They go on about January being the Monday of the year, but who gets through Monday without a strong cup of coffee? Well, since Monday, December 29th I have. That’s four long weeks with no Joe.
I’m a coffee fan. Straight up, strong, and small. Double espressos are my order of choice, sometimes with a cheeky macchiato foam if I’m feeling festive. I adore the whole ritual about coffee, the smell, the warmth, the teeny tiny cups, the strong, bitter taste. And coffee loves me back, which is where the problems lie. It gives me energy, it keeps me alert, focused and tuned in. It does so by raising my cortisol hormone, the long-term stressor that keeps us safe and aware.
It’s not a good idea to live with prolonged raised cortisol levels. Eventually your poor pancreas gets hacked off with pumping out the stuff and starts grumbling, and then it will eventually quit, which is when the serious problems begin. The same happens when you live too stressful a life, or if you continually down endless amounts of caffeinated drinks.
So, I decided it was time to live stimulant-free, to give my adrenal glands a bit of a break and to calm down. It worked, I’m positively Zen, but I have to say, January has been really dull. I miss the twenty-minutes of time out that a trip to Starbucks offers (and yes, I know they do teas and juices, but it’s just not the same), I miss the lift mid-afternoon that my fourth double espresso of the day used to bring, and while lemon and hot water is a seriously healthy start to the day, it’s too bloody virtuous. What’s more, and I hate saying this, I miss the wired feeling I used to get from my daily caffeine infusions.
Is this something I can be bothered keeping up? Is it actually making that much of a difference to my health profile? I’m beginning to wonder. In the meantime, I’m still dutifully working my way through the Twinings portfolio hoping I’ll find a worthy substitute; but right now, I’m eyeing up my Nespresso pods with lust. Sigh.