The Great Coffee Experiment

by Jen on November 12, 2008

in Fact of the Day,Somebody's got a case of the Mondays...

I’ve recently declared my intention to become addicted to coffee. I already — through heavy usage of Pepsi — appreciate a good caffeine high. However, using Pepsi as a caffeine-delivery method is turning out to be less than ideal. First of all, each 12 ounce can of Pepsi delivers 38 mg of caffeine and 150 calories. Even if I only drink two cans a day, that’s 300 empty calories I don’t need. By contrast, an 8 ounce cup of coffee has anywhere between 60 – 120 mg of caffeine but only 2 calories. And second, as I learned this September when I went to a conference at a local private university, pop* isn’t available everywhere. Coffee, on the other hand, seems to be omnipresent.

However, I’ve never cared for coffee. It doesn’t taste the way it promises to taste when you smell its rich, strong odor. When I’ve tried it here and there, I’ve never gotten past the first sip. I bet it’s been since grad school that I’ve even bothered to try it at all. Since the Hubster has similar feelings about the brew, we are not a coffee drinking household. But as my need for caffeine increases, I’m more convinced than ever that I need to grow up and become a coffee drinker.

So, as anyone might do when planning on taking up a new addiction hobby, I’ve discussed it with my friends who are coffee drinkers. Long ago at a 24-hour mountain biking race, when my team and I sat huddled around a campfire at 2 a.m. waiting to start our next laps, I clutched a cold can of Pepsi in my hand while nearly everyone else drank something hot. Beamer commented that as much as I liked caffeine, I really ought to start drinking coffee. Naturally, he was the first person I consulted. He suggested a breakfast blend, something mild to start, and recommended a few brands.

Then I talked to a friend at work. He was torn. He said he thought maybe I should start with lattes and the like. However, he said that espresso was “all that you think coffee should be.” Rich, strong, with an underlying sweetness. So when we carpooled to another conference together last week, he stopped at Starbucks and bought us each an espresso. A quad espresso. It was like drinking the water lying pooled in the ruins of a burned-down house after the fire department has gone. Very hot, very smoky… very not me. It was an experience I hope not to repeat.

When I told Beamer about this, his exact comment was “Espresso for a coffee virgin? That’s like skipping alcohol or weed and going straight to hero.in!” So I’ve backtracked to Plan A. I bought a small bag of breakfast blend and a couple of those flavored creamers to sissy it up. We’ll see where this takes me.

*Or “soda,” if you lean more East Coast than Midwest in your colloquialisms.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ragtop Day November 14, 2008 at 2:43 pm

I think you and I are twins. I am a soda addict and drink it first thing in the morning, every morning. (though I prefer diet) And as much as I love the SMELL of coffee, the flavor just doesn’t cut it for me. And yes, sometimes I feel left out because everyone else is drinking it, and at breakfast functions they don’t supply soda!I’d love to hear how your experiment goes. I’d have to sissy it up pretty far to drink it too (love that expression, btw).

2 Jen November 20, 2008 at 2:00 pm

Oh coffee. I would have an IV drip of coffee if I could. I adore espresso <>but<> I do think it is an acquired taste. Like beer. Most people I’ve gotten converted is to have them start with a Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha. It is mild and sugary and delicious (though very high in calories so I wouldn’t sub it for your morning Pepsi). If you like that, next time try an extra shot. The thing to avoid is anywhere there is mass coffee (some work breakrooms, convenience stores, restaurants other than coffee shops of course) because it will be bitter. Bitter coffee is the worst. I try to brew mine at home using about two tablespoons for every 4 cups. If it is too strong you can always add some hot water and then reduce next time.

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