Cold Espresso: 7 Things That Happen When You Quit Coffee


Since my sophomore year of college, my allegiance to coffee has mimicked that of a 54 year-old dude who refuses to accept there’s more to life than high school football and the ’77 state championship game.

The roasted stuff (no milk, no sugar) has been with me through my major highs, lows, and every single one of the mediums. In fact it’s been so involved in my life, that it’s started to pick out clothes for me without any input on my end.

As the years have progressed, my coffee intake has gradually bloated. For the past two years or so I’ve taken every possible chance to guzzle down some Joseph. Only recently, did I realize that 5+ cups of coffee a day is a terrible habit to maintain at age 24. I’ve started getting headaches, random intense back pains, and had a number of episodes in which I’d get up, black out for a second, and then pretend like nothing happened…a fun thing to brag about, but probably not eventually.

Because I’ve abused the esteemed privilege that is #coffee, I decided that its in my best interest to take a sabbatical. Thus, I’ve decided to stave it off Cold Espresso: I’m going without coffee for a month, and haven’t had a drop for the past seven days. I figured I’d share my findings with you, dear content reader, in case you are interested in limiting your caffeine intake:

1. Overcoming That Initial Hump

I started drinking coffee for the same reason most people drink coffee — it gives you a jump, it legitimizes your opinions about articles in The New York Times, and it’s a socially acceptable thing to tweet about.

The first two days were very tough — particularly at 9 – 10am, when I didn’t have that initial Joey Chestnut to stave off the morning slog. Those mornings felt like running the last lap of the mile in 6th grade gym class. Powering through was possible and the accomplishment gave me a rare high, but it’s something I don’t really want to experience again for quite a long time.

2. You Need To Find A New “Thing To Do”

Over the past week, I’ve gotten very into Green Tea. In fact, between this sentence and last, I took a sip of it.

When I told people I started drinking green tea instead of coffee, two different people, eyes wider than Simba when he learns about all the different lands in the Kingdom, told me “that stuffs really good for you.”

My plan is to have this exact same conversation for the next three weeks, and measure how much my self-esteem improves. I’ll off course measure this against my sense of self-awareness, which I imagine will plummet.

3. Your Relationship With Coffee Shops Takes A Dramatic Turn

I haven’t been to a coffee shop for a week. For someone who lives in NYC and doesn’t hate the band Of Monsters And Men, this is nothing short of exceptional.

Not sure how long I’m gonna be able to keep this up. Of course most coffee shops offer other items, but those other items generally come in the form of $7 muffins. I can’t stave off coffee shops forever, because I don’t go to coffee shops then there’s no point of trying to be a write anything — be it a blog post, a short play, or a sweet comedy sketch that’s totally gonna attach the attention of some major players.


4. You Save Some Cash

Even with my own coffee maker, I probably spend $20 a week on coffee. A box of 40 bags of Green Tea cost me $2.99. For those counting at home, that’s an extra $17 a week I can use to boost a social media post, get friends and followers, and willingly concede all my information to a corporate entity.

5. You Don’t Feel Like Blacksuit Spiderman

Remember in Spiderman 3, when Toby wears that black suit and it affects his behavior, bringing out a darker, more dickish side of him? I recently realized that the #coffee me was slowly eating into my personality. I needed and wanted coffee at all times, something that radiated this sort of manic enthusiasm — you’re being productive and a lot healthier than you could be (coffee is most def better than drugs), but that smell of dark roast has this ability to just creep into you. Not having coffee for a week, I feel like I’ve just taken a much-needed shower.

6. You Become Somewhat Insufferable

If I’m writing an internet article on this, how terrible do you think I’ve become in person? Also, it’s only been 7 days.

7. You’ll Probably Be Less Successful

The major downside of going off the coff — and the primary reason why I started drinking so much coffee in the first place — is that I’ve started to get incredibly tired at around 11pm. This feels healthy and normal, and for once the fatigue isn’t supplemented by a major headache. That said, my productivity has taken a massive hit. If I maintain this current homeostasis, I will probably not #achieve a lot of the things I’d like to achieve. For a millennial, the very idea of that thought becoming a reality is about as horrifying as finding out that Game Of Thrones suddenly got cancelled.

Overall, this mini-experiment has definitely been a great move health-wise. I feel better, I’ve stopped having ridiculous headaches, and it’s nice for you stomach not to hate you, if only for a short while. That said, is the tradeoff worth it? I’m already feeling the productivity hindrance, and it’s creating this sort of different dissatisfaction — I’m cool with not reaching my career aspirations, but (a. not really, and (b. I’m only cool with it as long as I give it my all. Giving up coffee and going to sleep at 11 feels like the beginning of a prolonged series of white flags. For this, Gulp. And not the kind that comes with a hot cup of Dunkin’.

Only time will tell, but maybe some crutches are necessary.