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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Confessions Of a Coffee-holic

My Twitter friends have heard me wax rhapsodic about coffee. I love it. Now.

Once upon a time, I didn't drink coffee and didn't understand how anyone could like the taste. I didn't even like the aroma of brewing coffee back then, but I was taking thinks like Vivarin (basically a caffeine pill) to try and stay awake. But those damn things caused me to crash off the high, and not only was there no way to get it back even if I took another pill before I hit the wall, but it left me feeling worse than if I hadn't taken one at all. Clearly, I needed a more tenable solution. I decided to try General Foods International Coffee.

Nirvana! Coffee that tasted good and a fab caffeine burst that didn't end with me hitting the wall. I only drank a cup a day, but after a couple of weeks, I was already hooked. I'd decided not to drink a cup on the weekends and found myself lethargic that Saturday. I had a cup of coffee and boom. Instant energy. I accepted that coffee would be an every day thing from then on out.

My one-cup-a-day habit (with an occasional bump up to two) continued for a long time. As expensive as the International coffee was, I couldn't afford to drink more. And then my writing buddy gave me two bags of coffee--one from Costa Rica and the other from Nicaragua. I had to at least try her gift. And I discovered with some added creamer and sugar, that I loved this new coffee. I loved it better than International French Vanilla Cafe. I bought a 4-cup coffee pot. (It's really 2 cups since who drinks 6 ounce cups? Mice? Seriously.) I ran through the two pounds of coffee she gave me.

One of the guys I work with went to Guatemala and he brought me back a pound of coffee and it was awesome! And then I brewed through that.

Caribou Coffee is based in Minneapolis and they have a shop not that far from my house. I decided to try their Guatemalan and it was every bit as awesome. I've since tried their Costa Rican (love it!), their Kenyan (love it!), and their Columbian (it's okay) and I'm hooked. Totally, completely, utterly hooked, but I was still only drinking a cup a day.

Until deadline time was looming.

While I was working on In the Darkest Night last winter, I needed more than a cup or two to keep me going. Most days I drank four cups, some days I drank six and I did this for the entire month before my book was due.

Um, yeah. I've been struggling to get back to a cup a day since then. That's seven months. I'm hovering right around 2-3 cups a day still. Trying really hard to stay at two and not jump to three, but I crave coffee something fierce. And there are days where I'm so tired that I honestly don't know if I can function without that extra jolt of caffeine. I'm trying. If I can stabilize at two cups for a while, then I'll tackle dropping back to a single, solitary cup in the morning. It'll be hard. And there'll no doubt be another deadline that bumps up my coffee intake again.