2007/01/22

Of Coffee and the Lesser Caffeinated Beverage

Let's start this post with a story.

Once upon a time at a large Silicon Valley corporation a junior software engineer brought me a can of Coke. You see, she had used the vending machine, and it had dispensed two cans. When I asked her why she didn't want the second one she replied, "That's too much caffeine for me in one day," to which I responded:

Too much caffeine? Is that possible?

Needless to say, I love caffeine. And how do I prefer to have my caffeine delivered? You guessed it...coffee, or as I refer to it: The black elixir; that which makes life possible; the fuel upon which Kvatch's engine runs. I've had friends mention that a Peet's IV drip might be more efficient delivery system, but then I wouldn't get the taste. I cringe when I hear the words 'decaf espresso', and the phrase 'decaf, no-fat, no-foam cappuccino' might as well be translated as "water"!

But here is where things get a little weird. It's been cold in the Bay Area this winter. No...not Minnesnowta cold, but pretty damn cold--compounded by the fact that our apartments are typically insulated with air. And so in the afternoon, when I don't usually want to brew a whole pot of coffee and then waste half, I've been making tea, and...uh...enjoying it. Is something wrong with me? In my opinion tea is the ugly sibling of coffee--a pretender to the caffeine throne. So...what? Am I sick? Is this a symptom of getting old? Am I--god forbid--going to lose my taste for coffee?

23 Comments:

Coffee: it's all about stimulation--

http://tinyurl.com/39u3s7

Some coffee stands get steamier
By Amy Roe
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

"In a short, sheer, baby-doll negligee and coordinated pink panties, Candice Law is dressed to work at a drive-through espresso stand in Tukwila, and she is working it.

Customers pull their trucks up to the window, where Law greets each with an affectionate nickname, blows kisses, and vamps about as she steams milk for a mocha. "You want whipped cream?" she asks, a sly smile playing on her pierced lip..."
tea is all I drink, I don't trust caffine in the levels that are in coffee...I've seen the results of the addiction.
my mom the consumate coffee drinker who does NOT understand how neither of her children developed a taste for coffee. Well she's had to cut back on caffeine because of it's associations with other issues, so she does one cup coffee in the morning and then drinks tea... but she still *LOVES* coffee... :)

And while I don't drink it (tummy doesn't like it) I agree that decaf espresso is an evil evil oxymoronic invention.
The folk in the outback think it decidedly strange to see me sipping from a demitasse. "Get a real bloody mug, ya mug!" is the normal response, and that is from the women, I won't repeat the blokes.
But four or five shots a day is the limit - tea around that always. And all of that supplemented by water in a desperate attempt to rehydrate in 100f temps.
Mr_Blog... Now that's the best example of 'entrepreneurial spirit' I think I've ever seen! :-)

Fred...but don't some teas have just as much, maybe more, caffeine?
Ilanna... You know I didn't have much of a taste for coffee till the coffee craze hit the US. Never drank it in college, hardly ever at work until the 90s. Then Voila!

Cartledge, I can even enjoy an espresso till about 9:00 pm at night without it affecting my sleep (at least that's what I think). Bout 4 or 5 shots a day is probably the equivalent of what I ingest. Though, I usually prefer strong 'Americanos'. Espresso is for the afternoon or evening.
I drink tea a lot at work, because I limit myself to two cups of coffee per day but find myself still wanting hot beverages. (Mostly herb tea, but occasionally something with caffeine.)

By the way, you would appreciate my good news. ;-)
Enjoy it while you can, Kvatch. You're allowed. I cut all that out yrs ago, due to heart issues. I hope your time never comes, but if it does, coffee flavor candy & ice cream help a bit. Inhaling the fumes as you pass by a person enjoying a steaming cup both helps & hurts at the same time. You're right some teas, especially if brewed extra long, have just as much caffeine. Not herbals, but of course they have no kick & are really more of a natural medicinal delivery system. ~~ D.K.
Tom...you're right that the desire for a hot beverage is strong. The cold weather is making me crave it at all hours of the day and night. When are we gonna get some rain huh?

D.K., oh please don't say that. I want to be like this one ancient Parisian I saw once who would step up to the bar at the coffee house, order a double, and then take it like a shot.
Leave your age out of it and just say you're tastes have become more refined! I'm a morning coffee person because I just need that jolt to get me going, but I find tea more soothing and relaxing in the afternoon or evening. And if I get sick with a bad cold, tea with honey and lemon (and sometimes a shot of whiskey) is just what the doctor ordered!
Caffeine is on my list of things to give up, along with aspartame and nicotine, although my caffeine delivery system is carbonated and urine colored.
Kathy... Sorry, wasn't trying to cast aspersions on the 'old', and you're right...tea being a bit 'more soothing' probably plays a part. I think that it has something to do with it being easier on the stomach a couple of hours before dinner.

Lew...give up? In what evil, parallel universie would one want to do that? You're not going insane, are you? ;-)
"Espresso is for the afternoon or evening." Bite your tongue froggy! If I want water I will drink that separately, the coffee should not by diluted at any time of day.
'Americanos' says it all...
no- tea is an excellent beverage- just not in the same league with coffee. why not enjoy both?
And when you get sick make a hot toddy. You know what I mean, a cup of tea with a shot of whiskey and a little cinnamon in it will knock that cold right out of you.

God Bless.
Cartledge... So all you're Aussie bretheren are doing what exactly with those mugs? Drinking 5 shots at a time? I don't think so!

Betmo... Well I do enjoy them both, but I'm just wondering at what's causing my tastes to change at this point. I really never been much of a tea drinker.

AnonP... Is that what a 'hot toddy' is? I never knew. Thanks for the advice.
froggy the bretheren, as you put it, tend to drink or a form of granulated coffee with hot water added.
Don't blame me, I never took on the role of educating the heathen. And I'm not entirely sure how they can stomach a full mug of that muck.
I'm not averse to a double shot - but five up? - I think not.
As a "coffee addict" (make mine leaded, and strong, please!!), who drank 8-10 cups a day, I can identify with you. But: As one who was forced to drink "unleaded or nothing" for health reasons.....withdrawal was HELL!
No, there's nothing wrong with you. No, you're not sick. No, it doesn't mean you're getting old.

Tea is awesome, and is a beverage I always find fascinating. There's a lot to learn about the mighty leaf, and there are so many different kinds to explore and taste.

I'm a big tea drinker as well, and I love it, love it, love it. I think I easily drink about 3-4 (sometimes 5-6!) cups a day ...

And apparently, tea is better for you than drinking plain water because the water is somewhat "fortified" with all of the polyphenols, etc. in the steeped leaves.

Can't beat that.

If you want, I can give you some tea recommendations. Always happy to do so.
And furthermore, people who order cappuccinos without foam need to be beaten with their own shoes.
"...granulated coffee with hot water," otherwise know on this side of the big pond as "instant". (As if this were the only 'instant' foodstuff ever invented.)

TFWY, you know I stopped drinking coffee for health reasons myself last summer, but I didn't find it that hard to quit. Fortunately for me, when it turned out that being without caffeine didn't make a difference, I went right back on it.

Mags, I've often read that tea is good for you...better than coffee. Though I may have read that on You Forgot Poland! ;-) As for your second comment...LMAO!
Tea is for less snarky individuals, no? Froggy?

KVatch, I simpathize, but nothing beats a fresh pot, grounds to perfection percolated over for the wonderous brew we know as coffee.

You are right, it has been cold as of late.
Even though I too love the 'ffein, I've left it aside for my nerves' sake. And hey now, don't ya think it's funny that you decline the Peets drip cuz you'll miss the taste, then cannae understand the Love of Decaf.

Think about it. {-;

Nope. You ain't sick. Tea just tastes awful! LOL!

{ssssip} Mmmm... 1/2 Decaf unflavored. 1/2 Decaf Hazelnut. 1 pot, every morning, before I leave out for work. Mmmm mmm...

Yummy post!

Now to go up and your SOTU's 2 & 3. I went to 1 first, then saw the coffee pic and had to read that one first.

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