Sunday, March 7, 2010

Random Sunday Linking

Ah, Sunday morning. The best time of the whole week.

Everything you do from Monday through Friday (and sometimes Saturday) leads you to this moment. When you can wake up a little later, take your time with everything you do--or decide to do nothing at all--and just sit at the kitchen table for a little while.

It's quiet, there are usually bagels, and it's the one time that I allow myself a cup of coffee. A real cup of coffee, I mean. With caffeine and everything. For you see, I had a real bad habit once. I was hooked on the black stuff. And, just in case a potential employer is reading this, I'm still talking about coffee.

I was an eight-cup-a-day man, hopelessly addicted to that caffeine jolt. Though, in my case, it wasn't so much a "jolt" as it was a way to calm me down.

Which is how you know you have a problem.

So one day, I decided to quit coffee cold turkey. It was a decision that led to a long, (opposite of) magical week filled with headaches and discomfort. I'd given half-hearted efforts to quit in the past, and they were usually peppered with coffee substitutes like green tea.

But after a couple of cups of green tea, all I wanted was a cup of coffee. So, in addition to the two (or five) cups of green tea, I'd add on a (whatever the Starbucks word for "biggest cup they have" is) black coffee. Or maybe a double espresso. Or possibly both.

Yep, I had a bonafide problem.

It all started in Italy, you see, when I did a semester abroad. Like every other pretentious college student that goes abroad, I wanted to "immerse myself in the culture" of the country I was visiting. Um...sure. We'll go with that. What did happen while I was there was the following.

I learned absolutely zero Italian, the basic conversational Spanish that I knew was pushed out of my head while I was there, and I decided not to go see the Leaning Tower. Because, really, I'd seen it enough times on TV.

Ah, college.

Anyway, what I did manage to pick up while abroad was a nasty case of espresso fever. And that stuck with me through my remaining days at school and on into my long and wonderful work week. But, sometime in September, I'd decided enough was enough.

And I got through that first caffeine-free week and I pretty much got my jonesing out of my system.

And now, if I'm to have a cup of coffee, I have a cup of "coffee" instead. Decaf. Once the bane of humanity's useless pleasures in my eyes, now I, too, have joined the ranks of the Decaf Nation.

I never understood when a former coffee drinker would tag along to Starbucks and buy a cup of "coffee" instead. One person even told me he did so to trick his system into thinking it was getting the real stuff. I laughed, paid the man behind the counter, and threw back a dopio.

Clearly, I was the dopio.

Too much of anything is never a good thing, and certainly that much caffeine cannot be healthy. So I stopped. And I drink decaf. And it's wonderful. But not wonderful, as in "fantastic and great." Wonderful, as in the sarcastic definition of the term.

I swear I can taste the difference between coffee and "coffee." There's something (obviously) missing in decaf, and I notice a difference in the flavor. And, while I do have one or two cups of decaf a day, I still think it's useless. I mean, it's like drinking warm water with some creamer. (Or, in my case, black, or with a little skim milk.)

I have found a product that's quite useful for my decaf needs, though. Putting up a pot of "coffee" is a waste of time, in my opinion, and buying decaf espresso beans for my super fantastic cappuccino maker just makes me sad.

So instead, I buy Keurig single-use pods, to go along with my Keurig coffee maker. No mess, pretty good "coffee," and it really is convenient in the morning. Check out the Web site--the makers are affordable and so are the pods they use to make the "coffee."

And, yes, they have coffee, too.

And all this ranting and linking leads me to my point. Since I've started this new "coffee" experiment, the need for a caffeine fix is completely out of my system. So I've taken to allowing myself a small cup of real coffee on Sunday mornings. One cup, that's all. I swear.

And having that cup doesn't leave me craving more. So, yeah. Sunday mornings rule.

Enjoy yours, and we'll be back tomorrow with another week of award-winning (not really) blogging.

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