I recently agreed to give up coffee on the advice of a trusted health practitioner who informed me that it's poison to the body and our kidneys just can't deal effectively with the toxins (chemicals) in coffee, including decaffeinated. I had been used to at least one cup of strong black 'proper' coffee a day and most days it would be two large mug-sized drinks. I certainly wasn't looking forward to forgoing my coffee but, in truth, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be; at least initially. The first, say, five days I suffered with a headache and pains in my legs. These, of course, were the withdrawal symptoms which I was fully prepared for. Once these had passed I was surprised at how relatively easily I had given up this so-called poison.
But then I began to miss it dreadfully - not only the actual taste but everything associated with a cup of coffee. It had always been something that I had looked forward to mid-morning - that daily treat - the savouring of it and that wonderful aroma. I also drink tea (mainly Earl Grey) but found that I needed to vary it with herbal and fruit teas, but they are all so 'thin' in comparison to coffee and, although refreshing, not nearly as satisfying. I tried "Barley Cup", a coffee substitute made from roasted barley, rye and chicory but, even made with two heaped teaspoonsful, this is a weak-tasting coffee imitation and not something to my taste.
As I say, it wasn't just the taste of coffee. When out and about with family, "stopping somewhere for a coffee" was a given, even a ritual, rather than a suggestion that needed agreement. And on our regular trips to Portugal to visit our daughter, I so looked forward to my daily cup of delicious Portuguese coffee.
Stopping for a cup of black or herbal/fruit tea is just not the same. The anticipation and enjoyment of going into a coffee shop has gone. On the plus side of things, I no longer feel stressed except, ironically, when I'm stressed about not allowing myself a coffee. Will I continue with this self-imposed deprivation? Just a little bit longer...