Hello, my name is Alex, and I’m a coffee addict.
I’ll always be an addict. But for now I’m an addict who’s taking steps to drink less coffee. I plan to have at least two weeks of drinking nothing stronger than decaf coffee and herbal tea.
Earlier in the fall, I would’ve very much defended my addiction. There’s even an awesome CGP Grey video that says it’s okay.
But evidence began to mount that I couldn’t ignore. Baristas at my new favorite coffee shop told me I was drinking too much – and I was drinking nearly a pot of coffee at home along with all the coffee I had while there. My sleep was getting worse and worse. I was useless mentally until my 3rd cup.
These are not conditions for success. I could hear Tim Ferriss’ voice in my head all the time telling me to drink nothing stronger than green tea for a year (his advice to a friend who was addicted to stimulants.)
I’m not committing to a year, but I decided to start a reduction. My plan has been to back down a bit more every week then do at least two weeks of no caffeine at all:
- As much caffeine as I want until 12pm
- Up to 3 servings of coffee before 12pm
- 2 servings before 12pm
- 1 serving before 12pm
- No caffeine
- No caffeine
First week went better than I expected. I definitely found myself struggling in the afternoon for energy but wasn’t getting headaches and it helped with sleep from day one. Stopping at 12pm should stay around even after I add coffee back.
The second week I accidentally cheated. Because one of my favorite mugs is larger than most. But I didn’t realize how much larger. 3 cups from this thing is really more like 5. So I just re-did the 3-serving week successfully and sure enough I’ve been dealing with headaches, low energy, and difficulty with focus.
Today starts the 2-serving week. I’m genuinely worried about whether or not I can hold myself to it. We’ll see.
I’ve learned a couple things already though. One, I really prefer regular coffee to espresso when it comes to getting a caffeine fix. One day Ber was out running an errand in the morning so I had herbal tea at breakfast and she got us lattes. They say there were three shots of espresso in that latte but I may as well have had a glass of milk. I just need a steady drip at all times, it would seem.
Two, I don’t hate decaf as much as I remember hating it. I think I just remember all the times I wanted a bit of energy and didn’t get it. But I’ve been drinking a bunch of decaf in the afternoons and it’s not been so bad. It just makes me feel old.
Three, I really am an addict. It was a problem. I should have dealt with it earlier. I’m dealing with it now.
2 replies on “Drinking Less Coffee: A Project”
i definitely see myself as a coffee addict, too. i’ve tried to cut back over the months, and i’ve been mostly successful. but, the resurgence of holiday drinks has me visiting heine brothers more often.
Yeah, stimulants plus novelty is a tough combination to beat. We love our egg nog lattes.