Way too much coffee.
But if it weren’t for the coffee,
I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.
– David Letterman
I never intended for my caffeine-free stint to last forever. I like coffee. I like tea. I especially like chocolate! I simply don’t like being dependent on caffeine.
Yesterday, just one-day shy of my four-week caffeine-free anniversary, Tim and I found ourselves at Rory’s for brunch. Rory makes exceptional coffee. He’s got a super-badass espresso machine but that isn’t what makes the coffee so special. Rory pays loving attention to every cup of coffee he makes, from the roast to the grind (which he does himself) to the tamp to the steamed milk. If I was going to break my caffeine fast, there is no place I’d rather do it that at Rory’s over one of his superb coffees.
Rory’s signature coffee is a “flat white”, a popular beverage in his and Tim’s homeland of New Zealand. A flat white is generally made with 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, where “the volumised milk is prepared by folding the top layer into the lower layers”, or so Wikipedia tells me. Rory might have his own method, or he may have written that Wikipedia entry himself. I wouldn’t be surprised!
As the resident American in the room, I opted for an Americano with a splash of milk.
Yes but how did it feel?? At first it felt, well, tasty. Nothing special. Ain’t no thang. But after cycling home I found myself intensely WIRED. I forgot what it feels like to have a caffeine high. I can’t say it felt terrible, but it also didn’t feel great. I found it impossible to concentrate or sit still. I couldn’t get any work done so I went for a walk, then cooked, and finally had a beer and a glass of wine, which seemed to take the edge off.
I could see the odd coffee being a good thing if I were, say, on holiday and were about to spend the day galavanting around town, where concentration wasn’t such an issue. Of course, if I went back on caffeine regularly, the buzz wouldn’t happen because I’d be immune again. But that’s not something I plan to do. Yesterday’s coffee doesn’t have me jonesing for another cup. But it does remind me that it’s okay to enjoy caffeine once in a while. It’s a quality of life thing, and once in a while, especially on a sunny Saturday and with good friends and tasty food, it’s important to enjoy the moment and just be.