Drinking Less Coffee: A Project

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:

  1. As much caffeine as I want until 12pm
  2. Up to 3 servings of coffee before 12pm
  3. 2 servings before 12pm
  4. 1 serving before 12pm
  5. No caffeine
  6. No caffeine
  7. ???

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.

Photo on 12-31-15 at 6.56 AM
My enormous Star Wars mug. It drew me to the dark side with its vast amount of coffee.

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 thoughts on “Drinking Less Coffee: A Project

  1. 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.

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