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The Breakfast Manifesto
July 22, 2008 7:21 AM   Subscribe

The Coffee Junkie’s Guide to Caffeine Addiction. Caffeine's a hell of a drug. In fact, it's the world's most popular psychoactive drug. And more and more of us are getting hooked on the stuff.

From the first link: "In a relatively short amount of time, we have become a nation of caffeine addicts. Science has barely had time to study the effects of consumption at this volume. New research does, however, suggest that caffeine may not give us the instant jolt of productivity, alertness, and happiness we think it does. And most of us, it turns out, are using the drug all wrong."
posted by The Card Cheat (144 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think the more important issue at hand is our freedom to have it over ice if that's how we want it.
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:25 AM on July 22, 2008 [17 favorites]


Hey, I can quit any time. Honest.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:34 AM on July 22, 2008


Shit. Another drug I'm using wrong.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:34 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]




And most of us, it turns out, are using the drug all wrong.

Time to freebase it!
posted by fijiwriter at 7:39 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I blame 44+ hour work weeks.

The beans, they're innocent, it's the necessity of the drug that makes it so bad. Oh yeah, and the slavery part, but that's really another cup-o'joe...

Why is everyone so busy trying to 'keep up' anyway? Does no one want a simpler life?
posted by sunshinesky at 7:39 AM on July 22, 2008


MORE IS BETTER!

I do not really think this.
posted by everichon at 7:42 AM on July 22, 2008


Why is everyone so busy trying to 'keep up' anyway? Does no one want a simpler life?
posted by sunshinesky


Advertising has working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.

(this moment of consumer angst brought to you by Fight Club)
posted by Ryvar at 7:42 AM on July 22, 2008


Except for cereal with yogurt, in which case more is, in fact, better.
posted by everichon at 7:43 AM on July 22, 2008


If this is wrong, I don't want to be right.

clean clean clean must clean the house
posted by naju at 7:44 AM on July 22, 2008


Why is everyone so busy trying to 'keep up' anyway?

I'm not. The problem with the rat race is that even if you make it to the end, the cheese is covered with rat droppings.

Which is not say I don't drink caffeine (but as carbonated beverage, not coffee). But it doesn't really seem to affect me much and never has, even in the quantities I consume.
posted by DU at 7:46 AM on July 22, 2008


I will continue to consider my caffeine problem completely under control right up until the moment you find me holed up in a filthy pay by the hour motel mainlining espresso in the neck with bed sheets nailed up over the windows and a dresser pushed up against the door.
posted by The Straightener at 7:46 AM on July 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


mmmmmm
I imagine most people are wrongly enjoying a cup of joe while reading this post.
posted by caddis at 7:50 AM on July 22, 2008


It's good if you need to defecate. Maybe not all day everyday otherwise.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on July 22, 2008


*sip*

Intriguing.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:54 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


This FPP is not complete without a link to Erowid. Seriously, man!
posted by spaceman_spiff at 8:00 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to drink two, three cups of coffee in the morning, a couple Diet Cokes in the afternoon. Maybe another cup of coffee in there someplace. For a little while, I mostly quit; just a cup of green tea in the morning, caffeine-free soda. Now I have one cup of coffee in the morning and a Diet Coke with lunch. Occasionally a second Coke around 4pm. Never, ever caffeine after 5pm, except the very, very rare Irish coffee.

I sleep really well these days. I don't know why I'd ever need to be more alert. I still really, really like the taste of coffee, though.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:09 AM on July 22, 2008


holed up in a filthy pay by the hour motel mainlining espresso in the neck

Yeah, yeah. It's *fine* to spend thousands of dollars on grinders and imported precision machines to extract the pure oil, but because I happen to prefer the effect I get when I shoot it directly into the femoral vein, somehow *I'm* the one that's got the problem?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:09 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Smokers process it twice as quickly as nonsmokers do.

This is a damn good reason to quit smoking, people. Your coffee high is being seriously impaired.
posted by naju at 8:10 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like my coffee like I like my men - freshly roasted, freshly ground (with a burr grinder or course!) and blasted with hot, pressurized water for 20 seconds or so.
posted by grippycat at 8:19 AM on July 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


From my cold, dead hands. That is all.
posted by jokeefe at 8:25 AM on July 22, 2008


Sorry, I should mention I'm also very drunk; my coffee this morning is half Bailey's. I think I failed to increase my productivity or alertness and only increased my snark.
posted by grippycat at 8:26 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I actually don't drink coffee outside of dire, dire emergencies (days when I'm so tired or hung over I literally cannot keep my eyes open), because a) I don't want to develop an addiction/dependency and b) because I don't want the stuff to lose its potency when I really need it.

The first time I drank an entire cup of coffee was last year. I'd had a terrible night's sleep, and by my morning break at 10:30 I was already nodding off at my desk. I didn't know how I was going to make it through the day, so I went to a local Tim Hortons, ordered one large black coffee, waited for it to cool a bit and pretty much chugged it in one go because I don't really like the taste of coffee. I expected it to perk me up a bit - you know, enough to make it through the day - but holy shit...like I said, caffeine's a hell of a drug.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:31 AM on July 22, 2008


No worries grippycat, you can have your men as roasted as you like, we don't mind - beware though it might make them bitter.
posted by Vindaloo at 8:35 AM on July 22, 2008


And spiders should not drink it.
posted by ornate insect at 8:35 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have often said the reason that coffee is not consider equally as nicotine is that researchers who might otherwise demonize it are addicted and would never demean their drug of choice.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:36 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Tim Horton's coffee, I noticed while in Montreal, is several orders of magnitude better than Dunkin Donuts'. Which is unfortunate for me, here at home.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:36 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit making jokey comments.

Seriously, decades of epidemiology have failed to turn up any link between regular coffee or caffeine consumption and any ill effect whatsoever. And now it turns out that a mixture of caffeine and alcohol may be beneficial for recovery in acute stroke. The stuff clearly ought to be in the water supply.
posted by ikkyu2 at 8:42 AM on July 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


Trying to cut down on my caffeine consumption, so when I get up I just have one cup of coffee...and I like to have another cup of coffee with my breakfast. And on the way to work I like to get a cup of coffee, like the kind of cup of coffee that you get with a doughnut, but I never get the doughnut--I just have the cup of coffee.

And when I get to work I have a cup of coffee 'cause I like to have coffee when I'm talking on the phone, but it usually goes cold and I need to get another cup of coffee, then it's lunch, and I have an espresso...

And when I get back it's not morning any more, so I have a diet cola and another diet cola, and then I'm feeling fine and I'm feeling pretty sharp and feeling pretty wired and I'm getting things done...

...but right about two I get this little tiny migraine. It starts behind my eyes and it moves to the back of my neck and it moves to the bottom of my spine but it doesn't get there until five or six o'clock, which is the end of the day so I'm fine so I'm FINE so I'm fine...except when I have to work late--when I have to work late, which I usually do.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:47 AM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


The $11,000 coffee machine.

I dunno, I just sacrificed another $20 to the fine people at Bodum (i broke the vessel on the one i'd been using for years), and I'm having no issue with my daily cup of Illy.
posted by ninjew at 8:47 AM on July 22, 2008


a mixture of caffeine and alcohol may be beneficial for recovery in acute stroke

This Irish coffee... it's medicine. I'm only slurring my speech because of the stroke.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:50 AM on July 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


Oh honey, I've been hooked since I was 8. (Thanks, Grandma Beaulah!)

And so what if I talk so fast nobody can make out what I'm saying? Coffee understands me.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:50 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Seriously, I'm so addicted to my daily cup that when I had my teeth bleached and they told me not to drink any... I went about three days before I started drinking coffee through a straw, mumbling, "Umm... welll... if I just bypass my teeth it should be okay..."
posted by miss lynnster at 8:52 AM on July 22, 2008


What a great article to read over my morning Coke.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:54 AM on July 22, 2008


I’ve been ordering five-shot sugar-free grande soy lattes. People look at me like I’m a freak.
They look at him like a freak because that drink does not have sugar in it. There isn't a syrup. It's already "sugar-free". Are people really that dumb that they don't even know what's in what they're ordering?
posted by airways at 8:57 AM on July 22, 2008


"The $11,000 coffee machine".

Hmmm... Mine opened to a lovely brace of snugly encased boobs above a slender waist and casually denim-sheathed hips. So I assume we're talkin' a high-priced major urban centre escort service that'll deliver a caffeine-wired hooker (though one shudders at the use of so crass a word in conjunction with an $11,000 fee) who will work relentlessly to satisfy your baser urges, or until her caffeine high runs out, which (*ahem*) comes first.

Have I got that about right?
posted by Mike D at 8:58 AM on July 22, 2008


There are not nearly enough coffee-like-my-women jokes in this thread.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:01 AM on July 22, 2008


I believe you are overthinking a cup of ground beans.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:04 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't have time for coffee. My busy, active and caffeinated lifestyle demands Red Bull.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:06 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I only drink coffee when I'm in Italy. You know, the country that doesn't have Starbucks.
posted by Zambrano at 9:11 AM on July 22, 2008


Hey man. Your FPP … it’s really, really Not Okay.
posted by hellbient at 9:13 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


There are not nearly enough coffee-like-my-women jokes in this thread.

My girlfriend is kind of a goth, so I'll chime in with, "I like my coffee like I like my women: pale and bitter."
posted by infinitywaltz at 9:13 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mike D, I thought for a moment that the lovely brace of snugly encased boobs heralded the arrival of our sexy robot maid overlords.

Yes.

I don't drink coffee. Coffee is tea for people who have crappy taste buds.
posted by sonic meat machine at 9:13 AM on July 22, 2008


Mr. Bad Example: "...but right about two I get this little tiny migraine. It starts behind my eyes and it moves to the back of my neck and it moves to the bottom of my spine but it doesn't get there until five or six o'clock, which is the end of the day so I'm fine so I'm FINE so I'm fine...except when I have to work late--when I have to work late, which I usually do."

It's the little things that get you when you aren't paying attention.
posted by PontifexPrimus at 9:15 AM on July 22, 2008


> Does no one want a simpler life?

*looks around*

Nope, doesn't look like it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:22 AM on July 22, 2008


Don't forget bikini coffee.
posted by snofoam at 9:28 AM on July 22, 2008


This simpler life, it would include not spending hours of your day talking to strangers on a machine that wouldn't exist were it not for Jolt Cola, Red Bull, Coffee, Cocaine and Ritalin?
posted by spicynuts at 9:28 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


> There are not nearly enough coffee-like-my-women jokes in this thread.

I like my coffee like I like my women...bitter and full of milk.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:29 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


This just in: thanks to modern chemistry, sleep is now optional.
awesome 'Dents tribute
posted by porn in the woods at 9:31 AM on July 22, 2008


There are not nearly enough coffee-like-my-women jokes in this thread.

Well, I have dated women who caused second-degree burns when I hit the brakes too fast.
posted by Mcable at 9:34 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never understood the love people have for coffee. I guess it's just a taste I've never been able to acquire, because every time I've tried it, I found it bitter and vile.

I've added sugar and cream and that did make it less bitter, but it still retained it's entire vileness.

Not my thing, I suppose.
posted by quin at 9:40 AM on July 22, 2008


I like my coffee like I like my women.
posted by m0nm0n at 9:40 AM on July 22, 2008


Considering all the shit people pour into their drink, I'd be hard pressed to call half of what people consume to be "coffee". I'm not trying to be a snob here; I just don't understand why anyone who claims like 'love coffee' would throw absurd amounts of sugar into it. I've tried it; it tastes like sugar, not coffee...

I can only speak to the people I see on a regular basis, but the triple cream, triple sugar swill most of my friends / co-workers drink is probably closer to warm Coca-Cola than coffee.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:41 AM on July 22, 2008


Hold On Tight To Your Dreams
posted by rfs at 9:41 AM on July 22, 2008


..how I like my men...freshly roasted, freshly ground (with a burr grinder or course!) and blasted with hot, pressurized water for 20 seconds or so.

I'm right here baby, arms wide open - oh sorry.

It is funny, this coffee fetish of ours. What's weird for me is that as much as I drink (and I drink WAY too much*) my body doesn't really respond to caffeine, and I can fall right to sleep after a Diet Coke or a Venti Mocha. For me, the physical act of holding and hoisting a cup gets me off (I need to invent some sort of "air" or "faux" coffee).

*average weekday:
7:00am - A so-so 10oz cup of Khave roast from the cafe up the street, half and half, 2 Splenda - this is my "pre-coffee"
8:30am - Moving southeast after dropping kids at school / daycare: If line is manageble, into Starbuck's for a Venti Mocha with whipped. If line too long, head further south 2 blocks to fav indie spot KooKoo for a large house with cream, 4 Splenda.
9:00am Arrive at work, get a "Great One" (the extra large) from the Dunk, cream and 5 Splenda.
10:00am to 3:00pm - 2 to 3 travel mugs of passable Italian Roast from our Flavia pod / single serve thingy
4:00pm - Stretch legs, head over to Dunk, get a large, cream and 4 Splenda.
9:00pm - Kids in bed - a venti Pike Roast from Starbucks (different branch from the morning)

OK, so this says two things: 1. As I've gotten older, I've found I like even really good black coffee less and less, so all you snobs are free to revoke my card - I know I know, I'm halfway to hot chocolate. 2. I may have stumbled on to the quickest way to go bankrupt whilst growing a third sucralose arm out the back of my head. Don't care, I'm not changing a thing...
posted by jalexei at 9:42 AM on July 22, 2008


I'd be less addicted to caffeine if the caffeine-free sodas didn't taste bad.

Seriously, Fresca?
No wonder Mormons I know are so miserable.
posted by subbes at 9:44 AM on July 22, 2008


Venti Mocha Enema (Warning! Insertion!)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:45 AM on July 22, 2008


I like both coffee and women.
posted by box at 9:46 AM on July 22, 2008


I quit all caffeine about a month ago. My anxiety level has plummeted by about 90%. I feel like I have a new life.
posted by peep at 9:47 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


hot, black and first thing in the morning?
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 9:50 AM on July 22, 2008


posted by shakespeherian There are not nearly enough coffee-like-my-women jokes in this thread.

I like my coffee like I like my women: on ice, with someone saying what I've done to them is Really, Really Not OK.
posted by optovox at 9:50 AM on July 22, 2008 [22 favorites]


And most of us, it turns out, are using the drug all wrong.

I saw a military study on modafinil and alertness, and the Provigil might beat a cup of joe in the morning, but caffeine gum, slow and steady all day long, beats out the Provigil, and Ritalin, and is the recommended alertness enhancer in combat situations.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:51 AM on July 22, 2008


Seriously, Fresca?
No wonder Mormons I know are so miserable.


Ever heard of Sprite? 7Up? Root beer? (Barq's is one of the few with caffeine.) There are lots of soft drinks with no caffeine in them, so I am wondering what planet you commute from.

In fact, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here... If you just want to slam a specific group of people, just say so. LOL MORMONZ ROLF!!!! There, happy?

Also, IIRC, Fresca was one of the first soft drinks available for diabetics.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:55 AM on July 22, 2008


Quoth Eddie Izzard: "Yes, I like my coffee hot and strong … Like I like my women: hot and ... strong ... with a spoon in them."

/afk getting caffeine.
posted by Pronoiac at 9:56 AM on July 22, 2008


I love coffee. I work with coffee almost every day, using both the vaunted $11,000 coffee maker (which is twenty different kinds of awesome by the way) and an even more expensive custom espresso machine. This year I'm also apparently one of the best baristas in the world (just establishing bona fides, not tooting horns).

Now, most of the coffee you buy, be it Starbucks or Folger's (and so on and so forth) is misrepresenting what coffee can be. Why? Because it's either drowned in cow derivatives, sweetened to the point of nausea or plain roasted too darkly. Or all three.

The American palate (or sensibility) for coffee is accustomed to a very darkly roasted coffee. Roasting coffee darker does change the natural flavours, some times for the better, but by and large, if your coffee is roasted as darkly as what Starbucks' is, 90% of the flavours you have come from the roasting process, and not the coffee.

That's the equivalent of charring an oven roast completely, and somehow assuming that's what the natural flavours of the roast are supposed to be.

Somehow, it turns coffee, which has as many different flavours going on as wine does, into a utilitarian sort of fuel. Just like moonshine is a drink judged almost entirely on how well and cheaply it gets you drunk, coffee is, for a lot of people, something that gets you going. Like the guy in the article, who had a 5 shot soy latte? He wasn't drinking coffee; he wasn't appreciating the culture surrounding coffee. He might as well pop some amphetamines and save his digestive system the trouble.

Seeing past caffeine, just as you can see past the presence of alcohol in whiskeys or wines, and really exploring the flavours in the cup, fundamentally changes how you approach coffee.

I've been drinking coffee most of my life, but never as fuel. Not being able to go asleep is just a downside I have to take sometimes.

Coffee is one of the most paradoxical drinks out there. Widely consumed and even loved, rarely understood or appreciated on its own terms.

I urge you all to go out and really try some great coffee. You can order it on the internet or find a dedicated shop near you. Try going to coffee tastings (called "cuppings"); read up on the real characteristics of coffee origins (producing countries and areas).

And if you're really serious about your coffee, whichever way you make it: get a grinder.

Grinding coffee as fine as espresso multiplies the surface area of the beans 200-fold. And coffee is a fleeting and transitory thing to start with. Imagine buying an exquisite artisan bread, grinding it into crumbs and keeping it in a bag for weeks on end. Are you getting the experience the bread initially offered? The reason freshly ground coffee smells so good is simply because what you smell is a big part of what could be in your cup. It's escaping ;)
posted by flippant at 9:57 AM on July 22, 2008 [11 favorites]


> Considering all the shit people pour into their drink, I'd be hard pressed to call half of what people consume to be "coffee". I'm not trying to be a snob here; I just don't understand why anyone who claims like 'love coffee' would throw absurd amounts of sugar into it. I've tried it; it tastes like sugar, not coffee...

For a lot of people, I would imagine that coffee is primarily a caffeine delivery system. So why not just take your caffeine in pill form? Because you can't take a 20-minute pill break, kvetch during a pill klatch, etc...
posted by you just lost the game at 10:01 AM on July 22, 2008


I cut back to one cup a day and my ears stopped ringing.

Now peep is saying I could cut down on anxiety if I cut back to no cups a day? That sounds really tempting. Half cups this week, then.
posted by jon_kill at 10:03 AM on July 22, 2008


Now peep is saying I could cut down on anxiety if I cut back to no cups a day?

Side-effects include, but are not limited to, nervousness. ;)
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:08 AM on July 22, 2008


Am I too late?
I like my coffee like John Shaft- black and strong.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2008


"The $11,000 coffee machine"

I had a cup of clover-brewed coffee a couple of weeks ago (here) - I think I paid $5 or so for a 12-oz cup - and I have to tell you, I was not impressed. It doesn't taste like coffee! If I hadn't known what it was, I would have guessed that it was a weakly-brewed french press, or a strange variety of herbal tea.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 10:09 AM on July 22, 2008


i work at starbucks. sometimes, on my days off, i forget to make coffee in the morning, and then around 11am I have to fight myself to stay awake and brew some up before I crash and take a nap.
posted by es_de_bah at 10:15 AM on July 22, 2008


The worst thing about coffee is the people who think they need to educate everyone about how to drink coffee.
posted by optovox at 10:15 AM on July 22, 2008 [8 favorites]


I have to agree with Flippant here, most people have never actually tasted a good cup of coffee, black. Of course part of the problem is that many of the small coffee shops run by people who actually make good coffee have been run out of business by Starbucks. My coffee of choice, where I can get it, is a freshly ground cup of turkish coffee, now that IS coffee.
posted by Vindaloo at 10:16 AM on July 22, 2008


Shit. Another drug I'm using wrong.

I've smoked crack caffeine and done lines of it, too.

Let me tell you, kids.

Crack is wack. Take it black.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:18 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


The worst thing about [THING] is the people who think they need to educate everyone about how to use [THING].

Fixed that for you.

There's nothing wrong with helpful suggestions. Not everyone is going to punch you in the cock if you don't drink it 'right'. But, hey, since we're discussing coffee drinking, why wouldn't people share that information?
posted by Dark Messiah at 10:19 AM on July 22, 2008


> Does no one want a simpler life?

Yes, me! I want to stroll up high in the Andes, chewing on my coca leaf all day long!
posted by Laotic at 10:24 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well mine must be:

I like my coffee like I like my women. Several a day, in all sizes, always in my grasp, tarted up with artificial enhancers... I think I'm going to end this here.
posted by jalexei at 10:30 AM on July 22, 2008


The thing about needing coffee to get through the day is that most people didn't need it to get through the day before they started drinking it. In much the same way that Vonnegut mentions that the only stress that cigarettes relieve is the stress that's caused by not having a cigarette, most people who need coffee to stay awake and alert only need it because they've trained their bodies to depend upon it.

This is not to say that I wouldn't drink caffeine if I could. It's occasionally fun to take on the persona of the caffeine-disdaining purist, but the reality of the matter is that I have a heart condition (Supraventricular Paroxysmal Tachycardia; which sounds much scarier than it actually is) that is aggravated by caffeine. Similarly, I occasionally play the "is this the sort of thing that I'd need a television to understand" card, failing to mention that I'd probably own a television if I had any money or an apartment large enough to hold one.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 10:32 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Coffee snobs. I've had good coffee in diners, good coffee in cafes in Tuscana, good coffee in small towns in Turkey, and good coffee from street vendors. Best cup I ever had was in Northern Sweden where the beans were crushed on a granite rock with the broad-side of a hunting blade, the smashed beans boiled - not brewed - in a cup over an open fire, and the swill carefully poured off into a cup with the oil floating on top like a tanker had run aground. Absolutely brilliant.

I like my coffee like I like my ex-wifes: strong and bitter.

That crap they serve from fancy machines isn't coffee. It's black attitude in a paper cup.
posted by three blind mice at 10:37 AM on July 22, 2008


I have to agree with Flippant here, most people have never actually tasted a good cup of coffee, black.

Up until junior year of college, I did not drink coffee. At all. I hated it. Then, I made the mistake of taking a 9:05am class when I got off work around 1am and finally gave into. There's a Jittery Joe's right in the student center where my class was, so I got a cup of coffee one morning when I couldn't take it anymore. It was the most glorious thing I've ever had. Since I left Athens, I've never had a cup of black- or decaf for that matter- up to par with those shops. Such sadness.

Since then, the only coffee I can drink is black. No milk and especially no sugar, please.
*I also don't consider a latte "coffee" in the context.
posted by jmd82 at 10:41 AM on July 22, 2008


Just as there is ample place for table wine, there is a place for "fuel" coffee. Doesn't have to preclude "serious" coffee.

Naw, I'm just fooling, I really came here to say

STARBUCKS KILLED MY CATS AND GAVE ME THE CHANCRE!
posted by everichon at 10:42 AM on July 22, 2008


Most of coffeegeeks I know--myself included--don't actually drink huge amounts of coffee. It's about quality, not quantity.

My normal consumption is a trad cappo in the morning (I make mine at home with my Elektra Leva, which is a recurring treat- it's a spring-piston lever machine and it also steams milk better than any domestic machine I've sampled), a macchiato after lunch (lately at a superb local coffeehouse called Kawa Espresso Bar, which brews 49th Parallel beans from Vancouver on a Clover-Synesso setup), and another espresso in the afternoon, usually at home. That's it. Three ristrettos a day comprising maybe as much caffeine as two regular 12-oz drip coffees.

But it all has to be good. I grind my shots to order, I buy beans only from roasters that roast date their bags or can otherwise tell me how long off the roast they are, I never buy beans more than a week off the roast, I don't patronize Starbucks or any chain or indie shop that doesn't follow the same standards I do at home (grind to order, tamp correctly, clean steam wands, properly microfoamed milk, etc), and thank God the scene here (in Calgary, Canada) has evolved to where there are many places that aspire to this level of artisanship.

I cannot even imagine drinking a 5-shot ANYTHING. I was a judge at our regional barista competition and it was really challenging to judge seven competitors (that's 21 espresso based drinks, not that we consume every drop but still you do ingest a ton of caffeine) and taking that much caffeine day-to-day cannot be healthy. But it's also not a sign of a coffee connoisseur but rather somebody whose taste is probably shot. If this guy would slow down and learn to really appreciate his coffee he'd get much more enjoyment out of it.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:45 AM on July 22, 2008


For a while, Second Cup here in Canada was offering the "Red Eye", a cup of strong coffee with two shots of espresso and a shot of mocha. After drinking that, my heart started going a mile a minute. It's not on the menu anymore, but I suspect you could still order it.
posted by LN at 10:49 AM on July 22, 2008


I like my women like I like my coffee:

Warming my lap while I drive down the interstate.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 10:50 AM on July 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


Someone got filthy, disgusting, smelly* coffee in my nice, clean caffeine thread. No one drinks coffee because it tastes good. They put stuff in it to make it bearable. The folks who drink it black don't enjoy it, they endure it. And only because they learned to do so in college/residency/working the graveyard shift.

*builds a fort for himself out of empty Mt. Dew cans*

You'll never take me alive, you wretched beansuckers!

* Oh god, the smell. *vomit*
posted by Eideteker at 10:51 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, if I don't like coffee, does that make me gay?
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:54 AM on July 22, 2008


Seriously, decades of epidemiology have failed to turn up any link between regular coffee or caffeine consumption and any ill effect whatsoever.

I'd count dependence and withdrawal as an ill effect.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:55 AM on July 22, 2008


What's up, Eide, trying to become the jonmc of caffeine threads?
posted by box at 11:00 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like my coffee more than my woman. Please don't tell her, or I'll have to bribe her with more of my precious home-roasted coffee beans.
posted by QIbHom at 11:04 AM on July 22, 2008


Breaking the addiction doesn't take long, the withdrawal symptoms are minor, and it's worth it in terms of finance and peace of mind.
posted by FormlessOne at 11:06 AM on July 22, 2008


Addicted to caffeine? Pffft. If you haven't sucked cock for it, you're not addicted to it.
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:09 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I drink coffee like a functional alcoholic now; after I've finished my one cup (uh, one 10 ounce cup) in the morning, if there's any left in the pot (depending on how much got made and how much my wife drank before heading off to work) I have to dump it down the drain or I'll be swilling it down all afternoon, wondering why I feel so anxious and shaky. I can appreciate a really well-made cup of quality coffee but frankly I'll drink it any damn way, I will drink Lutheran church basement coffee with year old solid cream substitute, stone cold. I will drink instant coffee, God help me. The other day I drank that coffee teabag coffee with hotel tap water from the tiny hotel bathroom coffee maker. Man, that was some rotten coffee.
posted by nanojath at 11:10 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the CNN link: "But the good news is, those are very short-term effects and have no long-term consequences whatsoever."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA *breath* HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! How many times have we said THAT before?
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:17 AM on July 22, 2008


I saw a military study on modafinil and alertness, and the Provigil might beat a cup of joe in the morning, but caffeine gum, slow and steady all day long, beats out the Provigil, and Ritalin, and is the recommended alertness enhancer in combat situations.


I'm thinking the stark, raving terror might be skewing the results.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:19 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Addicted to caffeine? Pffft. If you haven't sucked cock for it, you're not addicted to it.

See, you might think you're making a joke...

I like my coffee like I like my "I like my coffee like I like my women" jokes: meta is better.
posted by sixswitch at 11:31 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


The folks who drink it black don't enjoy it, they endure it. And only because they learned to do so in college/residency/working the graveyard shift.

No, no. Black coffee is a beautiful thing. It's like energy distilled to it's purest form, unadulterated by any sugar or diluted by another liquid. It tastes rich, bitter and heavy. Black coffee is substantial and filling like a good, dark bread. You can keep your sweetened and flavored coffees. They're all like some kind of dessert, a twinkie or caffinated milkshake. Black coffee isn't a sweet treat or cake- it's food.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 11:40 AM on July 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


In regards to my usage of the drug ... it modified my personality, to the extent that I was highly irritable. I was like a ... crack Hitler.
posted by camcgee at 11:41 AM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


See, you might think you're making a joke...

No, a joke would be using a term like addiction to describe one's consumerist lust for a beverage. Everyone's "addicted" to something these days; we've all got "issues", because nothing gives us a venue to talk about ourselves like "problems".

We're creatures of habit, like all animals. Until there is proof -- beyond worthless anecdotes -- that caffeine is actually addictive, it's all just semantics; employed to obscure the fact that most of us have far less self-control than we'd like to admit. (And possibly a propensity for melodramatic language.)
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:51 AM on July 22, 2008


I've got ADHD and can't handle the meds. But caffeine, glorious caffeine has few side effects and I will now open my fourth Diet Coke of the day.
posted by Ber at 11:52 AM on July 22, 2008


The folks who drink it black don't enjoy it, they endure it. And only because they learned to do so in college/residency/working the graveyard shift.

I love black coffee. I like the rich, bitter flavor and way the aroma goes up my nose. I don't like it with cream and sugar, and only drink it that way if it's bad coffee to start with.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:56 AM on July 22, 2008


If you haven't sucked cock for it, you're not addicted to it.

Wow, that doens't mean I'm addicted to all the things I've sucked cock for, does it? I may be a tramp, but I'm no junkie!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:00 PM on July 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


Wow, that doens't mean I'm addicted to all the things I've sucked cock for, does it? I may be a tramp, but I'm no junkie!

To be fair, they were limited edition bus tickets I gave you. Why you walked home, I have no clue.
posted by Dark Messiah at 12:02 PM on July 22, 2008


Metafilter is teh dumb.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:05 PM on July 22, 2008


Hurrah! I use the drug correctly. (I am also a philistine by the standards of many posters here - I drink lattes. I like the flavor of warm milk, and I like the way the flavor of coffee sets off the flavor of warm milk. I agree though that I'm drinking coffee flavored milk and not milk favored coffee.)

I used to be addicted to caffeine. It wasn't the pickup I needed; it was just that my desk was in the coldest part of an office that was already kept really cold. Coffee was free from the breakroom (as was powdered hot chocolate, but you can only drink so much hot chocolate), so I went through several cups a day. I never had a reason to drink coffee at home, and I realized that I had horrible headaches every Sunday. Eventually I backtracked the cause to caffeine withdrawal. I decided it was easier to drop coffee from my structured weekdays than to add it to my unstructured weekends, and just starting bringing tea into work (not the leaves of the tea bush, but various other plant materials that result in a brew without caffeine).

Now I just drink the stuff when I need a boost, and, yikes, what a boost it is now that I'm not just adding onto an existing caffeine baseline.
posted by Karmakaze at 12:29 PM on July 22, 2008


Until there is proof -- beyond worthless anecdotes -- that caffeine is actually addictive

5 seconds on google scholar turns up 14,000+ articles on caffeine dependence. You used the phrase 'consumerist lust' and then criticized others for melodramatic language?

I take it you're not a coffee drinker.
posted by Adam_S at 12:30 PM on July 22, 2008


Until there is proof -- beyond worthless anecdotes -- that caffeine is actually addictive

Here are some articles about caffeine and addiction.


I think you're undervaluing the fact that there is a spectrum of addiction, often measured by the extent and length of withdrawal symptoms. I've gone off caffeine for short periods before and experienced mild side-effects from the withdrawal, mostly headaches, which are gone after a few days.

But just because an addiction to coffee isn't as severe as an addiction to heroin or meth doesn't mean it isn't addictive.

To wit, I know plenty of people who are addicted to cigarettes and none that I know of has had to perform sexual favors to get them -- not as long as there was a 7-11 nearby.
posted by camcgee at 12:34 PM on July 22, 2008


On non-preview...beaten to the punch.
posted by camcgee at 12:34 PM on July 22, 2008


I wonder why we decide we want to have the exact same conversation about coffee in every thread about coffee. I hate starbuckets! I lurve starbuckets! Starbuckets of fancy espresso drinks on ice! Hurf Durf Coffee Butter!
posted by tehloki at 12:35 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Coffee and chocolate are both health foods, and anyone who tells me different is a fucking Nazi.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:37 PM on July 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I like my coffee like I like my women: drunk.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:37 PM on July 22, 2008 [4 favorites]


I like my women like I like my coffee.

Picked at the right age, stuffed in a sack, and thrown over my shoulder.
posted by chugg at 12:44 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you haven't sucked cock for it, you're not addicted to it.

ARE YOU SAYING I'M ADDICTED TO JELLYBEANS?!?!?
posted by Avenger at 12:48 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I used to have it so back that I needed a triple espresso every morning just to wake up. those days sucked.
posted by meowN at 1:10 PM on July 22, 2008


posted by Dark Messiah Addicted to caffeine? Pffft. If you haven't sucked cock for it, you're not addicted to it.

Except if you're addicted to sucking cock, then it's win-win.
posted by optovox at 1:13 PM on July 22, 2008


I'll drink it only if it's hot, black and made this year.
posted by drinkcoffee at 1:24 PM on July 22, 2008


I like my women like I like my coffee... COVERED IN BEES!

Oh, and: I just got back from a doctor's visit where I was told I need to give up caffeine. I'm gonna go cry myself to sleep. Seeing as how without caffeine, sleeping and crying are all I'm ever gonna do.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:45 PM on July 22, 2008


If you haven't sucked cock for it, you're not addicted to it.

ARE YOU SAYING I'M ADDICTED TO JELLYBEANS?!?!?


President Reagan??
posted by inigo2 at 2:06 PM on July 22, 2008


Dark Messiah: "
Ever heard of Sprite? 7Up? Root beer? (Barq's is one of the few with caffeine.) There are lots of soft drinks with no caffeine in them, so I am wondering what planet you commute from.
In fact, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make here... If you just want to slam a specific group of people, just say so. LOL MORMONZ ROLF!!!!"

Let me try again.

I was using Fresca as a shorthand for citrus soft drinks, the majority of the non-brown soft drinks available in "diet" form in my local grocery store.

The Mormon comment was un-needed. It does read like a LOLReligion, though it wasn't my intent to slam LDS church members. My apologies.
posted by subbes at 2:20 PM on July 22, 2008


I'll drink it only if it's hot, black and made this year.

LOL, pedo.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:24 PM on July 22, 2008


If it's caffeine you're after, stick with high octane and skip the energy drinks entirely. 3 dollars' worth of generic Vivarin gives you the equivalent of 40 Red Bulls. You can always cut 'em in half. It's liberating to buy exactly what you're looking for though I find it scary that I can dissolve 'em on my tongue without gagging.

The sugar in energy drinks is a waste and makes you crash harder. Many drinks contain ginseng. Not a good idea to consume that daily. Skip the mochas and machiattos except for special occasions and learn to appreciate and doctor up (if necessary) drip coffee. You could eat a donut with it and have fewer net calories.

Better bang for your buck--venti coffee+scone costs the same as a venti mocha, roughly.

Iced coffee is best chilled prior to pouring on ice, or get iced Americanos. I am no aficionado; I like the taste well enough but would probably pop the pills entirely if it weren't for the combination of antioxidants and taste.
posted by aydeejones at 2:26 PM on July 22, 2008


I've never been much of a fan of hot coffee, personally. Particularly black, it just doesn't do much for my palate; I don't like high-temperature drinks that much to begin with, and by the time it gets down to what I consider drinking temperature, it just seems bitter. It's not bad with sufficient quantities of (real, high-fat) cream and (fake) sugar, but without that I'd rather just have half a Vivarin and a glass of water. I guess this makes me something of a philistine -- so be it.

It's a little odd because I do like quite a number of other foods that are bitter (my favorite beers are all on the bitter end of the spectrum), but un-creamed coffee just seems like too much of a stretch.

Iced coffee, which is practically a separate beverage from hot coffee, now that I like. Except that I usually make with half-and-half and would quickly look like Jabba the Hutt, I could drink that stuff all day, year round.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:02 PM on July 22, 2008


Correction to last sentence:

Except that I usually make it with half-and-half and would quickly look like Jabba the Hutt, I could drink that stuff all day, year round.
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:03 PM on July 22, 2008




Iced coffee, which is practically a separate beverage from hot coffee, now that I like.

I agree that they're separate beverages but my feelings about them are completely reversed. I've often marveled how hot coffee tastes so good but if you take it to room temp or ice it, it's magically transformed into a mouthful of crap.
posted by camcgee at 3:58 PM on July 22, 2008


B-but... Without coffee, how are we going to run all the mathematicians?
posted by Orb2069 at 4:28 PM on July 22, 2008


This is not to say that I wouldn't drink caffeine if I could. It's occasionally fun to take on the persona of the caffeine-disdaining purist, but the reality of the matter is that I have a heart condition (Supraventricular Paroxysmal Tachycardia; which sounds much scarier than it actually is) that is aggravated by caffeine.

Sorry to hear that, PU. SVT isn't fatal, but no fun. Makes your heart feel like UB40 is playing in there, and they can't quite decide on the tempo.

My problem is that coffee (not methylxanthines per se; decaf is just as bad, but I'm fine with chocolate and tea, however strong) messes with my guts. The symptoms are as unpleasant for my companions as they are for me. But, gawd, I miss coffee! The flavor and the aroma beckon to me every time I pass a shop.
posted by Mental Wimp at 4:28 PM on July 22, 2008


How can people drink near-boiling coffee? I always have to mix it with cold water or wait until it gets colder on its own.
posted by Memo at 4:38 PM on July 22, 2008


I like my coffee like I like my women-instant with a lotta whiskey in 'em.
posted by jonmc at 4:56 PM on July 22, 2008


Somehow, it turns coffee, which has as many different flavours going on as wine does, into a utilitarian sort of fuel.

Everything is fuel.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:25 PM on July 22, 2008


Seriously, decades of epidemiology have failed to turn up any link between regular coffee or caffeine consumption and any ill effect whatsoever.

Someone mentioned withdrawal and dependence, but c'mon, you can do better than that. From the aforelinked Erowid:

Caffeine doses of 200 mg or higher can cause unpleasant symptoms including nausea, headache, and irregular heartbeat, while dose of 750 - 1000 mg can cause severe toxic symptoms. Severe caffeine intoxication can result in nausea, vomiting, anxiety, tremor, seizures, tachycardia, dysrhythmias, hypotension, hypokalemia, and metabolic acidosis.

Of course, you take enough and it kills you, but you knew that.

* UM study finds caffeine overdoses on the rise
* Coffee "worsens poor fertility"
* Caffeine increases chance of miscarriage
* Coffee leads to chronic adrenal exhaustion?
* Caffeine-contributed thiamine deficiency

Why is everyone so busy trying to 'keep up' anyway? Does no one want a simpler life?

Ooh, ooh. Me, me! Just tell me how to keep my health insurance for my daughter and I'm with you. Most people need help to "keep up" with the normal 40-60 hour work week. I personally think all the TV watching makes it worse (i.e. adrenal excitement, crash, even more adrenal excitement, then Family Guy and South Park. Zzzzzzzzz ...), but that's human civ for ya.

Disclaimer: I used to drink about 5-6 cups a day (it's been free at work for me since 1997), but quit after I developed some annoying (and scary) tachycardia (or whatever it's called when you heart starts beating really fast). I still drink coffee (black, for you snobs) with breakfast when I go out, and I do still enjoy it very much.

(Why is cock-sucking the rock bottom of whoredom? It's not even on the chart, baby.)
posted by mrgrimm at 5:41 PM on July 22, 2008


Why is everyone so busy trying to 'keep up' anyway? Does no one want a simpler life?

Dude, I'm one of the most out-of-it, unambitious people you could meet, but I still love my java.
posted by jonmc at 5:46 PM on July 22, 2008


Why is cock-sucking the rock bottom of whoredom? It's not even on the chart, baby.

For a lot of drug addicted straight men, it is.
posted by The Straightener at 7:24 PM on July 22, 2008


I like my coffee black. Black, like Montgomery Burns's lawyer's heart.
posted by A dead Quaker at 7:42 PM on July 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who feels warm and very very sleepy after quickly downing a 12oz coffee? It really kills productivity for about half an hour. For that reason I almost always use coffee "correctly", that is, small doses spread out. Plus that way I get to saturate myself in that heavenly flavor and never really let it go away!
posted by no1hatchling at 8:34 PM on July 22, 2008


I drink macchiatos. More milk than that, pah, it ruins the flavour. And no sugar, geez. Well, except if I'm having an affogato with a frangelico shot ... but that's a dessert, not a drink.

I have about one hit of caffiene a day - coke zero, tea (green or black), or a coffee. More or less doesn't affect my sleeping patterns much, it seems, except when I'm trying to stay awake.

Meh. Now I want a coffee.
posted by ysabet at 8:43 PM on July 22, 2008


I'm gonna try to quit coffee, it stains the teeth anyway.
posted by PowerCat at 11:54 PM on July 22, 2008


I like my coffee like my men: frequently.

I need coffee to live. My mother forbade me from drinking it before I turned 15, and my childhood is a sleepy blur. Indeed, that first glorious cup was like having scales taken from my eyes. It was beautiful.
posted by Jilder at 4:18 AM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


TheOnlyCoolTim: "I'll drink it only if it's hot, black and made this year.

LOL, pedo.
"


I like my women like I like my whiskey: 8 years old and mixed up with coke.

KIDDING! IT'S A JOKE! DON'T HIT ME!
posted by PontifexPrimus at 7:18 AM on July 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Coffee doesn't make me nervous as long as I don't have it with Chigurh.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 7:27 AM on July 23, 2008


But is it as addictive as [cue ominous music] Carmex??
posted by applemeat at 8:16 AM on July 23, 2008


Why is cock-sucking the rock bottom of whoredom? It's not even on the chart, baby.

For a lot of drug addicted straight men, it is.


No, really, it's not. Trust me here.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:37 AM on July 23, 2008


All this egghead work on the java and no one does anything about the taste. Gah!

If I must be addicted (and I freakin' am) why can't I enjoy it?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:37 PM on July 23, 2008


Caffeine and I have a love/hate relationship. When I'm high, I feel so goddamn good. More sociable, thoughts flying at a mile a minute, interest in things piqued, etc. But I also get more stressed, anxious, and angry when I'm on it. I think I must have a mild caffeine allergy given my sensitivity to it. A 20oz soda will give me quite a kick, and a large coffee... forget about it! I'm a jittery wreck for 24 hours.

I've tried quitting over the years. I think the longest caffeine-free period was two or three months. Damn if it isn't hard with caffeine being available *everywhere*.

As Mr. Gyllenhaal once said, "I wish I knew how to quit you."
posted by wastelands at 1:08 AM on July 24, 2008


There are not nearly enough coffee-like-my-women jokes in this thread.

I take my coffee like I take my women: In the a-no, no, I won't do it.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:03 PM on July 29, 2008


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