First Coffee in 54 Days

    This morning I had my first cup of coffee since April 1st — 54 days without the Black Gold in my cup. I was curious to see what the experience would be like. I’ve not had any coffee during this period. I have had tea three or four times that did have caffeine in it and I noted that I felt the caffeine in that tea much more than I ever did before. But coffee? The real deal? Hadn’t had any.

    I had some great beans from Fika Coffee. The smell of the beans tickled my memories. My first reaction was that the feel of the warm cup, the smell of the brew all was very familiar but not as revelatory as I thought it might have been. The sky did not open, the clouds did not part. There were no trumpets. It was a delightful sip of coffee but that was about it. Good, but not an out-of-body experience.

    I finished the cup outside on the deck and it was nice. I was a bit confused because I didn’t seem to be feeling the caffeine. That didn’t make any sense to me, but we continued with our morning and headed into Faribault to visit Crack of Dawn. When I started to drive off I felt like I was on a rocket blasting into the stratosphere. The caffeine had arrived and it was serious! Nothing like I would have felt before, this was actually a bit disconcerting. I can’t say I enjoyed it. Imagine a squirrel in a wheel running very fast and going nowhere.

    Eventually that blast off ebbed. I was shocked at how profound that felt. As I thought when I stopped drinking my 12 oz of coffee a day and the withdrawal was significant — this caffeine stuff is serious. And this less than 12 oz that I had this morning was serious too!

    All that in that little mug of Black Gold.

    Reflections on No Coffee

    I haven’t had any coffee since April 1st. I’ve abstained from coffee and caffeine because of three different factors.

    1. I have high blood pressure and caffeine is not good for that.
    2. I’m not a good sleeper and caffeine is bad for sleep.
    3. I don’t have anxiety problems, but tend to be anxious which caffeine can aggravate too.

    Going into this I had reduced my coffee intake. A few months ago I dropped my coffee consumption from 24oz a day to 12oz a day. When I did that I noticed no material changes and figured less was probably better. So when I decided to drop it entirely I figured it wouldn’t be that hard since I didn’t think I was having that much coffee.

    I sure was wrong. Stopping coffee and caffeine was much harder than I expected. The first day was fine, but the second day I had a persistent headache. I felt like I was in slow-motion all day, kind of in a fog. And I was so tired in the afternoon and evening that it was all I could do to stay awake. The third day was the same. It wasn’t until the fourth and fifth days that I started to feel more normal.

    I didn’t think the caffeine I was consuming was having any real impact on me — but the impact that the removal had tells a different story.

    How about the three areas I was focusing on?

    So far I haven’t seen any material change in blood pressure. That is disappointing to me but I think speaks to other factors being more impactful to that metric. The physiology still suggests that combining high blood pressure and caffeine is a bad idea. So abstaining from caffeine is still a good idea even if I’m not seeing it on the blood pressure sensor.

    The thing that I have had the most profound improvement in is sleep. Removing caffeine entirely had a more profound impact on my sleep than I could have imagined. Both qualitative and quantitative with the data from the 8Sleep. I’m falling asleep much faster and earlier than I was before. I’m getting about 30 to 45 minutes more sleep a night, mostly by getting to sleep earlier at night and less waking time in the middle of the night. I’m waking up at 6am and feel rested. Something I genuinely have never experienced.

    The last factor of anxiety doesn’t have any way for me to quantify. I don’t know of any clear differentiator that I can point to for this. My best indicator would be ease of achieving a peaceful mind when I meditate, but my meditation practice has been very sporadic this month.

    I find the sleep improvements to be great. I also do like the lack of dependence on getting coffee in the morning. I do miss the ritual of coffee, particularly on the weekends. I’ve sourced some high quality caffeine free tea to give that a try for when I would like that experience.

    I’m not ready to say that I’m not a coffee drinker. We’ll see where the future goes. I’ll just take it one day at a time. 😊

    Return visit to Discourse Coffee this morning for a Moonwater (espresso, milk, honey, cinnamon, tellicherry black pepper, and applewood smoked sea salt). Yum. ☕️

    Part of the Milwaukee Spring Break collection.

    The barista “workbench” at Discourse Coffee has an incredibly broad array of mixologist components. 🧑‍🔬☕️

    Part of the Milwaukee Spring Break collection.

    Enjoying one of the most unique drinks I’ve ever had — Motörhead Latte (espresso, milk, pork fat + apple caramel, root beer bitters, apple powder, smoked salt) at Discourse Coffee. Rich and deep flavors. ☕️

    Part of the Milwaukee Spring Break collection.

    Great way to start your birthday? A macchiato from Backstory Coffee that tastes as good as it looks. ☕️

    The #TeamSPS Coffee Guild met today and Rob Rutscher brought in his Decent Espresso machine along with the Niche Zero grinder and served up delicious coffee for folks today. Brought a lot of joy. ☕️

    Got our Halloween pumpkins at Little Hill Berry Farm by Northfield this morning. 🎃 They also had a delicious Blueberry Pancake breakfast. 🥞🫐☕️

    This is a good spot to have a morning coffee. ☕️🌴

    Enjoying this incredible Double Fermented Gesha special 2nd Anniversary Coffee from Pair Cupworks. ☕️

    Strawberry, Vanilla, & Bananas Foster! – It’s a celebration! This gesha varietal coffee is grown by El Vergel Farm and double fermented by producers Elias and Shady Bayter, located in Tolima, Colombia. In celebration of our cafe’s 2nd anniversary, we are happy to present this super limited release!

    Delightful cappuccino at Drug Store Coffee in the Noelle Hotel in downtown Nashville. ☕️

    Final prep for afternoon presentation to the amazing #TeamSPS sales team. ☕️🙌

    Vermont Road Trip Log: Day 7, Friday

    Weather: Perfect.

    Jump to day 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 of Vermont Road Trip.

    Getting World’s Best Donuts in Grand Marais. They close for the winter tomorrow! 🍩☕️❄️

    Mighty Fine Coffee

    Stopped by Mighty Fine Coffee today to check out the newest coffee option in Faribault. Met the two owners and brought home a bag of freshly roasted beans. They are just getting started and I like where they are going! ☕️

    “Black gold.” ☕️🤩

    High quality mid-day espresso is a nice upside of working from home. ☕️

    Delicious espresso. ☕️

    Little Joy Coffee

    Had an amazing coffee at the new Little Joy Coffee in Downtown Northfield. Amazing coffee, great shop, and top notch barista! Tim the owner is super knowledgeable about all things coffee. Go here! ☕️

    Coffee Cathedral. Ratio Eight making magic with beans from Sump Coffee. ☕️

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