I’ll have to check out that link!
Hi Pamela! Yes, I imagine there are a good number of coffee fanatics out there! I’m somehow a fanatic that drinks it more in moderation. When I can drink coffee, I’ll have just one a day but I’ll sip it slowly to make it last. Gosh, they are making so many home versions of espresso machines that I imagine you might find one in your home some day. The convenience is amazing, but of course we then struggle with very accessible temptations!
I always prefer coffee over tea. However lately I have switched to green tea due to the health benefits it provides. But being a coffee lover I cannot really detach myself from this wondrful creation of god.
Hi Tuhin! I have gone through the same thing! I appreciate the struggle to be healthy.