I don’t drink coffee

I’m not sure how you define “a morning person,” but I don’t consider myself one, even though I do tend to wake up earlier than my wife does. Maybe, by my definition of “morning person,” there are no morning people. I consider a morning person someone who not only wakes up early but also doesn’t feel groggy and doesn’t feel immediately like going back to bed again.

So why do I wake up early? I like mornings. Lately, I’ve been going on morning runs in the park before work, and I like how quiet and beautiful the park is in the morning as the fog rolls over the grass and water. And on the weekends, I can’t sleep in too much, because I don’t want the whole day to just waste away, and I also don’t want my body getting used to that kind of sleep cycle on the weekends so that waking up on Monday for work is even more difficult than it usually is.

Still, I don’t drink coffee.

I know many people who need coffee to function in the morning. If they don’t have coffee, they are cranky, discombobulated, and inarticulate—sort of the way I am if I haven’t eaten in eight hours (give me three meals a day, please; thank you). I’d say there are three major reasons I don’t drink coffee:

  • While my high school friends were starting to drink coffee in order to feel more grown up, I didn’t really care to feel grown up. I wanted to be intellectually mature. I wanted to be respected. But I didn’t particularly want to get drunk, smoke cigarettes, drink coffee, have sex, get high, or have an early mid-life crisis. I wanted to enjoy my youth while I still had it. Of course, some people would say all the stuff I didn’t do as a teenager is enjoyment of youth. I’ll respectfully disagree.
  • I don’t really like taking drugs—caffeine, over-the-counter headache medicine, etc. I will take drugs if I have to (if I have a really bad headache or need antibiotics after surgery), but I try to avoid them if possible. I just like not to mess with my body if I don’t have to, and I also worry that my body could build up an immunity to certain drugs if I take them too often.
  • I guess the most important reason is I just don’t like the taste of coffee. The smell isn’t too bad (doesn’t turn me on or anything, but I can stand it). Coffee taste? Bleh.

Yup. I’m a freak. I don’t drink coffee.

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13 Comments

  1. Turn in your geek badge!

    LOL.

    My grandfather couldn’t remember whether he once tried coffee or beer, but regardless of which one it was, he decided from that point on that he didn’t like either.

  2. I usually don’t comment on your blog but in this case I must say that I morally/intellectually agree with you. Not that I think you need my approval but just to add to the discussion, in times I felt down I’d do what others did in order to feel better… Not much of a result then, just got to the conclusion doing those things would help me feel relaxed, something I wouldn’t feel unless I drunk coffee, alcohol or whatever. Still now I do those things because they help me feel better. Though in my mind I’d like to stop — and did for a time — I always stress out unless I do those things, and when I’m stressed I tend to block and do nothing and consequently feel miserable and do nothing even more.

    It’s a vicious circle.

    It’s like trading long term freedom for short term… Oh well… I’m aware of that, at least it’s a start…

    Congrats on your blog, though I liked the older blog more (P.S.: just for your knowledge, I found your blog independently of the site, which lead me to a funny moment once I realised you were the same person)

  3. @matthew
    I like your grandfather already. I used to think I identified with C.S. Lewis until I found out he didn’t respect people who don’t smoke or drink. I have grown to appreciate wine over the years, but I’m not much of a beer fan.

    @Tallken
    Mind if I ask how you found my blog, since it was independently of this site?

    @cyberdork33
    I think I may be, then. I may just be.

  4. I like iced (the ice cream-in-coffee kind) coffees, but they tend to make me irratible the next day. Probably because of my lack of tolerance for caffeine and small size; I’ve had a rapid heartbeat for twelve hours following a 16-oz iced coffee.

    I don’t really ever crave it; I’ll drink it if I’m in a coffeehouse, my prefered social venue; but I really hate the withdrawl cycle.

  5. I like this post.

    It seems like such a big thing in my generation (I’m 20) to rely on substances like caffeine and alcohol for entertainment. I guess this isn’t unique to the millennials; every generation forms its own culture around mood-affecting substances. What I object to is the sense of proving one’s mettle or worth by the amount of substances you consume. Again, this may not be unique.

    Like with coffee — I know many people who wake up and “need” a few cups to function right. While I don’t have a huge problem with that, it’s a little annoying how respected that is (sort of “oh, you need three cups of coffee, you’re really hardcore”) and how being able to wake up fine without caffeine is thoroughly unimpressive. Same with alcohol or over-the-counter drugs, like you wrote — dependence is respected, and when I choose to not alter my body’s chemistry in that way, I feel like I lose a degree of respect from my peers.

    This isn’t an absolute rule, but it seems to be a general trend in the United States, at least. Thanks for a great post, especially your first bullet point. Caffeine doesn’t have a real noticeable effect on me, but that’s only one reason why I don’t drink it… very good to read.

  6. Nice post.

    I think I’m in a similar boat, although it’s alcohol more so than coffee that gets to me. I live in Australia and it’s easy to see how the American obsession with coffee has spread to us.

    Every morning most people come to work clutching their coffees as if they need them to breathe. Then over and over during the day they go out to fetch more and more coffee to sustain them during the day.

    There is a strange respect that people receive for drinking lots of cups of it every day and I’m not sure I understand why, although it may stem from the similar mindset people have about drinking alcohol.

    If you don’t drink alcohol you’re a freak. If you can remember what you did the night before, then you didn’t drink enough, or you didn’t “go hard”. I don’t consider myself prudish, I just really don’t understand the mentality behind it.

    Perhaps the same “respect” that people receive for getting seriously drunk and doing all sorts of things they wouldn’t do sober, extends by day to the drinking of coffee, when it’s worn as a badge of pride that they “need” that much caffeine in order to function properly.

    I think it’s sad really that that’s how things are.

    I occasionally drink coffee milk, but i don’t touch alcohol. Never have (36yo). But I’ve always felt like a freak who exists on the outside of regular life, and doesn’t fit in because I don’t go to the parties etc and “have a great night”.

    I don’t go, because it’s no fun being sober among a room full of drunks. I’d rather get out and do something else. Can’t help feeling like a freak some days though. Oh well. Each to their own I guess.

  7. Paul, I totally agree with you. I really can’t stand the ‘getting drunk’ phenomenon that pervades American culture and it’s followers (I’m from Canada). I do drink something from time to time (like one beer or a glass of wine), and I drink tea , but mostly because I enjoy those things, not because I want to be drunk, stay awake or for any kind of ‘respect’.

    Oh, and I too don’t really goto parties, bars, etc. and feel a little judged by those who do.

  8. I drink ONE cup of coffee only occasionally, on mornings when I’m really feeling exhausted and desperately need something to help me wake up. I could probably count on my two hands the number of cups of coffee I’ve had all year thus far. I don’t drink it very often because I’ve never particularly liked it, and I don’t want to become dependent on it, either. So I generally try to get to bed early and get a decent amount of sleep rather than relying on chemical help to stay awake.

    I don’t EVER drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes or do any type of illegal drugs (although I’m not one of those people who doesn’t take aspirin for a headache.) I’ve discovered my life is better without those items in it.

  9. I’m that odd (or rare?) “morning person”: I wake up early, before any alarm (I really don’t need one, especially after I learned that I can “tell myself” what time at which to wake up, and I will — eerie, but I can set a clock to it..). I’m not groggy when I wake up, and I don’t want to go back to bed; I want to get up & get going with things…

    I drink one or two cups of coffee, mostly socially (break time at work), but I can take it or leave it. Same with anything alcoholic. I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was 35. I started earlier with tea, which I do drink daily — 3 or 4 cups of green tea (which is supposed to provide healthy polyphenols & other anti-oxidants). I much prefer its taste to soda pop, which I don’t drink (any longer, except with the occasional pizza. :^)

    Caffeine? Doesn’t do anything for me. I can drink espresso within a couple of hours of bedtime, and it won’t affect my sleep. Similarly, it does nothing to help me wake up or stay awake.

    So for me, coffee & tea are just “beverages”, and as long as I don’t sweeten them with sugar (saccharin is not absorbed by the body, thank goodness!), they’re much more healthy to me than soda pop, fruit juice, or alcohol. Water might be “the best choice”, but I think “water infused with camelia sinensis phyto-nutrients” (i.e., green tea) is even better yet…

  10. I LOVE the taste of coffee.Unfortunately,I can’t handle the caffiene.<:( oh well oh well,herbal tea it is then.aside from that, I agree with all you had to say in your article.it's much better to live the clean life.:)

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